3 April 2020

The report part 1continuation of the trip to Norway by Dmitry Labutin and Vasil Bulatov from the team #108ADV, who travelled for two weeks on bicycles Format 5221 and Format 2322 in Norway.

Day 5


In the morning the sun was shining again and the birds were singing. But there was no time to relax. We had breakfast, packed up and hit the road. The goal for today was to get to the Atlantic Road, drive it to the end and spend the night at camping by the sea.


On this day, we finally drove normally and had lunch on time. In the middle of the way, Dima pierced a wheel for the first time, and I must say that it was one of the most beautiful stops on the seashore.


Adequate drinking water consumption on such a trip is one of the most basic rules. We were told that there are springs, streams and water in general at every step. As it turned out, this does not exist. Yes, the water can be drunk from the tap, and it is delicious, but the opportunity to draw it was only in rare toilets and campgrounds. On that day, we ran out of the water and had to drive home to the neighbourhood to replenish our supplies. On the way, we came across a grandpa at the house who was busy with the garden, and we asked to fill our flasks. A woman came out and took all the bottles from us to pour water. It turned out to be a very welcoming Polish family. We thanked from the bottom of our hearts and drove on.


In the town of Eide, we came across a grocery store, and we bought food (bread, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, cookies, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds). The basket came out at 950 rubles. While we were sitting at the store, a nice woman came up to us and we talked about the local cold weather. She said that nothing has changed here over the past 70 years: rain, wind and cold. Then she left for a while, came back, and, with the words Russia is good, handed us a package of delicious strawberries. Overwhelmed with emotions and having eaten delicious strawberries, we moved to the Atlantic road. This is one of the most important goals of our trip, and we are about to be on it!

We could not realize that we had reached the Atlantic Road on our own. The excellent Format bikes helped us with this. The smell of the sea, indescribable beauty landscapes, the bridge stretching into the sky ... And all this is before us!

Having passed the Atlantic Road to the end with a thrill (the length of the road itself is 8 km), we settled in the classy Atlanterhavsveien Sjøstuer camping on the seashore. An artificial semi-island has been built here especially for tents, and we settled on it. Camping cost 1500 rubles. for placing one tent. Includes free WiFi, free hot showers and a barbecue gazebo next to the waterfall. We settled in, took a shower, finally had a delicious dinner and went to bed. There are a lot of plans for tomorrow, a lot of filming and the road back.

Day 6


The night was relatively warm even though we were on the seashore. In the morning we tried to quickly pack up and move on to the Atlantic Road filming. The sky was overcast, but by the time of filming, the sun came out. In a couple of hours, we shot very beautiful shots!

Before leaving, I wanted to once again look at all this beauty, once again realize how far we have got and what adventures we have drawn ourselves into. Saying goodbye to the sea, we went back, we had to catch the ferry, and it is 120 km to it.


We planned to go to the grocery store again, but it was Sunday and, as it turned out, there are few shops in Norway, they work until the evening, and on Sundays, they do not work at all. Well, we resigned ourselves and moved on. Having slightly changed the route, excluding all heavy touring roads (even with the climbs there were 1167 meters), we managed to catch the ferry just about to sail.


On the way, we admired the scenery again. Passing the town of Molde, we saw an airstrip on the river bank with an excellent view of the mountains and once again said aloud: People live. The route next part was fast enough and we were really tired. It was fun and very fast in places. After crossing to the other side, we planned to have dinner and, fortunately, there was a building with a public toilet and a waiting room near the ferry crossing. There we settled down, as it was already night and cold outside.


We still had 35 km to go to the town of Åndalsnes, but we were already exhausted. There was a camping 2 km from the crossing, and we settled there. By the way, there are also places for tents on the ledge, as in the camping on the Atlantic Road. We set up the camp instantly. Tomorrow we will have another goal of our trip - a visit to Trollstiegen.


Day 7


We woke up from the noise of fishing boats going into the sea. Fishing is one of the Norwegians' favourite activities and most campsites located near water bodies are equipped with everything necessary for fishing. You can catch a fish for yourself, clean it right there in the kitchen and fry it on the grill. We are vegetarians, but we appreciated the level of organization.


We had breakfast, got together and set off. Today our route to one of the most famous mountain roads and viewing platforms in Norway "Trollstigen". It is located near the town of Åndalsnes, which we already love. We got there pretty quickly, seldom tired. By the seventh day of daily stress, the body had already adapted, and we gained experience. We are now better at balancing fluid and calorie intake.


Our diet consisted of 3 meals a day (muesli, porridge, mashed potatoes, and, if possible, add dessert in form of vegetables and fruits), and on the way, we consume water, isotonic, energy gels and protein bars. Also in the morning, we throw in vitamins and chondroprotectors.


