Day 12 part 2. Mjørfjell YH to somewhere before Haugestøl.
I wanted to go on but was put off by the first climb of the route. The road was two metres wide and had no barrier next to the sheer drop. As we were not sure if this was the most exposed bit I found it impossible to pluck up the courage to continue. I should have let Damae walk up and round the corner to check the route but didn't.
With a sense of failure on my part, we returned back to Myrdal, and managed to get on a train which was prepared to stop in Hallingskeit for us. It was a shame but we have to try to do it again sometime (hopefully this coming year 2007).
On exiting Hallingskeit station we were greeted by yet another wonderful panorama. I lost all scale but if you look at the panorama picture and click on the yellow box you might get an idea of what I am talking about. The landscape is just enormous.
We were not sure how exactly to get down to the route and ended up walking the bikes in a rather unorthodox way down across the moorland before crossing the bridge. Despite the setbacks this morning our spirit of adventure had returned and we were ready for the challenge again.
Well what a challenge it was! The route is well marked, in fact it is a motorway of a cycle path in places. We realised that we would have no problems finding our way. The surface turned out to be mostly very good. However, shortly after the station we came across a section that appeared to have been washed away and then repaired by the simple expedient of dumping small rocks and sand. We got off and picked our way through and then watched a young lady on a mountain bike expertly cycle across the section.
As for the scenery, you just have to go there and experience it for yourself. We were in sensory overload, all sorts of different shades of greens and greys. There were waterfalls to see and glaciers and lakes. About an hour after stopping we paused at another smaller lake. This lake is in the guide book in a picture with an upright stone and three older gentlemen on a sunny day. So I had to take a photo looking the other way given that it was cold and damp. For those of you who are interested here is the panorama from the same spot.
While we were waiting yet another party of cyclists went the other way. We were doing the route the 'wrong' way as is often the case with our trips. There were very few people on touring bikes and the ATB's we saw were mostly lightly laden. I suppose it is a bit like doing two hundred kilometres of practice run in the Randstad. Take the train to Myrdal and cycle back down to Haugestøl in a day. Be home in Oslo for midnight. Hmmmmm.
Half an hour later after pushing our bikes up a particularly steep slope, we stopped by an obsolete tunnel. Norway seems to be investing in infrastructure, and the mostly single track line across the fells is not excluded from such improvements. Apparently this loop had been superseded by a new tunnel a few years earlier.
Just as we were about to go a Dutch couple on touring bikes passed us going the other way. The lady cyclist had the same Ortlieb bags as me, and in the same subtle colour of yellow. In fact the only people we met with yellow Roller Classics were from the Netherlands*.