Day 7-4. Lofthus to Voss contd.
After making sure we were not blocking the cycle track we chatted for a few minutes. Both Damae and Brigitte were very surprised to have bumped into each other and pleased to see each other. They chatted animatedly, Damae introducing us in the process, and spent some time swapping route stories and comparing experiences. We also took a couple of minutes to praise the great Germanic gods of cycling: Ortlieb and Rohloff. Brigitte having had her Rohloff for years was the Mother Superior, whereas we were novices of a few months. Mr Schmidt of Schmidt Maschienbau and Messers Busch and Meuller also received a good press. The final act was to take a group photo before we went our separate ways. We had to get at least to Voss whilst Brigitte had a fair way to go to her destination.
In our case it took us around an hour and a half to reach the centre of Voss including the fifteen minutes spent chatting with Brigitte. To be honest we were both a bit knackered and aimless when we got there. We headed straight to the Tourist Information and discovered that they did indeed have wireless internet as we'd thought. We parked the bikes up in view of where we were sitting and whilst Damae got a login code from the nice lady at the counter I unpacked the EeePC and found a power socket on the wall nearby and plugged the rather depleted machine into it.
Within a few minutes I was online and checking email. It turned out that we were not going to be able to meet up with Per-Christian and Marit on this leg of the journey. They were already much further North than we could get in a day and were heading back a day after. I emailed them to say no go and that we'd contact them on the way back home to see if we could meet up with them in the Oslo area. That done Damae checked her email and tried once again fruitlessly to top up her phone with credits. This was rather irritating as her phone was the one selected to come and she'd forgotten to check how much money she had on the phone. For some inexplicable reason T-Mobile's top up system did not seem to produce the required results. So now we had to avoid using her phone as much as possible as there was only a couple of euros worth of calls on it.
Slightly grumpy but pleased at having sorted something out, we headed off to Voss campsite. We thought that it would be a good place to stop as we were tired, but arrived to find it completely full. The last time we had been here was at the end of the season and it seemed pretty full. This time in late July it was absolutely heaving. We walked in from the lakeside and walked straight out past the kiosk. Although we were tired we decided to head up the 13 in the direction we would be going the following morning and see if we could find a campsite there. On the way out of town we picked up some food from a SPAR. We ate a couple of bananas and drank some milk. We'd stopped for over an hour so it took a while for our muscles to loosen up and for us to get going properly. We knew that from Voss to Skjelingavatnet the road climbed almost all the way. Here at least the gradient was not too steep and we pushed our way up the hill. For the first few kilometres we enjoyed the cycle path separated from the road by a either a strip of grass or a barrier. Then a bit later on we ended up on the main road, quiet now as all good Norwegians were feeding and putting their kids to bed.
Damae had the image of a lovely campsite in her head, but had no idea how far up the road it was. We'd decided though to take the first one we found which turned out to be another one called Saue which at first glance seemed a fine place to stay. We whizzed off the main road and stopped outside the Reception. It turned out to be a little on the expensive side at NOK 150, showers were five or ten kroner depending on how long you wanted. As it was the end of the day we were not too fussy, although perhaps we should have been. Still we'd arrived and after a late end of day um and ah session we plumped for a grassy spot on the outer edge of the site near to the lake shore.
We were too tired to bother taking a shower, deciding to leave that for the morning and limited ourselves to putting up the tent and making some tea. The view was OK and apart from the proximity to the road was quiet enough. This seemed to be a place for long stays rather than tourists with all the best spots next to the lake taken by very large caravans surrounded by wooden decks. After tea had been eaten we did the washing up and took a very very short walk to the lake shore. We were in bed by ten and fell asleep quickly to the sound of traffic on the road and gentle Norwegian voices as a lullaby.