Day 14-1. Ferry to Larvik then via Helgeroa to Gåsodden Camping.Distance D 69.09 km Max 51.5 km/h Time 5.04:17 Average 13.6 km/h
Distance S 65.51 km Max 50.0 km/h Time 4.41:13 Average 14.0 km/h
Our morning started late in comparison to the days earlier in the holiday, it was ten by the time we poked our heads out of the tent. Outside the tent the weather was fresh and breezy, bracing was perhaps the right word to describe it. Yes, bracing. Underfoot the grass was damp and droplets of rain were still visible on the outside of the tent from a couple of light showers during the night. We were both a little tired from the hundred and twenty kilometres the day before so it was good that today was a kind of rest day, and good that we didn't have to rush anywhere.
The main event of the day would be to get on the 12:45 ferry to Larvik and relax for the four hour crossing. One great thing about these ferrys was that they sold Norwegian Tine yoghurt and some rather yummy cheesecake in the big cafeteria. The other vegetarian options were rather limited, chips or chips and fresh salad were our only options which made a change from our usual diet of cheese sandwiches for lunch.
It was almost eleven by the time we were ready to break down the tent. We had packed in slowly and made use of the breeze to dry off the flysheet. Our lovely Gimle tent was starting to concern us. We'd noticed droplets of water coming through the pole sleeves during torrential rain in Germany, and all the sections of the the main big pole that ran front to back was showing signs of corrosion. In contrast the other two poles were fine so we struggled to find an explanation as to why one of the poles was corroding whilst the other two, which had been used in exactly the same conditions, were not. When we woke up this morning we noticed droplets on the outside of the inner tent that could only have come from leaking seams. This was not a good sign. Still, looking at the positive side of things it was good to pack away a dry tent instead of a damp one.
After we'd packed up the tent we made our way slowly to the ferry port. The weather had warmed up a little as we stood in the queue to board the ship. Once on board we locked up our bikes so that they wouldn't fall over during the crossing and went straight up to the cafeteria area with the blue seats and chose a table near to a power socket so I could charge up my EeePC.
The ship proceeded to cast off at a quarter to one and made its way slowly out of port. The crossing was uneventful, we enjoyed our yoghurts, cheese cake and chips, Damae had a short nap and we generally took things easy. We splashed out on access to the on board internet and Damae caught up with her emails. Not far from the Norwegian coast I spotted a strange effect, a line between two parts of the sea. This seemed to be too thin to be a gust of wind, normally the area of 'dirty water' is much bigger. It looked as if two opposing breezes or currents had met in the middle of the sea. Not long after the ship docked in the new port area, outside of the town centre it was time to start cycling again.
We had two sets of maps for the two routes we were planning on doing. However, these routes started some way from Larvik, so we needed to get to them. We'd forgotten to take a copy of our NSCR Norway route maps so needed to have a local map up to where National Cycle Route 2 started in Porsgrunn. Our first stop was at the Tourist Information, which was closed. We stood around for a few minutes looking at a map fixed to the outside of the building, and evidence of the continuing renewal of Larvik. Having been in the area before, in 2005 and 2008, we realised we probably didn't really need a map to get out of Larvik. As it was late enough already we decided to head on to (what we assumed would be) our final destination of the day, the lovely little port of Helgeroa.