Day 18. Hvåra Bru to Larvik, then ferry to Hirtshals.
Distance 40.4km Average 14.6km.
We woke to a damp morning, a damp tent, and damp grass. Hmmmmm were we going to get a damp day? As it was the Norwegian God of Weather was happy with us today and by nine the sun had decided to come out to play. Luckily we were able to leave with a dry tent, and the chance to dry clothing washed the night before. The washing up we'd left because of the rain got done whilst Damae did the packing up thing in the inner tent.
We'd realised the day before that we were going to be leaving Norway today. This made us sad. Denmark has its own attractive points and is not without natural beauty, we will definitely go back to cycle in the future. However Norway draws us in, in a way that Denmark never will. Part of it is the familiarity of much of the Danish landscape versus the otherness of Norway.
We'd also realised that we were running out of time. We'd been losing half days since the beginning of the trip, not as planned rest days but as time to fix bikes or have them fixed. Although we had enjoyed the ferry to Bergen and the half day sight seeing we'd missed the relaxation of say our two nights in Helgeroa in 2005. We also lost a day cycling that we used to go sightseeing in Bergen, again not planned. We were now not sure if we were going to be able to reach Kolding by bike or not.
Still we had to get today going and we left our unlikely sanctuary and headed back to Hvåra Bru. We stopped just after crossing the new bridge to look at what appeared to be remains of an old one. We were pleased to be off the busy main road and on the quieter old road. With only forty or so kilometres to do today it was not going to be a terribly taxing day.
We made relatively easy progress across the landscape, the first section containing a number of climbs. Damae in her search for the eternal downhill, counted 11 on the trip into Larvik. The landscape was changing again as it had done all the way down the valley. Now it was much softer with arable farming, wheat and other crops. The rock of the Rallarvegen and the high valleys at the start of Numendal were all behind us.
After just over an hour and a half we stopped for lunch at a church marked on the map at Hedrum. The lazy meandering river ran behind the church. The sun had stayed with us, and the church was just off our route. We found a bench by the open plan graveyard and put the kettle on for a cuppa. After a few minutes I noticed that there seemed to be a much older burial site opposite the church in a copse. Strange to think that the religion changes but not the place you bury your dead. Here are a few more pictures of the place.