Trondheim! Yes, we opted for the soggy ‘dried fish’ route after all

Once again, thank you to the new Oldies Club donors for their incredible generosity. Getting these donation notifications has really cheered me up while I navigate the still difficult weather!

You are:

Jamie Baverstock, Anne Bell, Lorraine Atherton, Ailsa Parry (WOW!!) and Di Allen

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dogandsnailbiketravels

 

The hard statistics thus far

Since departing Wabamun by bicycle:

  • 41 days in the saddle
  • 2712 kms pedalled for an average of 66.15 kms per day
  • over 20,000 vertical meters climbed
  • maximum downhill speed – 72.4 kph (yeehaw!!!)
  • slowest uphill speed – 4 kph (blah)
  • longest day – 112kms
  • shortest day – 22kms
  • 32 nights of camping in the wild
  • 9 nights on commercial campsites
  • approximately 5kg of body fat (mine, not Murph’s) evaporated
  • £800/$1306 cad – so far – raised for the Oldies Club!!!

 

Items lost, destroyed or otherwise since beginning of trip:

  • Kong squeaky beaver mascot
  • fleece blanket
  • warm beanie hat
  • miniature tennis ball
  • 2 x bike mirrors
  • bike helmet
  • Murphy’s precious Equafleece jumper
  • several usb cords
  • Macbook Air – yes, it did completely die after all. I am typing this on a freakishly expensive Norwegian laptop. I’ll call it a ‘souvenir’ since it has all the funny Norwegian letters on the keyboard. No excuse to spell Bodø Bodo anymore!
  • silk sleeping bag liner
  • 1 x glove
  • 1 x sock

At least my tent didn’t end up over the cliff and to a watery death.

In the 950-ish kms since we left Bodø

The freight train is ready to pull out of the station

Do you really want to know about the weather? Not really? I’ll tell you anyway; it was better than predicted but less than lovely.

We pulled out of Bodø under bright sunshine, 14c (which is positively tropical in these parts), full of hope and thrilling to the trilling of the open road. The following day was pretty good too, but the ten after that were gray, cold and quite gloomy. Hardly any rain though until today – all less than inspiring for photo ops, so the camera hardly came out. It also made it less likely I’d stop to smell the wild flowers for any length of time. If I kept moving, I’d stay warmer. Temps have consistently been between 6-12c during the day and much colder in the wind and damp air. Nights have been tolerable not going much below the same. The flipping midges have been GROTESQUE!!! Their itty-bitty, blood-sucking carcasses pile up in my tent every night as I lose my mind and commit mass murder. Murph, however, seems spared – I must grow more fur. Until then, my most prized glam accessory:

Image result for midge head net

Still, I’ll take midges over Canadian mosquitoes any day. All of these un-scenic things considered, I thought I’d focus more on the people side for this post.

As I got further from the gravitational pull of the Lofoten Islands, the cyclists I encountered entirely thinned out. This was nice in a way – I felt more special. When I did come across another me, we would generally stop to chat and swap road-war stories, much like it was when I was further north. We were the burly hard-core types on BIG rides – a more exclusive type, bien sûr !!

Three delightful Norwegian damsels escaping their husbands and children for a little spin from Nordkapp back to their home in the south. 1500kms!
This fine young fella was guarding the road when I swung around a corner. After a bit of a nervous stand-off with me looking for the nearest exit, he gave a big snort and headed off.

Momentous day – we cross the Arctic Circle

This lonely little globe marks our return to the dark side…

…and we’re officially back in the land of the summer moon. Sort of. The sun kind of goes down for a few minutes over the horizon. I still have to wear a sleep mask and a pillow all night to be able to drift off.

 

Our unusual and charming alarm clock that morning. Thousands of free-ranging sheep since Bødo.

 

Murph introduces me to more of the nicest people!

Gerhard, a very kind German motorhomer and avid fisherman, insisted we take a couple of his freshly-caught fish with us. It was a bit of a challenge frying them up on our little Trangia alcohol stove, but Murph loved them!!

The wonderful Elsa of Nesna made my day. We chatted about her town and its history while I waited for the ferry. She was a young girl here during the German occupation and had an uncle who emmigrated to BC after the war. Did she ever think of leaving Norway? Perish the thought!
Marietta and her very sweet family from Lund, Norway – the ferry’s destination. Marietta struck up a conversation about bike touring and local history at the dock and we became fast friends.
This is Olav from Steinkjer. Olav is an 89 year-old retired farmer. He volunteered that he’ll only get an electric bike when he is 100. Be like Olav.
Our last ferry on this section – memorable for all of the jolly nice local people I met aboard, and a pretty ferry she was too!

