Day 28-2. Åkrestrømmen to Elverum contd.We only paused for a couple of minutes on the bridge, as our rhythm was good and we didn't want to spoil a good run. We turned back on to the Gamle Kongeveg, and cycled past the station building at Stai and carried on South. The road climbed away from the river for a while which slowed us down a little although it gave us a better view. We were also slowed down by finding a small digger that someone had managed to get stuck in some very, very deep mud. We thought about Bob Millar (RIP) at this point, the father of one of Damae's best friends. He'd been a JCB or Backhoe operator for much of his life and we wondered if he had ever managed to do this to one of his rigs.
The road then dropped back to the level of the river for ten minutes as the valley widened. We passed farmland again, a church in a green landscape and took one last look at the river. By four o'clock the Gamle Kongeveg had started climbing again but this time in earnest. The road left the river below in the valley and trees at the side of the road blocked the view. A couple of times we heard the sound of a train tooting its horn as it approached unmarked level crossings. But we never saw the train. We passed Opphus before we decided that we were in need of a break. We stopped at the side of the road and brewed up. Damae was looking a little pooped, our rhythm had been broken a little by light showers and the climbing and we were still not sure where we were going to camp tonight.
It was about a quarter to five by the time we got going again and I didn't take another picture for over an hour. The trees ensured that there wasn't much of a view until we started descending again. By this time we realised that the town of Rena was on the other side of the river and was our best chance of finding an open supermarket. We followed the signs and the cycle path across a small bridge and paused briefly to take a few pictures of the views. Once over the bridge we turned left, passed the church and some locals sitting outside a cafe before finding a square with public toilets and a large Co-op supermarket with some tables outside.
We decided to have something to eat and call it tea before making plans for the rest of the evening. We were both a little weary and hungry. Damae disappeared inside the supermarket for a while whilst I sampled the atmosphere. As with many other places six in the evening was not the best time to experience a place. It was quiet and the grey skies and occasional pimped up car complete with wide tyres and loud exhaust added to the restless early evening feel. We had a good meal including two pots of potato salad and some fresh cherry tomatoes. We looked at our road map of the area and there were two campsites marked after Rena. One was at Elverum and clearly on our side of the river. The other one, which Damae wanted to go for looked like it was on our side of the river but we were not sure. We decided to go for the closer campsite and hoped that we could get to it. If not it would mean another twenty kilometres to Elverum.
The rest of the run was a bit of a push and we were glad that the road was quiet and reasonably flat. When we arrived at the turning to Bergslien, the point where the bridge across to the first campsite was, Damae decided that she wasn't ready to stop just yet but wanted to push onto Svea. She was hoping that would be a small bridge, not marked on the map or that the campsite would be on our side of the road. But the damage had been done and Williams & Jongkinds First Law had been just been invoked. We pushed on hopefully, passing through Åsta and the rolling landscape slowing for the hills and relaxing on the descents.
We realised a little later that we had passed Svea. We'd not seen a bridge across the river nor had we seen a campsite on our side of the river. Damae deflated a little but now the choice was clear: either wild camp or push on to Elverum. Neither of us felt like wild camping tonight so Elverum it was to be.