Saturday, 12 June 2010


This is my new buddy, Andy, who I have ridden with for a few days. He has just climbed 135m in this picture. East Norway has more gentle countryside than where we have been, but every now and again, it likes to make sure that you can still do the climbs

I wanted to stop in Larvik, home of who I think is the greatest 20th century maritime explorer of all, Thor Heyadhal, however the heavens opened with the most enormous deluge. All I could think of was to outrun the rain.
After one last enormous hill on the border, I cycled into Sweden. Norway has one huge disadvantage. It is extremely expensive. Nowhere was this more evident than at the border where in Norway the shops were closed while on the Swedish side there were many large supermarkets.
I had some initial difficulty finding the cycle route in Sweden but found my way to Stromstad. I now found that the Norwegians are better than the Swedes at cycle maps/signposting.
Sweden's South West coast is charming. It is very pretty. While having none of the grandeur of Norway, it has a delightful character. The Swedes love their bathing. Below is a typical example of someone's swimming place

On another occasion, I was sitting alone having a snack when a Swedish lady cycled up, introduced herself and then went for a swim. It looked freezing but she said she swims every day.
Yesterday, I was getting myself into a fix. It was raining most of the day. I did not like the town I originally wanted to stop at, so I kept going. Anyhow there was nowhere to stop and I was wet through. After a tip from a local, I went to a farm. No one answered the door, so I went into the cowshed and I found the farmer's wife feeding the animals. She had a room, moreover it was a 4 bed apartment which I could have for £35. Here is its picture

After yesterday's rain, this morning it was a Westerly gale. Apart from ice, this is the worst weather for a cyclist. Sideways gusts can knock you into cars and even blow you over. I needed some mental preparation for this. I also needed some for cycling through Gothenburg which I had been told was very difficult. I managed 52 miles today which in the circumstances I was pleased with. I made much use of the position of the sun when cycling through Gothenburg and this proved a useful supplement to checking the maps.
Tomorrow I head for Varberg and hope top be in Denmark on Monday. I have now done 2,346 miles and that means it is 1,300 miles to go. I am hoping for no hills and no wind.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Graham,
    We are seriously following you now we are back from cycling in france.
    We did the nscr in 2004 and 2009 and when reading your blog and seeing familiar pictures it makes me feel quite emotional. It is such an adventure. Please enjoy every, every minute of this beautiful and mostly unspoiled parts of the NSCR.
    Mary Blanche