I entered Norway in the province Nord-Trøndelag.
Sweden’s road 340 becomes road nbr 765 here.
Near Ostnes, I pushed my 3000th km of this trip away.
In my quest to avoid highway 6 as much as possible, I continued north via small roads, cycling along Tunnsjoen lake which has a huge island in it, a rock 812 meter high.
I was traveling through a winter wonderland now, full of snow and ice.
Instead of taking the tunnel after Gjersvika, I took the old road over the mountains, Steinfjellvei. This old road is blocked for car traffic, so you are really mounting into heaven, car-free.
Oh, what are people taking those tunnels missing….
In Namsskogan, a little town along the E6, I joined the highway for about 40 km, before entering the Fiplingvatnet valley, following the Villmarksveien.
By this time, I had entered my second Norwegian province on this trip, ‘Nordland’ and officially entered North-Norway..
Between Trofors and Mosjoen, the E6 can be avoided by cycling dirt roads on the other side of the river. Steep climbs and descents between 10 & 12% await you.
After Mosjoen, I headed via road 78 (largely car free, as it is closed to motorized traffic, who are forced to take the new toll-tunnel) towards Norway’s most famous road, coastal road nbr 17.
Road 17 means incredible views towards the sea, cycling around fjords which makes progress slow but beautiful, it means tunnels, ferry-crossings and camper vans.
After the ferry dropped me in Nesna, I had to climb pretty high up a hill, but was rewarded with stunning views into the Sjona Fjord.
On the 5th of June, 51 days and exactly 3.368 km after I left from home, I crossed the Polar Circle.
But not on my bike. It lay there, right in front of me…… in the water. So I passed it on the ferry.
I met a nice German couple who were cycling from the North Cape to Gibraltar. They gave me the tip to visit Svartisen Glacier. I did this together with Ole, a young German cyclist who’s cycling around Scandinavia.
A tiny ferry dropped us near the glacier. We hiked up to the glaciers mouth in the evening. As with every glacier, you cannot help but notice how far and how fast they are retreating.
Late in the evening (it’s already 24/24 light up here) we reached the mouth of the glacier, which is 3 or 4 men high. The bright blue and white colors are very spectacular and must be even better when the sun is shining.
We planned to camp 2 nights below the glacier, and climb up higher the next day.
This turned out to be a day of non-stop rain, hail, ice rain and fresh snow a few hundred meters above us. It became a rest/reading day during which I re-read George Orwell’s ‘Burmese Days’.
After the rest day, I cycled again a day against hard head winds. Cycling around fjords, you cycle in every direction during the day, but still the wind manages to blow BANG in your face, whichever direction you turn your handle bars. Remarkable.
It looked like an autumn storm, how the leaves were torn from the trees and were blown around ones head.
After Ornes, the road to Bodo becomes too busy. Cars, mobil homes, trucks; the constant roar of traffic in your ears and all your attention goes to staying on ‘your’ few centimeters at the edge of the road, instead of enjoying the scenery.
The first day after Ornes, the weather was truly horrible. Cold, rain, hail. And head wind of course. There ’s one more tunnel, but the old road can still be taken by bicycle. It’s a bit steep and extra 200 meters of climbing, but the view at the other side of the top is worthwhile.
I was lucky to find a really nice wild camping spot a bit before Saltstraumen, where you’ll find the strongest tidal current in the world.
The last day into Bodo, the weather was warm and sunny. People were out in town, terraces and restaurants were packed. I headed to the harbor to catch my ferry to the Lofoten islands.