We flew to the city of Åndalsnes quickly, visited an unusual train carriage with an altar on the shore in the city centre. In it, you can comfortably relax in armchairs. Also, there is located the most beautiful, in terms of architecture, climbing centre Norsk Tindesente, where you can watch a film about the history of mountaineering in the Norwegian mountains and crawl along the highest climbing wall in the country. There was also a skate ramp on the shore with the steepest views of the bay and mountains.


We rode around the city centre for a bit, replenished the necessary food supply and went to the campsite at the foot of Trollstigen in the hope that we will still have time to take photos.


Arriving at the campsite, we decided to postpone the shooting until tomorrow, as the forecast promises to be extremely sunny and hot. The tents were set up next to the equipped picnic area and they just enjoyed themselves and gluttoned the whole evening. Deserved!

We must give credit to this campsite. It has a fairly large area, enough toilets and showers, cosy houses for rent and cool troll-themed souvenir shops, and of course free Wi-Fi.

It is simply impossible to see enough of the surrounding beauty and breathe in the purest air. You raise your eyes to the mountain landscapes and you cannot see enough to remember these moments for life. We had no idea that on a bicycle you can find yourself in such beauty. But we are here, we see it all with our own eyes and try to absorb it all to the maximum.


Day 8


The morning was as pleasant as possible. The sun was shining, the clouds scattered over the mountains, they had breakfast like kings and were already thinking about going. But apparently, we relaxed so much after yesterday's dinner and delicious breakfast that we sat there until lunchtime. Perhaps we deserve a little rest before today's climb to Trollstigen. We were waiting for a 10-kilometre ascent along the serpentine to a height of 680 m.


By lunchtime, the weather improved, we even managed to sunbathe. We changed our clothes to the lightest and moved towards the goal. However, they did not think of leaving their backpacks at the reception to make it easier to climb. Since there is an immediate ascent from the campsite to the foot of the mountain, we did not warm up properly and it was much harder than usual to pedalling. It is worth noting that without quality equipment and a properly tuned bike, such climbs can turn not just into a gruelling pedalling, but hell! But we were fine with that, we were just testing our stamina and losing our breakfast calories. We drank a lot of water, practically every turn. The road is rather narrow and the stream of cars here passes each other on special ledges, otherwise, they will not squeeze through. It's amazing how the buses pass through the serpentine!

Cyclists are protected here, drivers wait for the oncoming traffic and overtake slowly a few meters from the bike, so as not to frighten and not cause inconvenience. Russia, perhaps sometime in the distant future, will reach such mutual respect on the roads. So we made turn by turn. Of course, we couldn't help but stop. Firstly, the landscape became steeper with every turn, and secondly, driving fully loaded, and even with backpacks, is still a pleasure. By the middle of the ascent, we had already warmed up properly, the body adapted and it became easier to ride.


The waterfall is pretty cool even on such a sunny day, and that made it especially good. Closer to the finish line, looking down we just couldn't believe that we had climbed so high! But the finish line was visible, this is a victory, this is a new achievement and a new storm of emotions. There was snow over there, and yesterday clouds were still floating on this level.


A tourist centre with viewing platforms, a cafe, a souvenir shop and toilets has been built for guests. The high-tech architecture looks especially beautiful in such landscapes. Sheep grazed on the roof of the building, to the delight of tourists.The toilet is made in the same style, and in front of the urinals there is a panoramic window overlooking the mountains, it was the most beautiful trip to the toilet. One of the sheep went up to the glass and began to bleat, looking at the peeing gentlemen.

Trollstigen was conquered, it remains only to photograph everything. We stayed here until late at night. Fortunately, the technology did not disappoint, but as usual, there are not many batteries for a drone, and, unfortunately, there were no outlets here. By the way, the drone cannot be charged from power banks, but only from the network, and this is sometimes very annoying.


While taking the photo, we met our French colleagues. This was also their first climb to Trollstigen and another victory. Three of them arrived quite cheerful, the fourth was spinning with his last strength, and the fifth was already walking. The French, though they were carrying bags, were light compared to our trucks. They rent houses in campsites and, perhaps, this travel option is the most comfortable.


So, it's time to get downstairs, check the brakes of our bikes. We have to give the Format bikes a tribute to the quality of the ride, not a single breakdown other than a punctured wheel. It was the most epic and downhill slope ever! We flew with such a thrill all the turns, which we had difficulty entering a few hours ago. We flew over 60 km/h and did not even notice how we ended up at our camp. You should visit Trollstigen because it is one of the most picturesque places in Norway. Hikers can also climb there: real hiking trails have been laid here for them. But the climb to the observation deck in Åndalsnes was enough for us.


The campsite, where we still had breakfast in the morning, is so convenient that we decided not to waste our gas reserves, but settled in the kitchen to recharge the batteries and have dinner. A group of Czech students sat next door, having fun and telling their peculiar jokes. We sat down, relaxed and decided to spend the night again in this campsite. Tomorrow we will head to the train station to get to Oslo.


Go to the final part of the report.