Where am I?:^mistymornings-->Cycletouring-->2008-->Norway.-->Day 7

Day 7-1. Lofthus to Voss.

Distance D 56.5 km Max 47 km/h Time 3.46:30 Average 15.0
Distance S 56.6 km Max 49.5 km/h Time 3.31:50 Average 16.0

We realised the disadvantage of camping on the East side of the fjord when we woke up. The tent was covered in dew inside and out and the sun was rising behind the hill to the East of us. So we breakfasted in the sunless chill of the morning and it was nine when the sun started falling on the tent. We couldn't wait forever, having packed everything else into our bags and Damae disappeared inside the tent for a few minutes to transfer water from the tent to a towel, and then from towel to grass whilst I admired the view. With the tent packed in we stopped on the way out at a conveniently placed tap to fill water bags and bottles. The water was clear and cold and delicious. Then it was time to head off towards the ferry. Our bodies were still a little tired from the exertions of the previous day so it was a good thing that we started with a fast descent back down to the main road. This turned out to be a little chilly as we were not warmed up but quite exhilarating. We raced towards the ferry stopping briefly at a small outdoor museum. We decided that getting to the ferry would be a better idea as we didn't want to lose too much time this morning. Granvin, the unknown climb lay ahead of us later in the day and we were not sure how far we would get before flaking out.

We were not to succeed in the first goal. As we turned East at the end of the fjord to run down to Kvinarsvik we saw a ferry travelling away from the terminal. No problem we thought as Damae understood that the ferries went every forty minutes. So taking it a little easy we arrived at the ferry terminal thinking that our day was going according to plan. Then we discovered that the ferry went every hour and forty minutes. Oh dear. We parked up at the front of the vehicle row, not being sure where we were supposed to be and waited. Damae had a book to read but I was bored. I ended up talking a retired American to the point of boredom discussing the role of the Romans in Europe and the effect that Viking culture still had in England and Norway.

Damae wandered off at one point to try to find things of interest in Kvinarsvik of which there were but few. I hit the supermarket to get something to drink. We rued our planning problem as it meant that we'd hit Granvin (whatever that entailed) during our mid-afternoon dip. We had realised already that having to do a significant chunk of your day's cycling after lunch contributed to the feeling of having had a hard day. Our experience of the days when we could get fifty kilometres in before lunch was that they were much easier. So we were sitting waiting for a ferry knowing that the rest of the day was going to be hard. Kvinarsvik did have the remains of a Viking fast launch boat house, which occupied me for a whole ten minutes. These were (apparently) dotted round the coast with the aim of being able to get warships into the water quickly to be able to defend the Viking territories from intruders. I made a mental note to read up about Viking history at some point as all we learned about at school was marauding, plundering Vikings attacking the British Isles. I don't recall hearing about threats to the Viking kingdom itself. This is not to say that we didn't cover the subject: I might not have been paying attention.

At around eleven thirty we got our first glimpse of 'our' ferry far away in the distance. There was no need to rush as it took another ten minutes before the ferry docked. A quarter of an hour earlier we'd moved at the request of the ticket seller to the place where foot passengers embarked. From here we could observe the orderly disembarkation of passengers before the cars. Then we walked onboard and put our bikes in a safe spot near the prow. Taking our handlebar bags and lunch with us we headed to the top deck towards the back of the boat and sat down to eat and enjoy the view. The view was wonderful, the fjord and all its legs a rich blue colour under an almost cloudless sky. You didn't have to me a meteorologist to realise that this was going to be the weather pattern for the next couple of days. It was also clear that it was going to be sunny this afternoon when we were due to tackle Granvin . Worse still in the next couple of days the strenuous climb from Voss to Vik and an unknown climb up over Gualarfjellet lay ahead of us. Whilst rain would not be nice, a good compromise would be cool and overcast with a light breeze: our favourite climbing weather.

Still we weren't complaining too loudly as the views were lovely, here are a few from the ferry. At Utne, where the ferry docked first there is apparently a folk museum of some repute. Plus from there the ferries went every twenty minutes or so. If only we'd chosen the West side of Sørjorden: we could have chosen to visit the museum with the time we'd spent at Kvinarsvik or we could have headed off towards Granvin much earlier hitting it maybe before lunch. Still things were as they were but we'd recommend that you take the West side of the fjord instead of the East. Pretty that the East side is in the afternoon and evening sun, it wasn't worth us getting stuck for the best part of two hours.

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