Still Cycling Round the World and Things

Bessie

Hey everyone,

Greetings from Larvik!!! Home of Ralph

This may be a short email for two reasons, I only have half an hour and Nowegian keyboards are different to English ones and it’s doing my head in.

Me again

Well Norway is an interesting place. Not sure if any of you remember the Monty python sketch where he has a choice over how he’s killed and chooses a load of bare-breasted stunners on rollerskates? Well Norway is a bit like that except they’re all on bikes. Serously the women are lovely and they all cycle. I mean what is that all about? One came over to me and mentioned how big my bags were and it took all my willpower to avoid the obvious jokes.

Yo

Another thing about Norway is that its hilly. Most days have been like going up and down Millrow for the entire day. The lakes and fjords are just stunning but it also means that everytime I reach an area of unsurpassed beauty, I have some serious climbing coming my way. I’ve even done some offroading. I had a section just after Grimstad which the guide listed as undulating. I should have learnt by now that undulating is a euphensim for Mt Everest. On top of that it was gravel. Not sure how many of you have tried to get a 50kg bike up the side of a gravel mountain but it isn’t easy. For one you have no grip. For two once you lose grip the bike is too heavy to push. I had about 5 sections where I had to unload the bike, take the bags to the top and then go back down for the bike. Hours of fun. My love affair with Norway and the beautiful people almost ended right there.

Luckily I met a nice Norwegian bloke called Ralph (so wanted so shout Wizaaaarrdddd at him). We had a laugh about the undulating mountains of gravel and then I forgot about them and remembered how much was enjoying Noway. He even tried to pay for my coke and after discussing politics, religion and the meaning of life I agreed to send him a postcard from a place I thought may be of interest to him. I also told him about the Rooster and he’s planning on coming over for a visit sometime and I’ll show it to him in person. The Nowegians seem pretty philosophical as a whole. I asked a guy for directions and he asked where I was going. I told him and he said “yes sometimes you feel like the house and the car own you”. I agreed because it sounded so cool.

Norway has been a place of many firsts for me. I’ve answered the eternal question of whether a Craig does shit in the woods and in the process discovered a cure for Dan’s analness. I’ve wild camped for the first time and enjoyed waking up by the side of a beautiful lake at 6am. I’ve also had some downs. Obviously there’s times when you feel alone. Ironically it’s usually when you’re amongst people. You do feel a bit of an outsider as you’re the only one sitting on the park bench firing up your stove for a pot noodle. In fact I think the food side of things has been the toughest. They just don’t make food in handy little eating on the park bench sized packs. Any tips for people touring Norway is to make sure you get enough food to get you through the weekend as it’s stupidly expensive from petrol stations.

Fjiord

On the cycling front I seem to have settled at a distance of around 60 miles a day. I expect to increase that once the terrain flattens out a bit. Today I’m taking it a bit easy as when I woke up in my forest hideout, it was belting it down so I slept in a bit and then went the supermarket for my park bench breakfast. Plus I wanted to write this email.

On the whole I’m enjoying myself. It’s tough with the wild camping, the food side of thing and the endless hills but at the same time I’m learning an awful lot about myself. Norwegian people aren’t the friendliest on the planet but the ones I’ve spoken to have been interesting and good company.

I expect to be in Sweden in maybe three days time. The terrain seems to be calming down and the weather cooling so I’ll try and get 40 miles in today and that should put me in a position to make the Swedish border by Wednesday evening.

Anyways best go as the bibioteke internet police are looking at me like a man who hasn’t showered for 4 days, cycled 200 miles and yet still has the cheek to know how to use a computer and type with such authoritive speed.

Lot of Love

Craig

XXX

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