We left Stavanger after lunch after having visited the Oil Museum. We loved this city. However finding our way out proved a challenge in its own right due to lack of sign posting.
We rejoined the North Sea Cycle Route eventually and now commenced some of the most challenging cycling I have done.It started easliy enough with tracks alongside the coast which yet again was intensely beautiful. So far, the North Sea coast has proved itself to be scenically on equal terms with some of the finest scenery in the World that I have seen.
The real challenge started yesterday when we set off inland on a mountain trail suitable for lightweight mountain bikes and not heavy touring bikes. There was about 20 miles with many short but mighty steep hills. It was rugged country shared only with wildlife. It continued into Egersund. After a very late lunch, a tarmac road took us up into more hills and then down to the coast and this was dotted with small fishing settlements .
Today's ride was one that burned the legs. We climbed about 4,000 ft but it was not all in one go. These hills were steep. We buried our prides and walked. At the top, you shot off downhill, sometimes through tunnels. We were weaving around fjords so at one moment we were at sea level, then up to 900 ft, then down again. The road was narrow so when a lorry came, we had to get on to the verge. On arrival at Flekkefjord, we were greeted by the horn of a monster ocean going tug that was in port.
We were not the only long distance cyclists on this route today. We met two from New Zealand who are cycling 36,000km around Europe, then a Swiss girl who cycled here from Zurich and there was another guy who did not stop. As I write, I think it would be good to have a short rest.