Day 21-1. Vinsternes to Ytre Snillfjord.
Distance D 91.64 km Max 64 km/h Time 6.12:53 Average 14.7 km/h
Distance S 91.9 km Max 64 km/h Time 5.46:24 Average 15.9 km/h
The day started bright and sunny with a heavy dew inside and outside the tent. Our picnic table sat in full sunshine but like everything else around us was sopping wet. Still a good way to start the day and Damae was up and about relatively early raring to go. We started preparing breakfast before eight o'clock. Despite our organised shopping the day before we managed to forget that our coffee was almost finished. Damae made a half-hearted attempt to make coffee with the remaining grinds in the pack but it was too weak to be drinkable so we made some tea instead.
We spent a couple of minutes wiping the table and benches dry before sitting down and enjoying breakfast whilst sitting at a table. We were in no hurry today, but still by nine thirty we were ready to go. It had been a good night all said and done despite the curious showers and we had agreed the plan to get to Trondheim by the end of tomorrow. In good spirits we climbed up to the main road and then up a short climb. This is never an ideal way to start the days cycling. Cold muscles were not ready for any serious demands and we crawled up the hill in first gear. As I waited for Damae, I noticed that the rain had cleared the sky and the hills behind us were clear to see.
If we were to make Trondheim in two days we needed to cover around ninety kilometres a day according to our estimates. We weren't expecting this to be too much of a problem and there were no serious climbs marked on the map. We were still following the coast, which would mean some going up and down. Today would turn out to be a day of bridges and tunnels and we hoped that it would stay sunny. It was clear from the day before that much work had been done, in recent years building new bridges on this part of the West Coast of Norway. Within an hour of setting off, just after picking up some very yummy and welcome custard creams as calorie food at a supermarket we encountered our first new looking bridge the Mjosundbrua .
This took us over the Mjosund gorge and just after the bridge was a car park with a great view and facilities. It would have made a nice place for a wild camp albeit just a bit too far for the day before. Between the car park and the road were two weathered wooden commemorative sculptures with runic style inscriptions on the side and some text explaining the history of the bridge. It was quite lovely and the road was nice and quiet today. Just a little further on, there were more road improvements consisting of another bridge, a very short tunnel and a longer tunnel called Valatunnelen. This was wide, well lit and went downhill in the direction we were going and was open for cyclists. The combination of tunnels and bridges took the road over several islands to Aure.
It was by now approaching eleven and we started talking about taking a proper break. We'd not spent much time at the car park after the bridge, so when a garage appeared just off our route in Aure we decided to buy more chocolate and have an ice cream. After all it was summer and it was sunny. Whilst standing next to the 'bilverkested' I noticed a faded sign of a type I'd seen before. It exhorted us to 'Keep Norway Tidy' with, of course, the name of the ice cream manufacturer beneath the message.
The going had eased a little just after Aure and in places it was quite flat indeed. The views were just a little reminiscent of parts of the Ginstleden route in Sweden and the road was still quiet. All of a sudden we passed a large field full of red clover and long grass. There was not much of a breeze and the scent of the flowers was powerful in the midday sun.
The map showed us moving from the mainland to the island of Skardsøya by way of a bridge. We had to stop at the junction as the road forked with the RV 680 following the left hand fork heading down to the bridge. This bridge turned out to have been built to different standards as it was literally one car wide, which was a bit strange given that this was the main road. There was not quite enough room for a car to pass a fully laden touring bike. The bridge was also quite long and we had to wait the best part of a minute for a car on the other side to complete its crossing. Then it was our turn. The views from the bridge were worth a photo but I was concentrating on getting to the other side as quickly as possible.