Hilary Clinton is hiding in Helgeland

On a tiny road, in the middle of nowhere with no one around for miles …made my hackles rise.

What now then?

The travelling circus comes to rest

I have a wedding to get to in Burgundy, France on July 27th. I’d really like to attend my dear Cousin Boris’ nuptials, but I have no idea if it’s feasible. I’m more than a week behind the loose schedule I’d set, and it’s a tangled spaghetti of problems and expense to get there. I don’t think a non-dog-toting bicycle tourer can empathise with the difficulty and stress of planes or trains with the gear, the bike and an elderly dog. Not quite as easy as just hopping on any old flight. Murph must be in the cabin with me which most Scandinavian airlines make impossible (that’s why I flew to Finland – Finnair was cool and Murph+bag dimensions worked for us), the bike has to be disassembled, then I have to find a box to cram it into, then there’s a very large bag full of gear, the transfers, car hire to get to the remote part of Burgundy and of course, it all costs a bomb. Finally, I have to get back to where I left off! AAAAAARGH! Oh Boris! Can’t you wait until the end of August to get married – that’s when I’ll roll into Montot under my own steam.

I believe I will just carry on as planned for now, but it’s all very preoccupying. Yes, St Olav’s Way it is . From here, I start away from the west coast with Lillehammer, Oslo and Gothenberg, Sweden in my sights. That’ll be over 800km of steep climbs up real mountains, sometimes on long stretches of dirt tracks – all the while, battling the ever-capricious weather. I’ll be roughly following the Eurovelo 3/Norway National 7 bike route.

A little info about St Olav’s Way, which I’ll be doing in reverse, here:

https://pilegrimsleden.no/en/about/om-pilegrimsleden

I hope to get a couple of supplementary posts in when I can, but for now, signing off from Trondheim!!

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6 thoughts on “Trondheim! Yes, we opted for the soggy ‘dried fish’ route after all

  • Wow Jac! The adventure continues!! Does Murph need her Equafleece replaced? Meadow has grown out of a couple, although they might still be a bit big for Murph, I can definitely get one from Equafleece to post out to you! All admiration and love, V, C, J and M xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Von! She has a second one but it’s a bit saggy and she always gets her little legs trapped in it. I’m making it work with a hair band! I’m hoping it’ll get warmer from here on anyway. HA! She’s doing well but we are both hoping for an extended period of something called ‘sunshine’! Much love to you and all of your girls!! XOXO

      Like

  • Hiya, Intrepid Niece,
    Just finished reading your latest post and remain in total awe of you! Too bad you can’t make it to Boris’s wedding but I think, given your circumstances, he’ll give you a pass. He better!
    Are you holding up alright mentally/emotionally. You seem to be taking all the issues in stride but still-it’s got to be hard. Thank goodness for the people you meet, eh? And for your stoicism and drive. The Petko side of your family can’t even imagine and gosh, it would be difficult finding a couch on your chosen path. I imagine you’re learning a lot about yourself. Ya think, Maggie?! Duh.
    I found an item in the local paper last night that I thought you might get a kick out of. I’ll forward the text I sent my friend, Pat, about it. Pat is a knitter, gets the finer details of life and its vagaries, and is following and loving your blog. So here it is and I’m sorry that you missed this epic annual event since you were in the,er, vicinity.
    “I’m just turning in but had to send this minor headline that caught my eye in the paper. “Purl Jam: Finland hosts heavy metal knitting contest” 😂
    Further quote:
    “With stage names such as 9” Needles, the participants shared a simple goal: to showcase their knitting skills while dancing to heavy metal music in the most outlandish way possible.” End text.
    Isn’t that a hoot? Would you agree, at this point, that this Purl Jam” event and behavior is totally in keeping with the Scandinavian psyche? Finns just wanna have fun.
    Lots of love and encouragement from us to you. And, of course, your increasingly bony ass. Geez Louise—are you now a stick figure on a bicycle?
    The Auntie & Uncle Ems
    from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  • Good day Murph & Jacquie Thanks for the news and fab photos. Was just starting to wonder how you were rolling along. Love from Canada 🇨🇦 Marty 💜💜😊
    Sent from my iPhone
    >

    Liked by 1 person

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