Day 14-1. Sylte to Ålesund.
Distance D 64.41 km Max 67 km/h Time 4.52:00 Average 13.2 km/h
Distance S 63.21 km Max 62 km/h Time 4.16:33 Average 14.8 km/h
If yesterday had been notable for the amount of sun, this morning looked like it would be quite different. The hills we'd enjoyed the evening before as the sun went down were now obscured by thick low-lying clouds. We just managed to start eating breakfast before a heavy rain shower arrived forcing us to retreat into the tent. We packed up remains of our gear and then broke camp. At which point another heavy shower arrived and we tried rather unsuccessfully to shelter under our groundsheet. All this did was to delay our departure as we ended up getting almost as wet as if we had been cycling.
As the rain eased a little we packed away the groundsheet and headed off again. The road was quiet as the day before and now we'd accepted that we were going to get wet, the rain didn't bother us so much. Fifteen minutes later we found a petrol station next to the road and behind it a caravan/camper and hytte park which we could probably have camped at. Doh! Showers would have been nice. Ho hum, we'd stopped fifteen minutes to early this time. Still we disposed of the rubbish we'd created on our wild camp and made use of the toilets and hopped onto our bikes in a positive frame of mind.
Today's goal was to reach Ålesund and camp there. The extra kilometres cycled last night meant that today would be an easier day than we'd been expecting. This was part of the reason we felt positive, the other that it was just good to be on holiday. The rain was not enough to dampen our spirits although a sunny day would have been nicer. The clouds that brought the rain added some drama to the day and were as beautiful as the fjords they obscured. Plus being on the coast the wet weather, unlike above a thousand metres up in central Norway, was not really cold.
The route for the remainder of the morning would take us along the coast to Tunheim where it looked like we'd climb over the middle of the penninsula before returning to the coast to catch the ferry running between Koparnes and Årvik. From Årvik it looked rather like we'd have to climb again after Larsnes to get to Ulsteinvik. From Ulsteinvik to Hareid could involve some climbing too and there appeared to be what looked like a slightly pointless route adding a considerable number of kilometres to the route to Hareid. Hmmmmm. Once again a dilemma: by shortening our route would we miss something spectacular? We'd also made some changes to the route by going to Ålesund itself. To follow route 1 proper we would have to take the ferry to Sulesund and take the Riksvei 61 to Spjelkavik. The main problem was that we'd not found any campsites in this area. They may well have been some but they were not marked on any of the maps we'd seen. As we were going to arrive quite late in the day we wanted to stop fairly soon after getting off the ferry.
Back to the road, and close to twelve, after having passed Tunheim and started the climb we found another place that would have made a good wild camping spot. It was a large car park by the road, with a toilet and some flat patches of neatly mown grass. If we had not been able to stop at the caravan and hytte park we'd have had a good nights sleep here. Oh well. We used the facilities again had a quick munch and headed off. Happily the climb did not turn out to be strenuous and before we knew it we were back down to sea level. Here we noticed that the clouds were thinning as the sky started getting brighter. Maybe we would get some sunshine today after all the rain.