Day 22-2. Ytre Snillfjord to Trondheim contd.
We found a supermarket in this temple to retail therapy and Damae headed inside with a small shopping list. Just as she came out a sharp eyed gentleman noticed our rear hubs and asked if they were Rohloff hubs or not. It turned out he was a keen cyclist albeit one of those masochists known as gramme-freaks. He told us about the last tour he had made, two weeks in Iceland. He bought a extra light saddle to save a bit more weight but ended up having to wear both of his cycling shorts all the time. The new saddle whilst lighter was even too uncomfortable for him and he admitted that two pairs of cycling shorts hadn't helped much. Still all for the sake of saving a few grammes.
He liked the idea of the Rohloff but thought it was a bit heavy compared to a derailleur system. Obviously a weight penalty of 1-200g was just something he couldn't accept. Each to his own ? Well it was a nice conversation, not like some of the hostile threads to be found on internet cycling forums, and it was amusing to meet and chat to a real gramme-freak. To be honest we did try and take less on this holiday to save weight but would never go to the extremes that this gentleman had.
With some directions and a 'bon voyage' from our fellow cyclist we headed back onto the main road, and through town. Here we had to avoid the E39 at all costs as this new road was closed to cyclists. But luckily the old road, hugging the edge of the Trondeheimfjord was open to cyclists and local traffic only which meant it should be quiet. The only trouble was we had to find the road first.
Cycling through town was frustrating partly because it was busy, partly because signs for cyclists all but disappeared. Using the old rule of 'straight on unless indicated otherwise', which usually but not always works, we picked our way through town. Some of it was quite nice but we were concentrating too much on traffic to be looking around. I didn't even take any photos of the centre which gives an indication of how much we had to concentrate. Several days of quiet coastal roads and small islands had not prepared us for cycling in large towns. After fifteen minutes we ended up in a small industrial area a bit at a loss as to where to go next, until a pedestrian indicated we had to turn left at the next junction.
A little further along the road we found some confusing cycle signs. We were being a bit thick today so we followed one under the E39 and headed up a rather unlikely looking track. We turned round after a hundred metres or so and realised as we crossed back under the motorway that the confusing sign had been twisted by a quarter turn. Sigh. (Should you get stuck coming out of Orkanger, just follow the signs to Viggja but avoid the E39 at all costs). Still now we were on the right road, the sun had started shining again and in the distance, we could see the farmland alongside Gaulosen glowing in the sunshine. Just a little further on we found signs for the campsite at Tråsåvika which would have been a nice place to stay if we had not determined to get to Trondheim.
The old road slowly but surely dropped down to fjord level and we were presented with views across the Orkdalsfjorden/Gaulosen with fields of wheat shining brightly in the sunshine. This place with its fertile farmland, temperate summers and with good access to the sea had been inhabited for centuries. I imagined viking longboats and merchant vessels travelling up and down the fjord and wondered what the fjord looked like in days gone by. I also realised that Trondheim area in winter, with precious little shelter from the wind, would probably be a less becoming place.
Just after three the sunshine, which had been shining on the North side of the fjord arrived on our side. We warmed up immediately, not that we had been cold, but the summer sun was as hot here as halfway up Gaularfjellet. We started climbing gently around this time too as we approached Børsa. Here the cycle path crossed over a bridge over the main road after passing another of the cycle route signs. This diversion took us past the typically Norwegian, white church in the centre of town. For a moment we thought about stopping and having a look at the church and the small graveyard. However Trondheim was calling and we still had to sort out a place to stay for tonight. We'd noticed that there were no campsites really close to the centre of Trondheim. One was in the direction we were planning to go next and the other sort of on the way into Trondheim. Ideally we'd like to stay in the centre, which probably meant a Youth Hostel or budget hotel.