Day 14. Risør to Helgeroa (lots of hills and ferries).

Distance 70.6km. Average 14.1km/h.

We'd got ferry times from the tourist information office in (wet) Grimstad. However in the morning we wanted to be absolutely sure so Damae asked a member of staff if they could check the times once more. Good thinking by Damae as they had discovered that the ferry was due to leave at 8-25 am and not 8-45 am as we had thought.

Fortunately we got up early enough to be able to enjoy a quick hearty breakfast, then a mad scramble to get everything in the bags, Damae having paid for the room after breakfast. As far as we know we left nothing behind however a few things were not stowed on the bikes as per 'normal'. We arrived at the ferry a few hundred metres from the hotel with a few minutes to spare.

The ferry journey was lovely, the morning a bit overcast with some sun as we left Risør with fond memories of our short night there. We had a chance to sort out the bikes a bit and got off at the other side around 20 minutes later. Øysang was a tiny place, with a bus service and nothing else. We climbed a short steep hill to the main road and headed off towards Stabbestad.

For those of you who have seen the guidebooks you will know that the distance between those two points is 20km. What you might not guess is that it goes up and down enough to make you feel it. In addition we started our journey at 9am and the ferry from Stabbestad left at 10am with a wait of nearly two hours for the next one. So we went as hard as we could it seemed at times to be hopeless, however we really wanted to get all the ferries out of the way and get to Helgora that evening.

To add to the mounting sense of excitement Damae had to make an urgent stop to fertilise some virgin Norwegian pineforest. Towards the end of the 20km Damae started feeling tired so I pushed on, and made it to the ferry. Just after I rode on the barriers started to go down. I asked if they could wait, which they did. Luckily for us just as they were about to tell me to get off and wait or go without Damae she appeared coming down the hill to the jetty. A big thank-you to the Captain for waiting. We enjoyed the sense of achievement and took a photo.

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