Jul 31, 2010

It - It is in the people

So far, most of our days off happened to be in clear sunny weather. It wasn't any different on our rest day in Bodø, when the Atlantic ocean and the Norwegian mountains had agreed on a cease-fire and let the air fronts breathe peacefully. Immediately, we took advantage of the occasion: with the help of two Norwegian girls and a Swedish medicine student, we conquered the Keiservarden hill overlooking Bodø and offering a sneak peek out to the distant Lofoten islands emerging only as a light touch of blue pastel on the horizon.

The more our journey advances, the less predictable it becomes. We did not preplan to visit the Lofoten as it seemed to add too much distance. But, as we have become used to jumping on and off ferries, skipping the islands seemed to be almost a criminal decision. Looking forward in time - to skip Tromsø and Nordkapp feels like it would definitely be a crime, so we felt that we must also tick those coordinates off our "to visit" list. Also, it is only normal that communicating with various other travellers on the road helps develop a better sense of the area and the experiences worth getting.

That said, the concentration of travellers was one thing that the Lofoten is low on. Its rich landscape offering all kinds of activites from bike tours to hiking, mountain climbing and even surfing next to snowy peaks, attracts visitors like flypaper. There, you can meet hundreds and hundreds of tourists and still feel a lone traveller in the world. After this the brief encounters with the rare likeminded become all the more valuable.

What's the difference, you ask? And how can I tell who's who? The difference is in feeling the unity. By saying this, I consciously take the risk of sounding like a hippy tripping on acid, but the truth is out there and it becomes so obvious once you learn to see it: we're all in this world together. In more precise terms, the difference is in being an interactor vs being an observer-consumer, not so much in what kind of activities you're participating in. We are used to saying Hi to other passing cyclists or approaching and talking to (or being addressed by) anyone interesting (or interested). Other travellers are too. No tourist ever is.

By keeping our minds open we met Kris the Pole, cycling for the who-knows-how-manyeth-time to Nordkapp, who shared with us another of the secret recipes of cyclists who need to eat a lot and survive in Norway on their non-Norwegian budgets. Pasta with jam remains in our emergency list for the day when we're so fed up with Wasa bread that we can't possibly face eating even a single slice more. Up to this day, we're still holding on and trying to vary what we put on it. Spoonfuls of salty butter is one of our secrets of not getting skeletal too fast.

When we're not busy meeting people and talking to the wind, we communicate with the local wildlife. The sheep, we have met before. However, it was fun to chase them and dodge the poo flying out at running speed from the back of the herd. The lilacs I haven't seen for a while since I am used to them being one of the first signs of summer in Estonia, blooming some months earlier. They were one of the first real signs of the North to me. It doesn't feel like we're in the North and going further every day - it actually gets warmer with the sun constantly around and the Gulf stream caressing the coast.

A few days ago, we finally found the mosquitoes. Or rather, they found us. We have been fighting midges in some areas further south before, but the mozzies have been rare so far. That evening, we discovered the new natural power we must start dealing with from now on. If it is not the wind or the rain or the hairpin climbs, it will be the monstrous bloodsuckers waiting for us on the roads that cross the swamps of Lapland. Luckily, we can perfect our skills for another week before arriving in their dukedom. A good technique is to stroll casually away from the tent, luring the bugs into following you, stand still for a second and then make a desperate dash towards the tent. It is generally a good idea to practice the fast opening and closing of the tent zippers beforehand or else the mozzies will have time to recover from the confusion and slip in.

Or we could take the advice of the Heia boy in the Sami tourist information, who told us to cover ourselves from the infrared eyes of the bugs by wearing heat reflecting clothing (white is better than black) or just make them puke by smearing a special stinky ("authentic crap smell") liquid on the skin.

And then, we arrived in Tromsø - the town they call the Paris of the North because of its liveliness, big interest in fashion, culture, art and cuisine. Everywhere you look, you see variety - be it the people, the buildings or the nature. This cute colourful town is filled with sparkly student life that can also be noticed during the summer holidays, when the sun never sets but only shifts its light so that even the surrounding mountains never fail to change their appearance every hour or so.

Are we in the North now? I don't know. It doesn't feel like it. Being surrounded by two bubbly Italian raggaze and a bright-eyed Brazilian boy in the house of a shiny Norwegian girl makes being here under the everlasting sun just as merry as anywhere in the South.

