Day 36-4. Horten to Larvik contd.
Not long after we took a left turn towards Huseby that took us towards the coast again. The bays looked lovely in the evening light. In the darker sections of the road our B&M lights came on. At the next junction we followed signs to Kaupang with the vague hope that the open air museum we saw in 2005 would still be there. However the site was empty, out of season, just a green field next to a marsh. The area looked very appealing and I suggested perhaps we should just buy a house somewhere lovely and see if we could find jobs.
Twenty minutes later we got our first glimpse of the cranes in Larvik port. Damae had dropped behind at the last hill and came up slowly B&M headlight blazing in the dusk light. As the sun set the NSCR signs lead us into a build up area which then turned into a building site. It looked like they were replacing sewers and we had to push our bikes round various obstacles. We had a bit of an end of day grump as we finally returned to tarmac muttering about the absence of diversion signs. A couple of minutes later we popped out at Østre Halsen and the roundabout that I remembered from 2005 and 2006 trips. We crossed the bridge over the Lagan and rolled into the centre of Larvik for the third time.
There was a bit of end of day confusion to come as we tried to find the campsite shown on our map to the North West of the centre of Larvik. After a fruitless climb up through a (rather cute) housing estate we came back down to the petrol station under the E18 flyover and asked for directions. We followed the old main road, now a quiet almost unused and not well maintained spur that joins the E18 further up. After running past a lake we climbed for a short while to find a forlorn campsite sign on this forgotten bit of road. We arrived to find a lovely green field and that the campsite was officially closed. However the lady was happy to for us to stay, even for two nights. The only problem was that the showers were not working which tonight was no problem as it was now ten o'clock and we just wanted to sleep. We put up the tent on a flat bit and got ourselves ready for bed. It was quite dark and we curled up in bed.
It had been quite nice to cycle in the sun today although the contrasts with the more remote parts of Cycle Route 9 were dramatic. We'd cycled through a well populated landscape of houses, farms, ports and businesses. Full of activity in stark contrast to, say the days between Trondheim and Åkrestrømmen. Tomorrow's trip, cycling out to Helgeroa and back would be more of the former which would be fine in the sun. My calculations suggested that we'd hit the magic two thousand five hundred kilometre mark some time in the afternoon. That would be exciting and a great way to round off an amazing holiday.
A heavy dew had already fallen outside the tent and a faint glow remained in the clear night sky. After the long day cycling through the undulating southern Norwegian landscape, we fell asleep quickly to the distant sounds of the E18.