Nordkapp – Day 4 – Bergen -> Borgund -> Stryn, 472 km
I got to Bergen at about 10 and it was here that I visited the port area and the old buildings. However, the most fascinating attraction was the cable car at Floibanen and the vantage point from which there is a magnificent panorama of the entire city to be admired.
The entrance cost of considerable and amounts to NOK 90, but the view is definitely worth that amount. When I returned down by cable car it just started raining. Apparently this is the wettest city in Norway and it rains here an average of more than 270 days a year. That day I had a little work to do, so I chose Starbucks with WiFi access plus coffee, snack and cake and a view of the street. That’s all I need to have in order to work quietly for a few hours.
That day more than 400 km and two ferries awaited me. Admittedly, the ferries are not the cheapest even for motorcyclists and if you can summarize it, a pretty hefty it amount comes out of it.
A certain curiosity is crossing the world’s longest (24 km), car tunnel linking Lærdal and Aurland. In the tunnel, there are two places you can stop at for a moment to take pictures. The Illuminated blue “chambers” make a cool impression. Next I got to Borgund where the oldest stave church, built in about 1150, is located. More or less it was from this point that it started getting decidedly colder. There are dozens of waterfalls and glaciers.
It was the hardest of all the days of the trip. Not only were there lots of kilometers to overcome, but the road conditions were still really difficult. There was quite a lot of traffic, in particular campers and some roadworks. I was riding slowly and there were lots of attractions. It all meant that at some point I had enough of the ride.
When I passed the Mindresunde Camping campsite near the town of Stryn, I decided to turn around and spend the night there. The campsite reception was already closed, but the norm is that you can pitch up and pay the next morning. The cost is about 150 NOK and the view from the tent in the morning … priceless.
That day I came across a crisis. I thought that if my riding was supposed to look like that, that I did 470 km in 14 hours, and still there were thousands of kilometers ahead of me, then it was woeful for me and to add to that, I got wet and froze. Later in the tent, I even considered taking a possible “shortcut” – in the direction of Oslo, Stockholm, …, Gdynia, Poznan. Well, instead of whimpering, I decided to lie down and go to sleep quickly in order to bolster my morale for the very next day.
A funny situation happened to me when I left campsite. The day before, I was so tired that I forgot that I had turned back to the campsite. In the morning I went the other way, after quite a bit of riding, I saw that my GPS was insistently urging me to turn back. I had to stop and check what was going on. It was only after a while that I figured out what had happened, why I had confused directions.
Advice: Take a rain gear (jacket, Bottoms, pads, gloves and boots). There is no time for jokes in the north. Sometimes it rains the whole day or more and the temperature varies between 4 and 14 degrees. The wind blows often and it goes on all day. A full rainwear kit is simply necessary. Mine did great job. I had only one failure. The zip lock broke in one leg and I had to sew it up “permanently”. When it was really cold, even when it was not raining I had to wear the rain gear to protect me from the wind. I would add that in such situations, it is worth having heated grips on the motorbike.
Equipment: Tent. Literally two days before departure, I bought a tent in Decathlon. It was a small, so-called “2 Second” one, kind of single, but two people can fit it easily or one and a lot of luggage. I admit that I took some risk taking it without checking. Previously I planned to take another one, on top of another one already proven in battle. However, this proved to be a hit. It could be pitched up and disassembled in an instance and saved me from becoming wet on several occasions. You simply throw it and it is pitched up. You put a sleeping mat, sleeping bag and a bag in it, you go in and you’re done. I confess that for so little money, it is a very well made product. It was practically wet from rain or dew for several days; however, it never leaked. I will mention only that the manufacturer made it easy to fold and now it is as easy as unfolding. The only “disadvantage” of the tent is its size when folded. This plate does not always look good. You can indeed judge it for yourself and it’s not that bad.