Mostly, when we are not too hungry (which is before dinner) or being eaten by swarms of hungry mosquitoes (which is during dinner), we feel that there's no other life we would want to be living at the moment. The simplest things matter: eating, sleeping and smiling back at the people waving to us.


Day 25: 82.88km on the Lofoten, following the E10 towards the mainland; ferry: Bodø - Moskenes; camping on a roadside, sheltered from the wind by bushes;

Day 26: 95.07km on the E10 until Fiskebøl (or Fish Bowl as we affectionately named it); camping in the port, on a field;

Day 27: 126.41km on the E10; camping on a field, sheltered from the wind by a bush;

Day 28: 114.99 on the E10, road 825 and E6 until Setermoen, camping on a field - no wind but hundreds of mosquitoes;

Day 29: 90.40km on the E6 until Nordskjobotn, camping in a schoolyard;

Day 30: 75.80km until Tromsø, couchsurfing;

Day 31: day off;

Distance cycled from the last long stop, Bodø (in 6 days): 585.55km
Total distance cycled in 30 days: 2494.64km

Jul 24, 2010

Well, I guess it's a nice view here...

The first big change of plans we made, was to swap the E6 with the Coastal Road and enjoy the world's most beautiful bike ride.

Seven days ago, we parted ways with the world's nicest hunting family, to continue our quest. Despite the sadness of leaving, it felt good to be back in the saddle. The first day bestowed us with hot sunshine and a bad road choice, adding an extra 20km with more than a little climbing, but rewarding it with a beautiful view over distant snowy mountain tops.

Six days ago, we were woken up by the tent doors flapping in the wind - the consequence of some rebellious pegs having made a short dash for freedom. As soon as we exited, the tent followed suit. However, both tent and pegs were captured as a result of a careful search. After fighting our way through the morning wind and drizzle to a petrol station for lunch, we chatted over a cup of coffee with two toughened-by-long-life German cyclists. The more we advance towards the North, the more cyclists we meet, as the road choices get narrower by the day. Mostly they are coming down from the North, but sometimes going up from the South. In the latter case we sometimes end up catching up and passing each other several times a day, getting extra motivation from the feeling of racing and a surge of pride and content when the other group turns out to be slower. But really, there is not much point in trying to race the short distance cyclers. Even though biking the length of Norway is popular, most people are on 2-week missions.

That evening, we had several hours of blissful weather, so we continued climbing up and racing down for much longer than we had planned, to enjoy the movement through the beautiful landscape.

Five days ago, we were once more woken by the tent doors flapping in the wind and rain. We had managed to park our canvas palace on the best wind-exposed spot in the area, so we packed up fast and made our way to the ferry with no more than a banana in the belly. As the rain got heavier and heavier, we didn't stop before the next town, where we met two boys from the South of France. They made an interesting spectacle, because they had even more improvised luggage solutions than I did. I didn't feel too crazy any more.

When we landed with the last ferry in the evening, planning to cycle another 13km or so in the rain, until the next place that had a name and possibly some toilets, we saw the two Germans, mentioned before, who had passed us unnoticed, and rented a camping hut with four beds... Do I even have to mention how hard it was to stop showering in hot water and how good it felt to sleep under a roof?

Four days ago, we woke up early and packed with German efficiency. The first 50km were done in no time and as the road went on relatively flat all day long, we put up the tent - again in the rain and again in a kindergarten - earlier than usually. It felt as if we've been somehow deceived by the universe. We should have entered the promised fairy tale land already days ago, but the gates seem to be closed for us and the windows covered by thick white mist curtains.

Three days ago, we pedalled uphill right into a hideously dense cloud with visibility for about two metres off the road. It must be a beautiful view! or I am sure it looks amazing! are the prevalent comments about the landscapes we pass. For a short while, the white curtains rip open and we grasp a glimpse of the bright green road banks, a fjord and ragged snowy mountain tops. The snow is creeping closer and closer to the sea level. No wonder it feels so cold!

