Where am I?:^mistymornings-->Cycletouring-->2008-->Norway.-->Day 27

Day 27-1. From Langen to Jonasvollen by boat then to Åkrestrømmen.

Distance D 98.87 km Max 51.0 km/h Time 5.58:16 Average 16.6 km/h
Distance S 99.09 km Max 51.5 km/h Time 5.45:30 Average 17.2 km/h

It rained a bit in the night and was damp and cold at seven in the morning when we crawled out of the tent. By a quarter past eight we were at the quayside in Synnervika. It had started raining again and the boat was not due to leave until nine. We looked round in vain for a waiting room, we thought might be located in a large brown building next to the quay. But there was no waiting room, so had to settle with sheltering under some eaves. We were just plain cold and although we didn't know it yet, this was to be the theme of the morning.

We'd been looking forward to enjoying the views of the impressive mountains round the lake but in doing so we'd invoked Williams & Jongkind's First Law of Cycletouring. Looking up at the sky it was clear that the cloud cover was not going to lift anytime soon and hence we were not going to see anything from the boat except for a series of 'studies in grey'. Ho hum. The boat is an official part of the Cycle Route 9 so we were determined to take it. Besides there was no obvious alternative route other than the main road, which would involve cycling back to Røros which we were not prepared to do. The boat goes all the way down to the end of Lake Femunden but we were going to get off about halfway down the lake at Jonasvollen and start cycling from there.

So a little cold and wet we were cheered up by the arrival of part of the ship's crew at around half past eight. Ten minutes later we were able to put our bikes and bags on board, but we had to leave our bags outside on deck. We were very glad that we had waterproof Ortlieb bags as it was still raining. There was only one disadvantage of being first on the boat: when we disembarked our bags were buried under a pile of wet rucksacks and bags. Still we figured that soon the crew would turn on the heating in the passenger cabin and we'd be roasty toasty in no time.

Williams-Jongkind's First Law was envoked once again by our desire for warmth. It wasn't a case of not turning on the heating. It was that the cabin itself was not equipped with a heating system of any sort. So we'd started the day cold, cycled a short distance in the cold and then stood around for half an hour in the cold and wet and now we were going to be stuck on a boat with an unheated cabin for two hours. Before the boat filled up and our bags disappeared under the piles of baggage, we both grabbed our clothing bags and took out a couple of extra layers. This was a bit better but there was no way we were going to warm up properly until we started cycling. We were glad to discover that the boat had a loo on board. Cold and needing a wee would have been too much to bear.

Still we were here now and decided to make the most of it. Damae bought us some fresh coffee and warm waffles which helped a bit as we travelled through the greyness. The cabin filled up at each stop along the way. At one place a lot of people got on including a group of three Dutch backpackers looking very bedraggled. Looking at their rucksacks with raincovers doing a bad job of keeping the rain off, I was, for the second time today, very glad to have all my stuff packed in waterproof panniers.

Just before half past ten we arrived at Haugen, which was exciting as our stop, Jonasvollen would be next. I ventured out of the cabin as a canoe had joined our bikes up on deck. I wondered if there was anything you were not allowed to take with you on the boat. Out on the lake, the grey was mesmerising in its completeness. I wondered if the local peoples here had a hundred words for grey.

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