Day 7: Nr. Nordfjordied to Nr. Maloy – 37 miles (plus 5 miles the following morning)
Around five years ago I / we stopped going on holidays for a fortnight and went instead for week blocks but more often. Days like today exemplify why we changed our approach. After a week, even the most fabulous scenery starts to become routine and you lose the awe and wonder that a place really merits. When carrying out our research it suggested that the ‘must see’ fjords of the region we were visiting were Sognefiord and Nordfjord. The former was certainly fabulous as had been the expected gems we had seen since then when we had been further inland. So I’m sorry but whilst Nordfjord was ‘pleasant’, today it failed to impress until the very end of the day.
Light rain was falling as we set of from our campsite, but having stayed in a cabin at least we did not have a wet tent to put away. Also, my front light had dried out enough to start working again. Five years on the front of my bike in Lancashire was clearly peanuts to a week of standing out on wet nights in Western Norway. We headed back into Nordfjordeid but took the E39 on the way back in as it was a quiet Saturday morning. This did afford views of the lovely rapid filled river which was feeding from the fjord down into Hornindalsvatnet. Once into the town the headwind became obvious and was our constant companion all morning. Counting our blessings though, this was only second period when it was a case of ‘getting your head down’ (not that in fact you physically actually do this on a recumbent) and getting the miles behind you. Mrs W benefited from travelling in my wake as we made our way up the Northern shore of the fjord.
Fortunately we found a bus shelter with a very pleasant view for our lunch spot and during lunch the rain decided to stop. As I said before, never did we suffer a whole day of rain. Here is our lunchtime view once the sun came out:
The afternoon was dry but next highlight was the end of the day. Our campsite was right down on the fjord side. There was only one other tent on site so we had the freedom to pitch where we liked. The site looked to have been hewn from rock and then topsoil added back to make flat pitches. We found a semi-circular cleft in the rock with the fjord lapping at its base. A nice sheltered place to cook…
…and a fabulous view of the fjord and passing cargo ships.
The day may have been mediocre, but the evening made up for this. The sun came out and we reflected on a tour we had both really enjoyed. Glorious and massive scenery yet a route (carefully planned I might add) that only saw two big steep climbs in all ca. 300 miles.
The following morning required a very early start as our return transport was on a Hurtigruten ferry back down the coast to Bergen. There is only one boat a day, so one dare not miss it – the only snag was the 0545 departure time. Thankfully everything went like clockwork in the morning and we arrived at the port in plenty of time to allow us to hunt around and find which mooring that was used by Hurtigruten. In the end a single A4 timetable in an office window as the only clue. Lucky for us that taxi drivers are always around and one pointed us in the right direction. The best of Nordfjord was to be seen from the water, so we enjoyed that as we made our way out to a coastline dotted with islands. In reality, once through the islands this was the end of the good views that the boat provided – apparently the speed ferry offers better views as it goes into many more fjord entrances to smaller jetties. We looked at it this way – we could tie up the bikes without need to pack or wedge them in anywhere and we could look at the view from the warm and between chapters of our respective books.
Epilogue: Western Norway offers awesome countryside, massive scenery great campsites (and cabins), smooth roads and is inhabited by warm, generous and wonderful people. It was a great place to tour by bike is certainly somewhere we’d like to visit again one day…