As if the cold and rain weren't enough, I had a flat tyre just about 6km before the last ferry of the day. Having almost two hours before having to hop on the boat and cross the Polar Circle, I wasn't too discouraged and pushed for a kilometre before hearing a sound made by one of the most useful inventions of mankind - an advancing car. We stopped it the moment we saw it turning around the hill and asked for help. Alice cycled on, while I was conveniently stashed in the German motorhome and drove to the port. Once again, we got much more than we bargained for: they changed my inner tube so fast and professionally that I could do nothing but watch in awe; they cooked a three course meal, including red wine and strawberries with quark, and invited us to dine with them in the warm waiting room; they advised us to sleep on the heated floor of that waiting room until the first boat in the morning; I even got a hint of a job offer! More than anything else, I am learning German in this country.

Two days ago, we crossed the Polar Circle and continued battling with the elements - earth, wind and water all united against us to keep us back, until I decided to summon my own blazing fireball from within myself, since the natural phenomenon was nowhere to be seen. It works for a short while. Is the fairy tale land also affected by the economic crisis or does it have something personal against us? We managed to force ourselves through the heavy bullet-like horizontal rain until we saw a tempting shed, with an open door, behind a kiosk. We spread out our dripping stuff all around the mice-poo-infested room and went briefly back out to see the sudden appearance of the most amazing sunset and clear sky, revealing the oddest shapes of the mountains around us. Wow, the fairy tale land does exist!

One day ago, in the morning: legs - meet wet trousers! Feet - meet wet socks! Guilty girls - meet the very angry man coming to work! Oops. Leaving ASAP. That day, it was the birthday of Alice. That day, the wonderland opened up for us and showed its beautiful side. All those stunning mountain views! The struggle - it was all worth it! We had the almost-British second breakfast (baked beans and Wasa bread) and the almost-French lunch (real bread and Camembert cheese), we even had a reason to take out the camera to capture some views. Before the evening, we arrived in Bodø, to make ourselves comfortable in the big warm homey house of the friend of a friend of a friend and prepare for a well-earned day off.

Next stage, unplanned: the Lofoten.


Day 17: 108km; ferry: Flakk-Rørvik; camping on a beach in a village.

Day 18: 124.84km; camped on a field near houses, asked permission first.

Day 19: 89.43km; ferries: Lund-Hofles and Holm-Vennesund; slept in a camping hut.

Day 20: 120km; ferries: Horn-Anddalsvågen and Fjovika-Tjøtta; camped in a kindergarten garden.

Day 21: 118km (Triin) or 124.31km (Alice); ferry: Levang-Nesna; slept in the waiting room of the Kinsarvik port.

Day 22: 95.3km; ferries: Kinsarvik-Jektvik, Ågskardet-Forøy and Vassdalsvik-Ørnes; squatted in a shed.

Day 23: 82.62km; slept in warm beds in a house.

Day 24: day off.

Distance cycled since Trondheim (in 7 days): 744.5km.
Total distance cycled in 23 days: 1909.14km

Jul 15, 2010

The Snow Road and the rain road

Just sitting on our butts day in, day out

The Snow Road

I finished the lazy day of idling away my time in the sun by dipping into a cold fjord, then plonked myself back on the saddle and off we went again. The next morning greeted us with a very heavy climb, with no alternative options available. We wouldn't have taken them anyway - this was The Challenge we had been dreading since the first stages of planning this bike trip.

The first 10km climb from 0m to ~900m altitude was the absolute hardest either one of us has ever done on a bike. It took us two hours to reach the mountain lodge in Turtagrø and as if the climb itself wasn't hard enough, hundreds of flies were constantly buzzing around our heads, while we were giving everything we had to drag ourselves uphill, half a turn of a pedal at a time. The sun was shining and the wind was not strong enough to blow the nasty beasts away. No way could we have gone faster or sweated less. Soon after reaching Turtagrø, we couldn't help but smile broadly, seeing a racing biker crawling up, cursing the flies more than the gradient. We weren't the only nuts on the road.

We recovered from the morning push for about two hours, by vegetating on the soft couches of the cafe, watching all those exhausted hikers walking in for coffee. I was drooling over the mountain views on the postcards and dreaming about conquering some glaciers or even just starting by reading through their most amazing library of the mountaineering books, written by well-known climbing heroes such as sir Edmund Hillary. I made a resolution to come back here once more. Last year - car; this year - bike; next year - hiking boots?

