Last night the tent was buffeted by strong gusty winds that rapidly brought in heavy cloud. This unforcasted change in weather was a surprise. The expected down pour never materialised, but this morning the sky remains brooding with the wind still strong.
I wrote that this morning before the day’s ride. It has been very different to yesterday. No perspiration, no need for sun block or copious quantities of liquid drink. The sun did win two battles with the cloud for a few minutes, but the war was won by the thickening cloud. It was also cold and very windy. Whereas the wind had pushed me along yesterday, it had a concerted effort at pushing me backwards today. There was also miles of low gradient climbing that switchbacked over a number of hills eventually getting to 733m ASL.
My plan had been to go east then south, for reasons mentioned in yesterdays blog. However the need to constantly fight the wind, perhaps it would have been better to have ridden over the hills. It would have been more sheltered. That said even that route would have dropped me back into the northbound 3, although further north. The whole morning was a hard workout on a near empty tank. A bowl of muesli and a drink of fresh orange did me for 68km. Over the past few days I have been carrying food un-necessarily as shops have subsequently always cropped up. Yesterday there was a Joker at the beginning of the day and one opposite the camp site at the end. (they are a chain of supermarkets like Rema 1000 and the Coop). Road No 3! was void of anything apart from the occasional farm. Not until 15km from joining the dreaded E6, south of Berkak was there a filling station and cafe. A Burger Wapper was consumed with a strong black coffee, very filling and a gift at only £14.
Now I might be getting soft, but a hot shower and a mosquito free tent pitch must be worth a tenner. That is the very reasonable price paid for the last two nights at official campsites. It had been my intention to repeat the pleasure this evening. However each of the three campsites on route just weren’t there. Now having cycled well over 100km all into the wind. I enquired about the site in Berkak. Well its not really in the town. I was told it was about five km further NE on the E6. Tomorrow I travel NW on the 700.
Shopping done. I descended the steep hair pinned hill down to the wide river Orkia and having left the 700 for a minor road, happened to look left and saw this:-
I am writing looking out of the window of a tinny Hansel and Gretel style cottage, with traditional soil and plant roof, an 18 inch by 5 foot wooden cot bed that I won’t be using. A long since defuncted wood burner stove and numerous artifacts belonging to a past era are also in here. There is even a rug on the floor. With a picnic table just outside, no lock on the door and a notice without any exclamation marks written in Norwegian, I think I’m not the first to have used the historic little cottage as a venue for a sleepover.