Day 37-1. Larvik to Helgeroa to Larvik.
Distance D 57.53 km Max 49.5 km/h Time 3.44:20 Average 15.4 km/h
Distance S 58.77 km Max 48.5 km/h Time 3.33:59 Average 16.5 km/h
Sunshine and a heavy dew greeted us this morning, a big contrast with the day before. Unusually, Damae made breakfast, with buns, fried eggs and coffee with hot milk. Hmmmmm, it was delicious. It looked like it was going to be a glorious day, there was no hint of rain in the air.
By a quarter to eleven we were packed for our day trip, and ready to go. We followed the old road downhill from the campsite and headed off to find the new ferry terminal. The last time we'd used the ferry it had left from the centre of town, just across from the train station. Last night we'd noticed that the ferry terminal was no longer there. We figured if we could find it today then we could get up a little later tomorrow morning and take it easy. There would be no point getting there early and standing around waiting, in the crisp autumnal morning air.
The new terminal was easy to find and new NSCR signs had been placed near the terminal to help people crossing from Hirthals in Denmark to pick up the route. It was clear that there was a lot of infrastructure development going on in Larvik, with a planned new Beach Promenade and plenty of vacant lots near the harbour just waiting for trendy new flats to be built on them.
We followed the signs past the train station, looking out at the place the ferries used to leave. Out on Larviksfjorden we saw people messing about in boats and then followed the NSCR signs out of town. The first part consisted of a couple of short climbs followed by a longer one as the road undulated with the landscape. As we were not quite warmed up yet, Damae fell behind during the longer climb so I paused when the Gamle Stavernsvei started going downhill. A bit further up we joined Møllebakken as we continued to climb through a residential area which then rejoined the Gamle Stavernsvei a few minutes later.
We'd followed the NSCR Route 1 signs out of town, but wanted to take the 25 on the way to Helgeroa and follow the NSCR home. A couple of kilometres further along we were directed under the RV 301, north towards Tanum into the peace and quiet of a pastoral landscape. Here the terrain flattened out as we passed the local golf course and then the road took us through some woodland. In the wood we found a route 25 sign and took the left turn towards Tanum. A few minutes later we passed Tanum Church looking very white in the sunshine and turned right heading South-West towards Aske.
This took us back into open farmland, some of it recently ploughed, most of it late summer green under the brilliant blue sky. We followed the Manvikveien as far as the junction at Berg gamle kirke where we joined the RV 301, Helgeroaveien. The church caught our eye, it being a solidly built stone structure set in a small graveyard next to a small hill. It was much larger than the stone church in Vikøyri and the masonry was a bit more rustic although the corners were nice and sharp. I noticed that the north facing side of the church had no windows in it which seemed a little strange. The graveyard was interesting too with some quite old graves still beautifully maintained. There were two impressive examples of monumental masonry, one celebrating the life of Kirkesanger Solheim and the other a roughly hewn monolith above the last resting place of Willem and Birthe-Marie Josefsen.