The moment came when we needed to go on. 10km is no distance, even if it takes 2 hours at near maximal effort, and we had another couch waiting for us almost on the other side of the Jotunheimen massif. It took us countless more hours to pedal up to the highest point of the Sognefjellsvegen - 1434m. There was a moment where I found pushing the bike for a few metres easier on the back and more comfortable on the feet, although an at least twice slower way to move on: a small difference in body position made a huge difference for a moment. My excuse was that the cold arctic wind blowing across the glaciers was shoving me off the road, which was true some of the time.

Finally, we reached the top, after having taken another moment to rest and snack on almonds and raisins in the warmth of the second mountain lodge up on 1415m. The earlier stripping break had deceived us into being warm for only a short while. For once, we asked someone else to take our picture on the obligatory photo point. The "someone" happened to be eager French messieurs, who - like many other drivers who honked at us appreciatively while we climbed - were so euphoric to see les filles les plus courageuses du monde!, that they showered us with chocolate, bread and kisses. Gotta love the French! Who else would know better how to feed some exhausted hungry bikers, than the French with their chocolate bread! Yum! From then on, it was a fast downhill ride on the road wriggling between impressive, majestic, gently green, misty mountains. I shouted with glee and I love my brakes! escaped from my lips far too many times.

We arrived at the farm deep down in a sunny valley on a side road just in time for cow slaughtering. The young German couple, their cute baby and many cows welcomed us with warm smiles, hot tea and more chocolate. What more could you wish from life?

The rain road

The next stage - to Trondheim, as fast as possible - felt like a job we just had to get done. The urgency was further pronounced by the extremely variable Norwegian weather turning vile again in Otta. The busy E6 was no pleasure to cycle on. We stopped in Dombås and sat in a cafe for about 3 hours, safe from the cold, bleak, windy, rainy, sad weather, hoping for the sun to come out again. It seemed as if the weather could get worse only if the rain started falling horizontally, so we finally had to give up hope and push forward.

Keeping our heads down and eyes on the tarmac, we didn't even notice that we had climbed up to the snow level again, onto about 1000m high plateau. The only clue to the altitude was the biting cold. Like drowned rats, we asked permission to sit in a hotel for an hour in the evening, and thaw out. Meanwhile, the rain that had calmed a little, caught up on us. It rained so hard that the water was bouncing back up to where it came from, and we still needed to keep going, if only to drop some altitude and find a warmer place to stay than out there side by side with the sledgedogs.

We felt that if anyone, at any point, should take pity on us and invite us in, then this would be the proper moment. Admittedly, the views would have been superb, if only the scenery had not been cloaked in a white, opaque shroud. The way across these mountains was historically a popular pilgrim path and the area used to be infamous for its harsh, inhospitable conditions. Before the car was invented, a large proportion of travellers never made it to Trondheim. It didn't improve too much even when the King's Road (where the E6 lies now) was built. The commuters in their cars didn't forget to encourage us...

Having slid another 25km downhill with no prospect of drying out, we decided that we would knock on the door of the first building we saw and ask for shelter, even though it was past 11pm. However, before seeing any house, we arrived at a lay-by which had a big, clean, heated toilet that became our hotel room for the night. I slept very well.

The next day we cycled with shorter breaks to arrive in Trondheim by the evening - a day ahead of schedule - and have two days off. It was especially important for me, because I had caught cold and needed to sleep it out before it gets too bad. Our couchsurfing host picked me up after we had done 136.61km, and drove me to her big ancient family farm that I would rather call a mansion. Alice cycled another 15km without the luggage (I had to skip this for health considerations). In this utterly beautiful, comfortable palace we have delighted in this dynamic and fascinating hunters family. Norwegians are great hunters. I was proudly presented a frozen furry fox roadkill, not to mention the more usual trophies. Today we've been stuffing our bellies with moose meat spaghetti bolognese, strawberries & cream, lots of tea... and we are looking forward to the city tour and a campfire night with Baileys and toasted marshmallows tomorrow.


Day 10: 49.89km - easy evening ride to Skjolden, camping in the centre of the town;

Day 11: 55.08km - the hardest and slowest day, climbing from 0m to 1434m on the snow road 55, couchsurfing in a tiny farm down in a valley;

Day 12: 101.05km through Lom to Otta, camping in a schoolyard;

Day 13: 105.2km, following E6 across a very inhospitable plateau, camping in a toilet;

Day 14: 136.61km (Triin) or 151.62km (Alice), on E6 to Byneset near Trondheim, couchsurfing in a big farm;

Day 15 & day 16: off the saddle;

Total distance cycled in 14 days: 1164.64km

Jul 10, 2010

Norway from the inside

Our first rest day was followed by a half a day off, doing “household” tasks like baking oatmeal cookies and sending superfluous luggage, such as an extra saddle, home. Then, we took our first ferry across to Tau and made the first small detour to cycle to the famous Preikestolen rock. Specifically – to cycle until the parking lot, leave the bikes under the watchful eye of the hotel receptionists and hike up and down the mountains. Half way up was a swimming spot. If the weather had been much better, we could have taken a quick dip and called it a triathlon day.

