18 March 2020

Report by Dmitry Labutin and Vasil Bulatov from team # 108ADV, who travelled for two weeks on Format 5221 and Format 2322 bicycles across Norway. During their trip to Norway, they visited several villages, spent the night in tents and campgrounds, climbed rocks and pedalled through wild forests.


Day 1


... after a sleepless night of collecting and packing a bicycle, redistributing things by bags, we got a margin and paid for another 1 place of the luggage. This is all nonsense, the main thing is to get there, and by the trip end, we will forget this margin. Arrived at Gandermauen Airport in Oslo. And from the landing moment, our adventure began. Already at the passport control, we faced the first problems.


When planning this trip, we expected to submit documents indicating only Oslo in the trip plan. At the control, they asked: "What are you going to do in Oslo for 14 days?" Fortunately, our personnel at the Moscow Visa Application Center advised us to make a travel plan, even in Oslo, for the entire stay period. It was he who saved us.


Bygone - we thought. We waited a long time for our oversized bike boxes to be checked, and we started to worry. After all, we had only one hour left before the train. But unfortunately, our luggage remained in Moscow.


We arrived in Oslo, without bicycles and some of the equipment, it was 10 minutes before the train. We agreed that the luggage would be sent to us on the next flight and quickly went to return the train tickets. There are no options, we began to wait for the next flight from Moscow with our luggage. We received the bicycles in the late afternoon.

It took three hours to assemble the bicycles with all the bikepacking. Tired of the circumstances, we decided to spend the night at the airport and take the train in the morning.

At night, Gardermauen Airport is quiet and peaceful. There are practically no flights, shops and cafes do not work, and people sleep anywhere and anyway: in a cafe on a chair, on carts, on the floor. And we decided to hide under the stairs. They put up the bicycles, inflated the padding and lay down in such a way as to control the situation around. This is the first day and this is just the beginning!




Day 2

The night under the stairs at the airport went well, karemat allowed us to take a normal nap. We had breakfast, packed up and boarded the train with difficulty shoving the bicycles into a special place in the carriage. After 3 hours our cycle track started from a village called Dombas. We pedalled as long as we could to keep up with the schedule.


We arrived at the camp at night and, by the way, it is light here all day and night. The night was cold +2, but, fortunately, without rain. We hadn't filled the catalytic heating pads yet, so we froze and threw all our clothes into the sleeping bag to somehow warm it up.


The morning greeted us with the sun, and we quickly began to pack, as sunny days in the local area are a great success. We had breakfast in the local kitchen equipped with everything possible: kettles, microwave ovens, grills and more. The plan for the day was to drive 130 km to the next camping, but we only drove a little more than half. It is simply impossible to drive without stops here. We spent a lot of time filming and lost our schedule.


The road was perfect in everything: a perfect gradient with steep descents, mountains with snow caps, waterfalls, a river with clear water. We drove and screamed with beauty! Apart from cars and wild animals, we did not meet people at all. The lights are on in the houses, but there is no one inside. Wild animals are a common thing here, moose and deer are constantly encountered, we came across a whole herd with baby deer.


We stopped for a snack at a covered stop near the turn to Trollstiegen and drove further to Andalsnes, deciding to spend the night in a campsite right on the river bank with the steepest mountain views. We gave up because on the route there were 2 ascents with a climb of 1000m, and because of the filming, it was already night. We fell asleep again with the thought that tomorrow we will pass more and will not stop shooting.


Day 3


It was pouring rain all night and it was as cold as possible. It rained endlessly and, according to forecasts, it will not end until evening. We couldn't afford to hide in a tent. Dima discovered that he had set up his tent on an uneven surface and we laughed for a long time when we saw that he was sleeping in a puddle.


In the morning we gathered in the rain, but there were no other options. We must pay tribute to the living conditions at Åndalsnes camping, free WiFi with high-speed Internet, a recreation room with games and TV, a large cafe and a toilet with a shower. By the way, hot showers are paid every minute in almost all campsites. Such a pleasure costs 110 rubles/5 min.


So, we packed all our things and settled in the recreation room to put all the equipment on charge and properly pack our bags. While they were getting ready, the rain only intensified and it was unreasonable to go in such conditions. The tents and some of the things were damp. We decided to rent a caravan (mobile home) so that we could dry out all our things, finally get a good night's sleep, go to the shower and gain strength. We also decided to go up to the observation deck, which we planned to visit on the way back.


We visited a real camper caravan for the first time. This is the coolest and most comfortable way to travel. It has almost everything: 4 full beds, a kitchen (sink, gas stove, refrigerator, cupboards with utensils), a toilet with a shower and a bunch of drawers. Inside it is very light, warm, dry and there is electricity, for which we also paid separately (330 rubles/day).

Having settled down in the caravan and had a good breakfast, we began to plan further actions. According to forecasts, it rained until 08:00 p.m., and then until 2:00 a.m. there was an excellent opportunity to arrange an ascent to the observation deck. Taking everything we needed, we built a route and walked towards the beautiful views.



We returned tired, satisfied and full of emotions that we will remember for the rest of this life. By the way, at first climbing in MTB - cycling shoes seemed like such an undertaking, but in practice, they showed themselves only from the best side. They're oak enough to protect the feet, and the spiked outsole feature was a plus. We also have to give credit to our decision to rent a caravan. We were able to wash absolutely all the necessary things, have time to dry them in the morning, and even found a pack of inexpensive coffee, which we took on the road.



Day 4


This morning was perhaps the most wonderful. Outside the window, the sun was finally shining and the mountains were visible. It seemed that there was no such weather here. We planned to start early, but in the end, we got ready even longer than usual, dried the tents and all the washed things. We had breakfast, packed up and started along the route.

The first item of the day was buying the necessary groceries. In the city centre of Åndalsnes we found an excellent supermarket, bought our items and drove to the next point. We had to take a ferry to Vestnes and walk to Molde. But on the only road leading there, we were stopped by a sign in front of the tunnel "pedestrians and cyclists are prohibited." This was impossible to predict. I had to re-route and take a detour on another ferry from Afarnes to Solsnes. We paid 632 rubles for the passage of 2 people with bicycles.


At night, navigation again offered us a crazy hiking route through the forest. We simply didn’t have the strength to go another 15 km to the camping, we started looking for a place where we could put up tents. There were houses around and it was inappropriate to be located in the private territory. We did not have any other options, and we found a secluded place under a tree in a meadow overgrown with grass and went to bed in the hope that the owner of this site would not notice us (his house was nearby). It was a exhausting day.


The second part of the report