Day 12-2. Florø to Barmen contd.
Despite the landscape looking relatively flat, there was still some climbing to be done. Progress was also slowed on a couple of sections of single track road when we had to stop for oncoming traffic. Still, it didn't matter as today our sense of adventure had returned and the bad memories of the day we passed through Førde were fading quickly. Despite the reputation of constant rain that Norway and particularly the West coast have we were, once again (or should I say 'in our experience, as usual'), starting to get too hot. At least close to the sea we were getting a nice breeze although this was not going to last forever.
We were now off the National Cycle Route 3, and following a section of National Cycle Route 1. There were (and are?) no official guides for this section up to Trondheim so we were using the maps I'd made with the help of Google maps. These were printed on our laser printer and could have done with being in colour and/or higher contrast. Even so it was clear that our route would have to climb and a couple of tunnels were visible on the freytag & berndt road map. Plus we would be going via Maløy and that meant crossing the amazing bridge over the harbour and thereafter what looked like a couple of climbs. For the time being we were following the RV616 which made navigation easy. The 616 was pretty quiet for a main road which was nice.
This didn't matter today though as the views were lovely, and far out at sea we spotted one of the Tall Ships (albeit just visible at full zoom) so one goal for the day had been achieved already. Although we were a bit hot the sun was not a big problem yet. We'd made a point of putting on sun tan lotion on at the beginning of the day as even this far north you burn pretty quickly.
After a short hour of cycling we decided to stop for a latish lunch. A few minutes after entering Bremanger we found a side road with a lovely view of the Dalevatnet and decided to stop for a sarnie and a cuppa. We pushed our bikes nearer to the jetty and proceeded to take it easy in the sun. This was a quick stop and by the time the tea was ready we'd eaten our fill. Although we were not going far today we knew that we would be doing a lot of the days cycling in our midday dips. It looked like the sky was going to remain clear of clouds which meant that everything including the road would be warming up nicely too.
After lunch we started with a nice flat section but we knew this was not going to last. Slowly but surely the road started climbing to the head of a narrow valley. Here the high valley walls made an excellent wind break and the bare rock on either side of the road were warming up nicely. As with the day before the problem was not so much the gradients but the temperature. The main road Riksvei 616 itself was very quiet so there was no breeze to be had from passing traffic.
About half an hour after lunch, whilst cycling alongside the Konsdalsvatnet I realised I could see the road disappearing into a tunnel through the hill. At the end of the valley the wind had died down and there were no trees to provide shade. I stopped to let Damae catch up and at the same time succeeded in making myself even hotter. The promise of a cool sea breeze on the other side of the tunnel motivated me and I pushed on round the bend and through the cool dark tunnel. On the other side a wonderful view greeted us of the Vågsfjord with Maløy just visible in the distance. I waited for Damae to pop out of the tunnel and as she passed I noticed a ferry approaching the harbour.
We'd checked the ferry times earlier and our information said that the ferries left half past each hour. As it was now nearly two it would mean half hour wait. Either the ferry timetable we'd looked at was wrong or the ferry was running late. In any case, not wishing to miss this ferry we raced gleefuly down the hairpin bends to the line of waiting cars. I got the chance to test my Magura brakes on the way down as I misjudged an approaching hairpin bend. Braking very hard I sat upright to keep the rear wheel on the ground but the bike performed perfectly and I made it round the corner. It was a great descent especially as we felt we had gained an extra half hour.