Once up, we saw pretty much nothing in the blanket of thick, swirling mist, except for some very fat German tourists crawling up the cliffs. They made me feel sorry but at the same time happy to be comparatively fast, light and healthy. The cold, heavy rain proved that the “hurricane” slogan splashed across the sleeve of my 'waterproof' jacket is perhaps a rather exaggerated claim.

The sixth day welcomed us with 7 pitch black tunnels in the first 11 kilometers, one of which we passed shrieking with fear, Alice gripping her headlamp between her teeth in an attempt to scream less. However, we toughened up by the evening in the following 7 tunnels, and when we hit the first of the 19 tunnels the next morning, we welcomed it happily. We even started putting together the package of tunnel-friendly songs to get the most fun out of the acoustic properties of the underground. Sadly, one of the few songs that I can sing – Gollum's Song – has not made it onto the shortlist: rejected by Alice for being far too chilling and creepy.

In addition to passively observing the mountains from the inside and outside, we got to chat to and make friends with some cheery tunnel workers. First, we were stopped on the road to wait for some loose rocks to be removed from the side of the mountain. After having seen some of what the Norwegians casually refer to as “stones” - in fact huge chunks of cliff the size of my bike - flying down from the heavens, I take the warning signs more seriously (and try not to think about them). Another day, we had just merrily cycled through the 17 tunnels, enjoying the protection from the wind and rain that they offer, when we had to climb up a supposedly stunningly beautiful mountain pass. It snaked relentlessly uphill, letting the eyes of the drivers rest on the numerous waterfalls while their hands are busy numbly steering the wheel from the left to the right and back again. On that particular day, it was all wrapped in thick clouds and we pedaled hard into the white void for 40 minutes. Once we reached the top, we saw all the traffic being redirected across the summit, because the tunnel ahead was being repaired. Luckily, the tunnel carvers didn't have the heart to make us do the horribly steep detour. Instead, they made us wait a little bit, leaving us the opportunity to learn some titbits about their work, then stuffed our bikes into their little vans and drove us 6km through the tunnels. Then, wind in our ears, thin stripes of light blue sky above, green hills, dark blue foaming water and white rags of small clouds hanging below, we dashed downhill into the amazingly beautiful valley that surrounded Odda.

When asking Norwegians about the oncoming road profile – is it climbing or not – the information should be treated with extreme caution. If they say that it's flat, it usually means low hills. When they say it climbs, then this translates as steep hairpin curves, where cars crawl carefully up and down, trying to pass each other when they meet, without pushing anyone across the edge. When they say that it will climb a little bit, it could mean literally anything. We were prepared for a “little” hairpin climb before Voss, and were surprised how easily it was be done. I was proud of myself for not having to use the lowest gear anywhere but on the bends. The next “real climb” was after a ski station in the mountains the next morning, but the “it climbs a little bit” just before and after it meant 10km of sneaky uphills late in the evening and early the next morning. We call the long gradual rise “sneaky”, because at some point one's own eyes cannot be trusted – when the eyes confirm the definite downhill, only too often it actually means going straight up. Sneaky hills are the most evil climbs.

I won't tell you the personal speed record we broke, when racing dowhill on the long straight road to Vik after crossing the bright green mountain pass at snow level. You must come, try and find it out yourself.


Day 5: 42km of cycling and 3 hours of hiking, Tau-Preikestolen-Tau & a bit more.

Day 6: 102.64km, starting from Tau, going on the road 13 with a half-intentional detour through Sand. Crossing the fjord from Hjelmeland to Nesvik.

Day 7: 105km, following the road 13 through Odda.

Day 8: 95.46km, crossing the fjord from Utne to Kvanndal, cycling across the mountains on road 13 through Voss.

