Day 16 part 2. Skagoset to Kongsberg.
I guess you have to be able to survive. If the development is done in a sensitive way the impact on the beautiful landscape will be minimised. However it is done I think the Rollag area will be very different in twenty years time. I might not like it anymore but then again I don't have to make my living there so in that sense it is none of my business.
I think we asked the guide too many questions as eventually she excused herself and attended to other visitors. She was a mine of information and also sounded very dedicated to her valley. A youthful idealist for the pastoral Norwegian lifestyle, but with the realism of someone who wants to have a thriving economic life as well.
The church itself was lovely, if anything the setting was more beautiful than Uvdal. Whilst walking round the graveyard I noticed that the grass was a mix of all sorts of flowers and other plants. There was a beautiful view down to the river over the outer graveyard as well, and the church although tiny looked much more impressive from below.
It was time to go and after a toilet stop and one last look at the church, we pushed on towards Kongsberg. The valley widened out, and the route took the RV40 down towards Flesburg. We ran for some time close to the railway line we first saw in Rødberg. At Flesburg the light dinner the evening before and the rommegrøt breakfast finally caught up with me. I was feeling a bit wobbly so we diverted from the route and found the petrol station in Flesburg that thankfully had a snack bar.
Damae bought some chips and soft drinks and we sat outside watching the world go by and refuelling. We'd passed a stave church on the way in, and could see it from where we were sitting. However it looked way too new to be worth a visit so we cycled slowly past it on the way back to the route.
The weather was good today, not too hot, sometimes a bit cloudy, but otherwise fine weather. Contrary to our optimistic expectations the route went up and down quite a lot. The route overview in the guide book shows a gentle descent (after some up and downs at the beginning). The reality was very different, although still comfortable cycling when compared with say the Rallarvegen or the stiff headwinds and bad surfaces we had experienced in Denmark. Two days of making good progress.
We finally reached the outskirts of Kongsberg just as the weather turned. It was raining just enough to warrant raincoats. The map showed that there was no campsite in Kongsberg area, so we found the Youth Hostel and booked into a two person room. Later in the evening we discovered the location of the summer campsite in Kongsberg, it was actually very close to where we had stopped to put on our raincoats.