With some friends waiting for us in Trondheim (they had been waiting 3 years for our visit to Norway since we had met at the TDLG in Gaspésie) we started to hit on the pedals a bit harder. During a dreamy fast ride along the broken up coast of More og Romsdal, we received an email from Birger and Janicke, stating that they were not at their house in Trondheim but rather spending time at their hytte on Hitra Island. A quick look at our map showed our present location, in Aure, to be directly in front of the mentionned island! After a Skype-call to Janicke’s cell phone, a 22-kilometre bike ride to Skorsvikbugen and a 30-minute speedboat crossing of the Trondheim Strait we arrived at Sandstad on Hitra. Flutes of champagne and BBQed steaks and a midnight boat ride to sea eagle colonies on the rocky islets littering the coast were part of a warm reunion with our hosts, and we understood that our days of white rice, canned corn and bike grease were suspended for a while!

Doing laundry meant to hop onboard for a 45-minute boat ride to the marina in Kvenvaer, where a coin machine took care of it as we drank some pints of Dahls on a patio. Nothing wrong with that! That night, Pierre and Birger set out a net by the lighthouse and fresh cod was caught for dinner, served with a low tannic Barbera d’Alba. After picking our friends’s brains for three days about Norway’s history, language, Royal Family, one poisonous snake, 130% car import tax—and emptying the fridge—we got back to the mainland and the road ahead.

Upon deplaning in Stavanger on June 16th we have entered the Schengen Area and our passports were stamped by a very nice immigration officer who reminded us that we were allowed to stay for 90 days only. Trying to squeeze in as many bicycle fantasies as possible within this short time over such vast territory—our exit point will most likely be the border between Poland and Ukraine, thousands of kilometres away—we decided to board a train from Trondheim to Mo I Rana, in Nordland. Hitchhiking is not easy with two people and a hundred kilograms of luggage, so getting on a NSB train is the most economical and convenient way—although heartbreaking—for pedal-less land transits.

Station de train de Mo i Rana
Mo i Rana train station
Quartier historique de Mo i Rana: Moholmen
Mo i Rana’s seafront historic district: Moholmen

In Mo I Rana, Pierre’s iPod Touch disappeared from his handle bar bag! Janick has always been the guard dog, watching over the bikes while P would venture into stores, markets, workshops, etc. but after a month in Norway we have developped a serious laidbackness—that we had thus far reserved only for traveling in Japan—and would leave both bikes unattended for minutes at the time. On this particular occasion, we both headed to the toalett at the same time. Bam! It’s never a good feeling to get things stolen but we take it as a reality check and feel relieved it was the iPod and not a camera or lens. 

En route vers la côte...
KM 1395e
Checking our bearings in Engavågen
Transitons via un p'tit village de pêcheurs sur la Helgelandskysten
Helgelandskysten national tourist road

Highways #12 and #17 to national tourist road Hedgelandskysten are “Norway flat” until we reach Stokkvagen. The undulating road heading North has a flurry of mountainous islands on the left and the country’s second largest glacier, Svartisen, to the right, The Atlantic and the many fjords we skirt are still, not a ripple in sight. There is no wind. The sun is intense. Our sunburnt skins are hosting a horsefly picnic. On the car ferry from Kilbognhamn to Jetvik, we scramble inside to cool off in the air-con salon. Many passengers hardly notice the silver globe onshore marking the boat’s crossing of the Arctic polar circle, most are too busy picking frozen treats from the ice cream case, us included!

Not long after Ørnes, P makes a left hand turn where a beach is announced. We run to the water and are instantly reminded that although sweat is pouring down our faces and caking our clothes, and that this beach looks Caribbean, we are almost at the 67th parallel: the water is freezing! 

Mettre à profit les infrastructures de ces routes touristiques nationales à Sorvika
Taking advantage of Norway’s national tourist roads’ infrastructures in Sorvika
Plongeon vers un autre fjord...
Diving towards another fjord…

The usually dreaded dark, moist and cold 3-kilometre long tunnels are now welcome and we look forward to Bodø when we hear the city is always cooler than Helgeland. Soon we are on a high bridge over Saltfjorden, where the tide is rushing in, seals are fishing while Arctic terns and seagulls are engaged in a endless soap opera, and the ducks mind their own business. Bodø is a nice enough town but we quickly buy ferry tickets to Moskenes in the Lofoten Islands: another road fantasy awaits!

La marée monte à Straumen...la plus rapide du globe!
The fastest rising tide current in the world rushes in in Straumen


The Lofotens and the road to Swedish Lapland! (Kiruna, Sweden - KM 1,990)
Of fjords, alpine plateaus and sea coast: a Norwegian smörgåsbord! (Kristiansund, Norway - KM 990)

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