Day 12-1. Flåm to Sognsdalsfjøra.
Distance 32.2 Average 15.3km/h Max 35.7km/h Tim 1:30 hrs.
Today was going to be a sort of rest day. Yesterday's eighty kilometres with fully laden bikes over the Rallarvegen was a lot harder work than a hundred and twenty kilometres on flat roads. Or Italian travelling companions of the day before had actually started in Geilo rather than Haugestøl, which I thought was very impressive indeed. So it was to be a lazy morning and a short cycling day. Fortunately the weather looked like it was improving so we took it easy in the sun, ducking back into the tent during the short showers.
Our plan for the day was still a bit vague as we did the washing, fixed inner tubes and fitted new brake blocks to our bikes. After the rigours of the Rallarvegen Damae needed a full set of brake blocks, my rear ones although serviceable were rather thin so I decided to replace them as well. We were not in any particular hurry. The campsite at Flåm was a good one even by Norwegian standards, the shower blocks seemed new and were lovely and warm as we took our morning showers. We were both just a little slow this morning. I tried to photograph the valley walls, seeing as it was now nice and sunny,. Those photos give you the idea of what Flåmsdalen and the campsite look like.
We packed up before our washing had dried so we got to sit in the sun near the entrance of the campsite. This part of the site was full of apple trees, reminding us a little of 'de Oudeboomgard' not so far from us, except of course of the backdrop of the valley. We headed out into 'town' to do some groceries and work out which boat we needed to take to where we were going next. I decided to check Damae's bike over as the day before it had started making a curious and rather loud creaking noise, but only when going over bumps. I spotted the cause rather quickly, there was a large crack at the bottom of one of Damae's Tour Boxes and the other one was showing signs of distress. There was nothing we could do about it now except comfort Damae a little. She really liked those panniers, and was a little sad to see the damage. I started the process of working out why the boxes had got damaged in a mulling it over sort of way.
We discovered that the next ferry to Leikanger was due to leave at around three which would mean a short day's cycling. We had considered going as far as Hafslo and camping somewhere after there, but this seemed to involve a rather long climb, so we decided to delay the decision until we had cycled a bit. We actually discovered just how tired and stiff we were when we mounted our bikes to cycle from the campsite to the harbour in Flåm. If the weather was to have remained fine and Damae's bags had been ok, then we might just have pushed on further.
We met up with the Italians before we got on the boat: they were getting off at the Leikanger as well, but would be heading off West to end up in Bergen. We still had a date with the Nigardsbreen at the end of the Jøstedal, which meant going East first.
The boat trip was a short introduction to the fjord landscape with cameras clicking all around us. I joined in the frenzy and enslaved a few more pixels for posterity. One thing that fascinated me was the clouds and the light. Since our first visit to Norway we have been dazzled (sometimes literally) by the curious light and the effect of clouds and the landscape combined with the sun. Some of these images I hold in my head, whilst some are recorded on other parts of this website. On approaching to Leikanger it became apparent that the weather was turning and we'd probably seen all the sun we were going to see today.
On disembarking we swapped email addresses, said our goodbyes and headed off our respective ways. For us a short run up to Sogndal beckoned although we hadn't as yet quite decided where we were going to stop. The scenery was different to what we had seen so far on our travels though Norway; in 2005 the coast route had taken us past the end of quite a few of the southern fjords but not really along them as now. In some ways it reminded me of Austria Germany and northern former Yugoslavia all of these places have valleys with hills round them and water in the middle.