Day 31-1. Oslo to Kongsvinger by bus, then by bike to Moen.
Distance D 48.0 km Max 51.5 km/h Time 2.50:00 Average 17.3 km/h
Distance S 48.3 km Max 52.5 km/h Time 2.43:36 Average 17.7 km/h
We'd planned a short day today. The idea was to take the bus back to Kongsvinger and then to cycle as far as Skotterud forty kilometres south of Kongsvinger. At Skotterud was the only campsite on the route until Berger, over a hundred kilometres down Cycle Route 9. The campsite in Skotterud sat on the 9 near to the turning onto the RV 21. Ideal.
The day started well too, early and with a lovely breakfast with Per-Christian and Marit. We left a little later than planned and cycled to the bus stop where Per-Christian picked us up the day before. The 11:22 bus to Kongsvinger arrived and we put our bikes and bags on the bus and sat ourselves down inside. At a quarter to one we arrived in Kongsvinger and took our bikes and bags out of the bus. We counted our bags carefully as the bus left a couple of minutes later and there would have been no chance to check the bus for a missing pannier.
After a quick check of the map we turned left out of the station car park and headed East for a short while on the RV 20 in the direction of Mosterud. After a couple of kilometres we turned onto the RV 200 and a couple of kilometres later just after Skansgarden we turned onto a minor road running roughly parallel to the RV 20. We were also now running parallel to a railway line.
We had been skirting the Vingersjøen for a few kilometres under the overcast skies. The road was quiet and the road surface was fine and we weren't going far today. There was no rush which was good as Damae felt a bit tired. Just after Sjøli we crossed the railway line for the first time, something we were to repeat during the day. After the second crossing near Gjermshus we cycled right next to the railway line for a while. The small stone wall that separated the road from the railway was covered with a layer of moss or other vegetation in this section. It reminded me of a bad toupe but looked quite nice. A couple of minutes later we entered Eidskog Kommune although we were still some way from the Eidskog itself. Farming seemed to be quiet important in the area although a fair portion of the landscape was covered in trees.
A little further on we missed a right turning just after Åbogen.I stopped to check the map when I realised the mistake but only after we'd climbed a fair bit. As the road we were on was parallel to the road we should have taken we decided to carry on past Pramhus and Grasmo, rather than doubling back on ourselves. We ended up following a sign to Jerntjernbråten which took us back down towards the road we should have been following. This wasn't too bad as we were now higher up the side of the valley with a better view of the terrain. Plus this section of road was even quieter than the other one we had been on.
We then started descending towards Eidskog. We crossed the railway again and turned left before we reached the RV 2 and ran into town. We arrived in Eidskog to find it busy and full of schoolkids. Today was a football tournament and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. We cycled past the football field and found some benches next to a war memorial. It was time for a brew and a sandwich, and was actually near to tea time.
We spent about half an hour taking it easy and gathering ourselves for the final bit to Skotterud. Whilst we were drinking tea I heard an approaching train. A long goods train carrying timber passed us. The benches were right next to the railway line. With that bit of excitement over we hopped back on our bikes and headed to Skotterud. "Not far to go now to the campsite" we said forgetting, for a moment, the sort of things you shouldn't say on a cycling holiday.