All the Senses Satisfied. 5th July.

The hill continued from last night, but refreshed after a good night’s sleep, it was a delight. Within a few kilometers the gradient eased and in the early morning light the views were outstanding. Some of Norway’s finest mountains are immediately to the west, Skjerellfjellet, Hornflagan and Blakollen. All around 1,500m ASL with snow still laying in the corries.

It was a good decision to stop near the top of the climb last night. The camp site was perfect. The second site beyond the climbing was big. Shops and a cafe catered for the RV owners needs. I don’t do crowds and commercial very well, so was pleased to cycle past as everyone slept, passing a modern architectural prize winning church as I did.

My head was constantly turning, absorbing the views. At 1,000m ASL and further north than Scotland, even the Orkney islands, this area in under snow from November to April, yet the road surface is unbelievable, not a pothole to be seen. The weather was perfect with a following wind and sun on my back.

A coffee and pancake at this cafe was enjoyed by two motor cyclist and four locals and myself who were knocking on the door at 11am, when they opened.

The next delight was a viewing platform over lake Atnsioen. Not something that would normally grab the attention, however this was an architectural masterpiece.

Not a 100m from the viewing platform was this ancient dwelling:-

As I approach the entrance the occupants came to meet me. A cloud of mosquitos flew at me with the obvious intent of sucking every drop of blood from me, but as their wings are small and my wheels bigger’, they remained hungry.

There had been several further climbs and descents, one notable descent at Gunstadseatra allowed the bike to hit 78.9 km/h. I could have peddle harder and sat on the cross bar with my chin on the Garmin, but the stability of the bike wouldn’t allow me. OK I bottled out! Now on road 47 heading north to Folidal it continued through still beautiful countryside. I stopped at this riverside centre to again admire the views.

It was shortly after this whilst having a quick bite and drink. Evie arrived on her mountain bike to share the sparse shade. Starting her final year’s training as a community nurse, she lives 10 km up the road and confesses to loving the area, who possibly couldn’t. As we chatted she said the area saw the coldest temperatures in Norway last winter, when they dropped to minus 40.

At Fodidal I turned east, then south east, then south to Alvdal, directly away from my destination. I had decided that going through the mountains on dirt tracks to marry up with the No. 3 road near Nytroa wasn’t a good idea. Although it would cut the corner and reduce the distance. Best to do the longer route around and maintain some speed. After all I’d chosen this more eastern route to avoid the zero enjoyment of cycling the E6 up to Oppdal.

Today has been one of my most memorable cycling days. There has been something for each of the senses.

Sight:- so many incredible things to look at, the long views of mountains and upland moors, the rivers, lakes all bathed in near perfect light.

Sounds:- the Sky Larks, Snipe and curious eagle. The water of the broad shallow river running over the peddles.

Smell:- the pine trees and fresh cut hay. So much better than piggy smells or even the fields of strawberries.

Taste:- that morning coffee,(a particularly good one), accompanied with a pancake and tonight’s IPA beer.

Touch:- the viewing platform that invites you run your hands along it’s surface. A piece of art that was created to enable something else of beauty to be admired, is itself a thing of beauty.

And the Sixth Sense? There was little need for it given the diet the others had experienced.

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