Day 11-2. Ten kilometres past Førde to Florø contd.
We stopped once more in this relatively short section, after a half hour cycling, to admire the view and try to wipe of some of the sweat pouring off our heads. We even took off our helmets as it was so hot, the road was so quiet that a collision was highly unlikely. However it didn't seem to make a difference except that it was now easier to wipe the sweat off our faces and stop it running into our eyes.
Then it was time for the last push up to the tunnel. On a sweeping left hand bend I spotted another Road Closed sign but noticed that if the worst came to the worst we could probably carry our bikes and bags over the the crest of the hill. I had visions of the tunnel being closed due to collapse or something, and my best case scenario was of an impediment we could lift the bikes over. Oh well, at least there was some shade at the top. I pushed on and on reaching the tunnel was immensely relieved to find that the tunnel was open.
I stood in the shade lapping up the cool air pushing its way out of the tunnel. Our breeze had returned and I occupied myself with shouting and clapping my hands to hear the echo. Then, having cooled off enough in the tunnel, grabbed my camera and enjoyed the scenery. Yes, Damae was down the road somewhere and turned up a few minutes later glad to hear that the tunnel was open. By now we'd both noticed the abundance of black tyre marks on the tarmac and wondered if we'd stumbled on the local drag strip.
Damae rested for a couple of minutes whilst I went through the tunnel. It seemed to be remarkably intact, no sign of the roof having caved in. The only slight problem was the road surface itself. It might once have had asphalt on it but now it seemed to be potholed hardcore. I bumped my way through realising I should have put another layer of clothing on. After having been too hot for most of the previous two hours I was now too cold. On the other side there was a row of concrete blocks that had been carefully put to one side of the road by persons unknown, what looked like a scout hut or field centre and another collection of significant tyre marks on the road. Whatever went on up here probably didn't disturb anyone.
Damae arrived having enjoyed testing the echo in the tunnel and we headed off down the hill. It was a lovely fast section on a slightly bumpy road surface, which explains that lack of photos of the descent. We reached the bottom less than fifteen fun minutes later. There we re-joined the road that had disappeared into the mountain just outside Naustdal and turned right towards Fløro.
The worst part of the day was now over (or so we thought). We'd done our big climb for the day, before lunch and survived and now just had to follow the main road to Fløro. Speaking of lunch, as soon as we re-joined the main road we began actively looking for a spot to stop. Ideally we wanted a spot with a picnic table but decided that a shady spot would do nicely. As usual Murphy's Law was in force and it took us fifteen minutes to find some shade next to the turning to Sandane and Hyen. The sun was high in the sky and it was too hot to cycle. We brewed up and ate our lunch in the shade of the bus stop shelter. A lone wasp started bothering us and was dispatched to insect nirvana.
We had been feeling the exertions of the day before and our short night sleep. We spent a lot of time eating lunch and trying to gather our energies for the next part of the trip. Looking up the road I noticed it seemed to go up rather a lot and that much of it was next to new looking rock walls. It was also in full sunshine which suggested it was going to be a very hot couple of hours to Fløro.
Some time shortly before one we decided that we could delay no longer. We hopped onto our bikes and waited for the traffic burst to pass before moving off. The incline was a fair bit steeper than my photo suggests and as usual I left Damae behind. The road appeared to be newly upgraded, hence the clean rock walls which meant that the asphalt was nice and smooth. My suspicions about the temperature were correct: if anything it was hotter than the climb in the morning. Once again I noticed that the breeze died down as you got closer to the crest of each undulation in the road. At the top of one hill I felt a wonderful cooling breeze and decided to wait for Damae. Here there was plenty space next to the road so I could stop without blocking the road in any way. A breathless and hot Damae turned up a few minutes later, gasping as she went past that she was going to carry on. I followed her down the hill and we both enjoyed the breeze.