Day 9: 92.62km, still cycling across the mountains, crossing the Sognejord from Vangsnes to Hella, stopping after Sogndal.

Total distance cycled in 9 days: 701.8km

Jul 4, 2010

The opening stages of the Scandinavian odyssey

Getting there

While Triin was busy poolpartying in a plastic pool in the back yard of a squat in Maastricht, Alice and her "pregnant camel", being evacuated from the train station (because someone had put a knife into someone else), kept bumping into naked men on the Paris Gay Pride. While Triin was walking around Europe in search for the perfect saddle, which she finally found in Dortmund along with a very pleasant couchsurfing experience, Alice was busy dying of boredom in Flensburg, thinking bitter thoughts about the coming night and the prospect of us sleeping on the streets. But no - Fritz and Harald came to the rescue, picked her up off the street and thus both of us ended up spending a night on a soft couch, preluded by a 3 a.m. guitar concert. What a wonderful world...

An introductory 114km cycle through a hilly Denmark on an endless straight road ended in the beautiful Vejle, cooking pasta with peanut butter on the stairs of our host, and continued under a hot shower, followed by hot chocolate, purring cats and a warm bed. The 38 euros spent on the train ticket until Hjorring the next day were 38 euros very well spent - we had seen quite enough of the straight road. Another 15km of introductory cycling took us to the port of Hirtshals and after almost missing the boat due to waiting in the wrong place and taking stupid photos, we rolled over the sea, shivering in the wind to watch the most magical moonrise ever seen, and stepped onto Norwegian ground at 00:00 on the 1st of July. We never planned to be that precise.

The beginning

Norway surprised us with a perfect camping spot just 5km away from the port. We had dinner at 2 a.m., while watching the colourful sunrise. For the second dinner of the first day, we invited ourselves to the backyard of a kindergarten in Lyngdal. The second day started really early, with the wake-up call at 6:30, because we wanted to get out of there before any confused children stumbled across our tent. Only half an hour later we wrestled with my back tyre to replace yet another crappy inner tube. After another 30 minutes we were sitting in the Pitstop between two tunnels, trying to figure out how to avoid the banned tunnel, not make a 30km detour and not wait 6 hours for the only bus of the day. Less than an hour later, a nice German couple were stuffing our luggage in the toilet of their motorhome... It was oh so satisfiying looking at the insides of Norway in the seven consecutive tunnels through the car windows, instead of sweating with fear, trying to bike through them and listening to small cars making the sound of an advancing airplane on the runway, and balancing on the verge of a heart attack when a lorry is coming from behind.

The second day brought some extremely beautiful scenery, keeping our jaws neatly open and constantly near the ground, while pedalling uphill sometimes for an hour at a time. The freckly dude from Northern Ireland, who we met just in the morning of the first day, gave us the best advice ever: I never saw a mountain I could't push my bike up. We eventually had to admit defeat and push, but when biking just a moment earlier, we earned the encouraging cheers from all the oncoming cars. Then, dashing downhill at 62km/h the wind efficiently dried up the sweat. It is so much more pleasant snuggling into the sleeping bag with dry - if not entirely clean - skin.

We love the Norwegians too. They seem to be so happy and content. I have a theory, that it is because they have free toilets, free internet and free coffee almost everywhere! Sometimes, even free accommodation. For example, when we arrived to Egersund, the moment we put our feet on the ground, this man was running towards us, forcing his home and car keys into our hands, so that we could sleep at his place. We refused though and had a hard time escaping him, as the poor guy sprinted after us, out of breath, in his desperate attempt to get rid of his keys. We slept next to some stalls instead and used their toilets. We would have asked, but there was noone around but horses.

The third day was easy and fast. However, the heavens opened on us in the morning, rendering me all shivery and cold. But that I fixed with hot cappuccino and a big lunch on a roofed table on Time square. The locals were amused and many of them seemed to think we were selling something. No. Not even ourselves. We got a bit lost and more than a bit frustrated in the industrial outskirts of Stavanger, trying to follow the numerous, but conflicting bike road signs, but finally found our way to our couch in the middle of the ecological gardens, lots of nature and lively (and tasty) chickens. I had to scrub my legs 3 times to get them almost clean. I liked washing off half the tan, but the lines are impressive nevertheless.

Day 4 is a rest day; our bottoms are going nowhere near any saddles.

Total distance cycled in Norway so far: 267km.