Day 24-2. Trondheim to Græsli contd.
Once we'd found our way we carried on climbing gently. Ten minutes later the road made its way up a narrow valley and the incline steeped noticeably. Despite this it was lovely as we had our own cycle path and the trees produced dappled sun, lighting up the road. I was enjoying it so much that a bit further on we sailed past our right turning. We'd gone a kilometre downhill before I realised that there was something wrong. Damae eventually found a local who pointed us back up the hill. When we got to the junction, next to Solbakken Skole we realised our mistake and wondered how we could have missed the large YELLOW sign directing us towards Jonsvatnet. It was clear that I hadn't been paying enough attention to the map and didn't realise that we wanted to head to Jonsvatnet.
With that hiccough out of the way we cycled towards Jonsvatnet. It was no longer flat here but at least we were cycling on smooth tarmac. The views were getting better by the minute but the tarmac didn't last for all that long. By a quarter past twelve the road turned to gravel and shortly afterwards a line of cars passed us kicking up dust. Luckily this was the only busy traffic moment and only a few more cars passed us on this section.
This was not bad at all, cycling along the Jonsvatnet. There were some short steep inclines that required first gear and also one that looked like it was steep but actually wasn't. As I approached I thought "This is bloody steep" and shifted down to second to start the climb only to find I was twiddling like mad rather than pushing hard uphill. I quickly changed up three gears and went up the hill quite easily. Damae, like me, changed down to first, realised here mistake, ran out of puff and just stopped. This was not the steepest hill here but the only one that Damae walked up.
With that bit of excitement over and done with I played a game of catch up with an elderly couple on mountain bikes passing the lady a couple of times until ten minutes later we reached a fork in the road. Not wishing to make a navigation error, I stopped to consult the map. Damae joined me and decided we needed to take the left fork in the direction of Eggen. With the left turn the road surface deteriorated rapidly which was a bit unwelcome. It was rather hot and dusty and we'd moved away from the cooling breeze that blew over Jonsvatnet. Fortunately, relief was not far away and within half an hour I noticed several cars parked in one place. I realised that the road went downhill in both directions from this point and our climbing was over for now. We raced downhill as fast as we dared past a ski centre looking a bit superfluous in the summer sun.
Within fifteen minutes we reached tarmac again and took a right turn towards Fuglem. It was high time for lunch and a few minutes further along this road we spotted a field next to the road with tables and an out door fireplace. It turned out to be part of another 4H club and was just the place to stop, eat and brew up. We took our time spending more than half an hour relaxing and enjoying the sun. We were no approaching our mid-afternoon dip, with no idea how far we were going to get and where we were going to camp tonight. There were precious few campsites marked on our map: the only one within reach was at Græsli although Damae was fairly sure that she wouldn't be able to reach it today.
We started on again, ignoring first the Jernverk (ironworks) museum and didn't stop to admire the views over Foldsjøen. We also passed over the church at Mostadmark choosing instead to push on towards Selbustrand. Five minutes or so after the turn we paused for a few moments, to gather our energies. Selbustrand was the next 'large' place we had to go through and involved rather a long climb. The climb was not long in the sense of Vikafjellet and Gaularfjellet being nowhere near so steep but is was hard work in the warm afternoon sun.
Just after a quarter past three, the forty-five kilometre mark came up and I stopped to savour the moment. I sort of hoped that this was the top of the climb but the uphill went on for as far as I could see. I waited for Damae to catch up. She arrived a couple of minutes later and carried on past me. The climb continued, albeit rather more gently for another five kilometres or so. However the reward for this hard work was a wonderful downhill into Selbustrand. This was not a narrow winding road falling down a steep hillside but a well maintained main road scything its way down expansive slopes.