Day 32-1. Magnor to Sukken Camping, Berger.Distance D 111.29 km Max 56.0 km/h Time 7.05:37 Average 15.6 km/h
Distance S 112.11 km Max 53.5 km/h Time 6.43:43 Average 16.6 km/h
We awoke relatively late to the sound of rain. It rained as we got up and out, and as we ate breakfast. We used the smelly toilets for the last time and wheeled our bikes out to the entrance of Montebello Camping. It was still raining.
We set off to retrace our steps back to Skotterud. We had a stiff headwind for this section while heading North. However this meant that for much of the rest of the day we'd have favourable winds. Once in Skotterud we navigated our way out towards the RV 21 and followed signs to Ørje. Although the RV 21 was the most direct route, National Cycle Route 9 would keep us away from the designated main roads for much of the day. Which wasn't, in theory at least, a bad thing.
Damae started the day struggling a little. She was having a little more difficulty breathing than normal. Nothing life threatening, but she just didn't have the energy to push on as usual. However despite this we managed to keep up a reasonable pace in the morning and didn't stop for a bite to eat until almost an hour and a half after setting off. We spotted a lay-by with bins and a forest to go wee in and had our 'mid-morning' break. In the rain.
A quarter an hour after our break I spotted a nice old barn at the side of the road. This was in Vestmarka which we cycled through and carried on along the main road. We knew we had to leave the main road at some point after Ljøner and the signs for the turning were very clear. Only when we got to the turning we realised that we were being sent on to a gravel track. We ummed and ahhed for a moment but in the end decided to follow the 9 instead of taking the 'easy' main road alternative.
We headed towards Bolfoss and Mangen with a little care as the surface was a little slippery in places. In Bolfoss we turned right towards Mangen and skirted Oysjøen for a while and the another lake confusingly also called Mangen (not Mangensjøen as we might have expected). It was still raining, big drops were clearly visible on the lakes. This section of gravel road was quite long, not especially demanding but rolling. We climbed a fair bit and by three reached this monument which explained a little of the history of the road. Apparently this point at nine hundred fod (old Norwegian foot) above sea level, or approximately two hundred and eighty-two metres was the highest on the road. I had some time to digest this information as Damae arrived a couple of minutes later. It was good to know though that, for a while at least, we'd be heading downhill.
It took us a half hour to do the ten or so kilometres down the junction with the FV 234. This road would take us down into Bjørkelangen and maybe somewhere to stand out of the rain. Damae arrived a couple of minutes later looking very wet and a little tired. The gravel road had made for some interesting cycling and we'd seen a little bit of history at the same time.