Day 29-1. Elverum to Kongsvinger.Distance D 103.67 km Max 45.5 km/h Time 5.21:22 Average 19.4 km/h
Distance S 103.57 km Max 45.5 km/h Time 5.18:25 Average 19.5 km/h
Day 29 started late and cold. Damae sat outside clad like an Eskimo in winter, as close to the Trangia as possible as it heated up water for our morning coffee. We'd realised that there was little point in getting up and out early as the reception (in out-of-season mode) didn't open until ten in the morning. We sat in the cold eating our breakfast admiring the view.
The skies lightened briefly at ten as we headed to the reception to pay but then the clouds closed in again over us. We had a bit of a deadline today as we'd been invited to Oslo by Per-Christian and Marit and planned to take the train from Kongsvinger (an old garrison town) to Oslo tomorrow. That meant getting to near Kongsvinger tonight and doing the rest the following morning.
The first quarter of an hour or so was spent on a cycle track next to the main road heading south out of Elverum. Then we took a right turning over a dam to cross to the other side of the river, turned left at the junction and followed a quieter minor road. Our suspicions about the scenery on Cycle Route 9 looked like they would be confirmed. We spent the next couple of hours cycling past farms and farmland. Ripening wheat, harvested wheat, green stuff all rain sodden with standing water everywhere. It rained on and off, showers and drizzle so we kept our rain gear on all morning. The only compensation was that, as the weather and the scenery were not so good, we kept on cycling so made good progress.
Another problem, which contributed to the good progress, was the lack of places to stop. All around us were fields right up to the road. At around midday, near the turning to Rud (across the river from Våler) we found a track leading off the road next to a wood and stopped there. It was a standing stop, we weren't ready for lunch and in any case it was a bit cold to stay still for long. After some chocolate and water we got back on the bikes. An hour later we found a layby next to the road and as it wasn't actually raining at that moment, we stopped for a sandwich and some fruit and called it lunch.
The landscape was flat and featureless certainly when compared the spectacular scenery of the first three days from Trondheim. If it had been sunny we might well have been a bit better disposed to the countryside, but it wasn't. We were quite convinced that this would be a boring slog from now on.
A half hour after lunch we found a petrol station at the side of the road (probably somewhere round Kvisler): 'VESTSIDEN bensin' had an orange theme and advertised the availability of 'Kaffe - varme og kalde drikker - Kiosk'. We limited ourselves to using the loos, having a cup of coffee and sheltering from a passing shower. Damae was clearly having a whale of a time even if I wasn't. After our short break we were back on the road, the scenery remained unchanging and uninspiring. An hour or so after leaving the delights of 'VESTSIDEN bensin' behind us, it started raining in earnest and rather conveniently a nice bus shelter appeared at the right moment. It was a quarter past three and time for a brew. We'd managed to do seventy-five kilometres already which was better going than the previous couple of days. I supposed making good progress was the one advantage of the rather flat and uninteresting landscape.