Day 12. Mjølfjell YH to somewhere before Haugestøl.
Distance 43.2km. Average 9.0km/h.
We awoke earlier than planned, and got up and out as quietly as possible. After breakfast we took all our bags outside and packed them onto the bikes. The weather had changed and a cloudy morning greeted us. However it wasn't raining and the mist added something to the hills around us. Knowing we would be climbing lots again today it was good to have some cool weather.
We started up the track to Upsete shortly after 9am. Stopping a few times on the way to take photos. The scenery was once again wonderful, and long before the end of the day we would run out of superlatives. The countryside was surprisingly green as we worked our way up above the tree line.
The track was not bad for an unmetalled road, and we didn't struggle too much. Just as we stopped to pass through a gate across the road a train appeared on the track next to us. This happened a couple of times during the day as the train service to Oslo is quite regular. Just a little further up we noticed a couple of cyclists camping, and realised that we could have pushed on last night and camped wild. We know for next time.
As we approached Upsete the scenery was fantastic. The weather seemed to have set on cool and grey, with a suggestion of rain later. We hoped for the best, but assumed we would get wet at some point.
Within an hour we were standing by the station at Upsete. The station hut was warmly heated and we went in to put on some extra clothing. Now that we stopped it was obvious that with the height gained and the overcast weather it was a lot colder than at the youth hostel. One thing we realised at Upsete was that in these landscapes it is hard to judge scale. Undoubtedly there are much bigger valleys and hills on this planet but we had already hit overload in terms of mountains and valleys.
A train from Myrdal arrived first and disgorged passengers, including a small group on mountain bikes. This was an organised party and we chatted to the guide for a few minutes trying to gauge how the rest of the route would turn out and just how scary the scary bit was as I was already a little stressed out about this. He took a photo of the both of us in front of the station which was nice.
Then a stop train going our way and we managed to squeeze ourselves and our bikes on. It was jam packed with tourists including large groups of Asiatics and Spanish speakers. I was not entirely sure if we were allowed to put bikes on that train but the conductor was accommodating. Within a half hour of arriving in Upsete we were in Myrdal which was even busier than the train.
After the compulsory picture stop we oriented ourselves and started down the track. The first few hundred metres we had to walk then it was easy cycling for a bit. Then we rounded a corner and in front of us was a fairy tale landscape with clouds hanging in the valley. Damae was enjoying the view but I was getting a bit worried about an exposed section of road ahead of us.