Where am I?:^mistymornings-->Cycletouring-->2009-->Summer.-->Day 17

Day 17-2. Dalen to Valle contd.

Once in Holtebru I paused and took a picture of an old Volvo tipper lorry. Despite a rather careworn appearance, looked like it might still in use. Damae arrived a couple of minutes later stopped to catch her breath, and drink some water before we pushed on. The fact that the worst of the climb was behind us didn't mean that we suddenly started going much faster. It took another thirty minutes to the next sign to Grimdalstunet, (which was a kilomtre away) and around ten minutes to actually reach Grimdalstunet. On arrival we discovered that we hadn't timed this well. For starters the cafe didn't open until eleven and it was also a bit early to eat lunch. Neither was it the right time to go and look at the sculptures in the museum. We still had a lot of cycling ahead of us today. If we had been doing the route the other way round and arrived here in the late afternoon then an hour or so looking round followed by a rapid descent into Dalen would make a perfect finish to the day.

We took stock and decided that, whilst lunch could wait until later we needed a short break now to recover from the climb. A coffee and some cake would definitely hit the spot. I sat down at a picnic table and Damae wandered in to the cafe. She came out with some coffee (with extra sugar) and a svele (a sort of pancake orignally from Vestland) for each of us. We ate quickly and then took a look at the sculptures and buildings in the museum grounds. These were similar to the ones we'd seen the day before in Kvitseid, a barn made from logs for instance. Damae was more interested in the sculptures and found this one made of old gear wheels near to the entrance. I was interested in carved motifs of men and women to be found a couple of the buildings while Damae took a picture of another bear sculpture.

By now it was half eleven and the sun had come out. It was time to leave Grimdalstunet and carry on towards Valle. Between here and Valle the map marked seven high points at roughly five kilometre intervals before our final descent would start. The first two after Grimdalstunet would take us from six hundred and fifty metres above sea level to nearly eight hundred and then just down and up to eight hundred and fifteen metres above sea level. Looking at the map and the contour lines next to the road, it seemed to suggest that the route we would be going up and down between the marked high points. Bearing this in mind we set off at a steady pace and just under a half hour later hit the first high point after Grimdalstunet.

As this was one of our cycling holidays in Norway, I stopped at the side of the road and waited for Damae to catch up. As you can see the road was not only going up but also undulating. It took two minutes from when she first appeared in view before she drew level with me and carried on past me in her slow and determined way. I hopped on my bike and we both headed on to the next marked high point. Along the way we noticed local cycle route signs in addition to the ones we'd seen for National Route 2. We also discovered that this route now had relatively large amounts of traffic on it. Not just cars and motorbikes but full sized coaches. The road suddenly felt rather small as the coach passed us. Ten minutes later I paused at a small bridge that crossed a small river. I think it was at this point that the Dutch motorcylists roared past me giving a friendly wave as they disappeared into the distance. I presume that they'ed given Damae a wave too but she was still out of sight somewhere back down the hill.

Twenty minutes later we go our first glimpse of Lake Borsæ which meant that high point number two was not far away. Sure enough, a few minutes later I arrived at a point that my GPS unit suggested was the highest point. Damae was nowhere to be seen again so I decided to wait for her to arrive. Up here, the views were starting to get rather nice, bare topped mountains sprinkled with patches of old snow from the winter before. On either side of the road there were plenty of trees, small tarns and streams to be seen.

Damae arrived a few minutes later and we pushed on. It was now getting close to one in the afternoon and we decided that we needed to find a place to have a spot of lunch. Just short of the next high point the road widened into two lanes. Or that is what it looked like at first. In fact it was a very, very long lay-by with a couple of picnic tables standing right in the middle of the lay-by. Our timing was perfect, as the sun, which had kept us warm during the climbs this morning, decided to hide behind some rather denser clouds. Ho hum. We pulled on some extra clothes, put the kettle on and got out our sandwiches.

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