Day 13-1. An evening cycling. Barmen to Sylte.
Distance 48 km Max 64 km/h Time 2.38:50 Average 13.5 km/h
Distance 48 km Max 56.5 km/h Time 2.28:15 Average 14.6 km/h
The day started late for a family with three young kids and we ate breakfast together in the sunny dining room of their rented house. Gerard then took us with him to move his dinghy to another mooring and before driving us up into the interior of Barmøy. They had started making plans to buy a disused farm that had been 're-modelled' by the current owner. In this case 're-modelling' meant ripping out anything of any use, such as the bathroom, and replacing it with extremely crudely made DIY alternatives. The house would have to be pulled down to its foundations and rebuilt again, though not due to the activities of the current owner.
The setting was lovely and it could make a fine place to live and make music. It was also a bit of a surprise to see that the middle of the island had so much usable land. From below it looked like it was just a mountain rising up from the sea. The mountain had a sort of crater in it with houses and farms nestling inside it.
We then drove back down to have late lunch. We'd decided to take the 1630 ferry to the mainland and cycle around twenty kilometres to the campsite at Aheim just to give us a bit of head start. In any case Gerard and Gabriella were both just a little busy so a one night stay seemed to be enough. They'd done some cycle touring together and Gabriela was interested to try out our bikes. She went off for ten minutes and came back making positive noises. Then it was time to go and we said our goodbyes and headed off again on our own.
We left Barmøy in the sun on the ferry and headed up along the coast. We'd noticed a climb a little further up from Eide to Kjøde but for now the road remained quite flat. About an hour after starting off we got to the beginning of the climb after where we doubled back on ourselves and were presented with a road heading straight up the side of a valley. No problem we thought until that is we realised that this, like other straight climbs, was steeper than most roads that had hairpins. Oh well, we thought the road reaches the next fjord in two kilometers so it will only be a matter of climbing for one kilometer and then it will be a case of going downhill.
But of course we were wrong. The road went up and up, finally some bends appeared which by-passed an older smaller set of bends. Here there was some shade from the sun and I stood cooling off a little until Damae arrived. A few minutes later Damae appeared and we looked up the road assuming that past the next bend it would start going down. In the end the road went up for almost all of the two kilometres before snaking its way down the hill on the other side. As the road went back down to sea level the descent was steep and fast in a few hundred metres we lost all the height again.
So far the weather had remained fair giving us views of the Vanylvsfjord. A few minutes after our descent we crossed into Møre og Romsdal. We only had to go as far as Aheim where there was a campsite marked on our map and we were nearly there. But the sky started clouding over a little which wasn't exactly what we wanted. The rain finally arrived as we approached Aheim where our campsite was supposed to be. Here the skies darkened dramatically and raindrops started spitting down during the last kilometre to the supermarket in town. What the pictures don't show is how fluid the clouds were, growing and billowing with the odd thunderclap to add to the drama. Damae arrived a little later but didn't see the SPAR I was standing next to that Gabriela had recommended. She headed straight to the Co-op and we ducked inside just before the downpour started.
The Co-op wasn't bad though and we stocked up with food for the next couple of days before waiting for the storm to finish. We made and ate some sandwiches and called it tea. We hadn't seen any campsite signs so Damae plucked up the courage to ask the cashier about it. We heard that it had closed a couple of years ago, and we realised that we would be wild camping tonight. Ho hum. About an hour after we'd entered the Co-op we decided that the rain had stopped enough for us to continue. Donning rain jackets we packed away our groceries under the canopy outside the supermarket and headed northwest once more.