Day 15-2. Ålesund to Midsund contd.
Damae plucked up the courage to approach a carpenter working on one of the houses. She looked at our map, looked around, had a think and then said that the road we wanted was just above us. Damae thanked her and we pushed our bikes across the deep gravel onto some tarmac and cycled slowly up to where the road should be. Then there it was and we mounted our bikes and headed on.
Finally after an hour of uncertain navigation, we were on the road (well actually a quieter road to the North) we wanted which was cause to celebrate. Even better, after passing the huge quarry we guessed was supplying all the rock for all the new buildings and roads, the scenery abruptly changed and we were in the Norwegian countryside once again. It was a delight to see the lush green grass in the sunshine and as the spit of land narrowed we found ourselves on an undulating road running through woodland. The views to the North of the road were lovely with cotton wool clouds draped like scarves above the land. These were pretty much the only clouds to be seen as the rest of the sky was a clear blue colour.
We stopped a little while later for a short break. As I mentioned it had taken us around an hour to navigate our way out of Ålesund and the undulating road was more work than we'd expected. Our right hands were doing overtime with the Rohloff changers going from fourteenth gear on the downhill sections right back to first just before the crest of each rise. Whilst the landscape was new this type of road was very reminiscent of parts of the North Sea Cycle Route in southern Norway. The big problem is that it is not possible to get into any kind of rhythm nor was it possible to use speed picked up on the downhills to make it up to the next high point. We kept on coming up ten metres short of the top before we had to change down to first. During our pause we munched on a few biscuits, had a sip of water and Damae took a picture of some wonderful moss. Then, ten minutes later we were on our way again.
Below the road there were quite a few houses, some down, by the water some right next to the road. Every now and again we saw a house for sale and asked each other if this was a place we could live. The view across the fjord was lovely as were all the houses. We did wonder if we could get used to cycling this road each time we wanted to do groceries. We also noted that these houses were on the North side of the spit of land so probably would not get much sun for most of the year. But it kept us occupied as we followed the road East.
We knew that this section would end soon and around a quarter past twelve we climbed up for the last time, as the road turned right and left and joined the main road. Not much further along we found another old road section now given over to cyclists. This started with a short tunnel through a large lump of rock, followed by two small bridges in stone that crossed via a small island to the other side. The first bridge had a good view of the new single span bridge whilst the second bridge climbed a little before the road turned right taking us past a small look out point. We nearly carried on without stopping but we decided that it would make a nice place to stop and it was after all lunchtime. Wheeling our bikes up to the sunny side of the outcrop we found two more cyclists and a place to stop. They were not the chatty sort and left shortly after we had settled ourselves at the table. It was time for a cuppa, lunch and some small talk with another gentleman on his day off enjoying the sun. We had a great view of both the old road with its tunnel and bridges and also the new one with a large single span bridge. In the background we could see more of the lovely West Coast landscape with different layers of mountains disappearing into the distance. This blue hazy landscape of sea fjords and islands would be a feature of the next few days.