Sunday, 14 July 2013

Day 16 - 14/07/2013

Day 16 Hook of Holland (NL) to Swindon (UK) 5178 miles since leaving home. 180 miles today. The first beer on the ship tasted so sweet after 2 weeks without booze. Getting woken at 5:30 this morning with 'Dont worry be happy' wasn't so bad this time around as it signified that we were just a few hours from home. Cruised down the road and was home for 10:00. All good. Tips for anyone else attempting this trip: - - Buy time and not gear. 2 weeks was not long enough, 3 would be my minimum if I were to do it again. - Expense, yes these countries are pricey, but camping will cost you 15 ti 25 quid a night at most and they are well equipped. - Bring as much food with you as you can carry. Paying £4 for a loaf of bread is the norm. - If they ever re-instate the ferry directly to Norway then take that - even if it costs £500. The neighbouring countries are all dull in comparison - Norway really is something special and the place you want to spend your time. - Speed limits - they are low and the fines severe, but the reality is there are few speed cameras in Norway and we only saw 3 police cars there during our journey. Enjoy the views and the riding and don't bother with the speedo too much. Other than that - a great trip. The Tenere was a rock. 1 blown lightbulb and a misterious rear deflation were our only mechanical issues. The bike used a negligable amount of oil and fuel. Overall: Mosquito Aggressiveness: 0/10 Ass Pain Rating: 5/10 Hot Dog Tally: 16 333g Burgers: 1 Punctures: 1

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Day 15 - 13/07/2013

Day 15 Kolding (DK) to Hook of Holland (NL) 4998 miles since leaving home. 490 miles today. We got up quickly, trying to make progress towards getting our bike fixed - something which went miraculously well, and was incredibly tense. After leaving the bike last night next to a motorcycle garage, we came back an hour before the shop opened to the bike - with Konrad going on recon to another shop (which seemed more like a Danish Halfords) - where he found the exact inner tube needed for the bike's punctured tube, which after slowly riding to with the bike, we bought. Andy managed to get the bike to the back of the dealer afterward- and despite doing ourselves and getting limited (but invaluable) help in replacing the inner tube, we were able to use the extensive tools in order to quickly fit the new inner tube into the tyre in order to get going as soon as possible; which amazingly only took an hour. This good stroke of luck meant we could get back on the road- and the combination of finding a perfect replacement tube and the perfect facilities to fit it meant that we left Kolding by 11am with all our stuff, making it out of Denmark by 12.30 and speeding along in order to cover 750km in 8 hours in order to comfortably make the ferry. We rarely stopped (only for fuel), and our asses were sore- but it was worth it, as we made it for the ferry on time. Overall: Mosquito Aggressiveness: 0/10 Ass Pain Rating: 9/10 Hot Dog Tally: 16 333g Burgers: 1 Punctures: 1

Day 14 - 12/07/2013

Day 14 Hirtshals (DK) to Kolding (DK) 4503 miles since leaving home. 179 miles today. All started well nice and sunny and we made superb progress down through Denmark until we got the inevitable rear puncture on the motorway. I had the kit to fix it but I guessed the tube was beyond repair so opted to call the breakdown people and wait many hours for assistance. Bummer as the bike was unridable and waiting for assistance meant all the garages were shut so we are forced to spend the night and pray we can get it fixed by 11:00 tomorrow as we still have 750km to the port to do in very little time. Nightmare - will be a miracle if we make the boat tomorrow night...... Overall: Mosquito Aggressiveness: 2/10 Ass Pain Rating: 2/10 Hot Dog Tally: 16 333g Burgers: 1 Punctures: 1

Friday, 12 July 2013

Day 13 - 11/07/2013

Day 13 Svartevatn to Hirtshals (DK) 4324 miles since leaving home. 172 miles today + 1 Ferry. Another great sunny and warm day. We rode over a mountain pass which was lovely - nice to see the clouds beneath us. We got Kjeragsbolten but the rocks I wanted to see involved hiking and climbing which we didn't have time for so we turned around and took the scenic route to Kristiansand where we opted to get an evening ferry over to Denmark rather than camp in Norway again. The ferry was full but they squeezed us on in 'Comfort Class' which has no benefits above 'Basic Class'. That said 'Comfort Plus' came with free food and drink. Good to see the class system is alive and well here. This way we will also camp in Germany tomorrow leaving us a shorter run to Hook of Holland on Saturday. Had a couple of hours to spare and some Norwegian Krona to burn so we treated ourselves to some very large burgers and chips (and Coke) from a Bangladeshi eatery. £35 was a bit much, but that's as cheap as food gets in these parts! We spent the last of our Norwegian money on the boat from Kristiansand to Hirstals, and found ourselves camping up in a seaside campsite - late arrival at 11pm Danish time, as well as having to set up the tent in limited light. In conclusion, today wasn't anything too special and though it is sad to leave Norway, we can now make easier progress back home. Overall: Mosquito/Midge Aggressiveness: 2/10 Ass Pain Rating: 3/10 Hot Dog Tally: 16 333g Burgers: 1

Day 12 - 10/07/2013

Day 12 Near Odda to Svartevatn 4151 miles since leaving home. 240 miles today + 2 Ferries. Our day started great; lovely sunshine drying us and the tent out and the stunning view of a lovely fjord in front of us. We hit the road but stopped after a few miles to check out a spectacular waterfall. The views and the roads were again phenominal. Unfortunately my Go-Pro SD card failed but I only lost all of today's footage - hopefully the rest is intact. Similarly we went for 2 ferries that didn't exist so we had to do an awful lot of back-tracking and additional road mileage, but no bother as the scenery was very beautiful and well worth seeing. Still, think we're done with inland ferries now - next boat will be from Kristiansand over to Hirtshals in Denmark. Nothing booked but hope to cross Friday lunchtime. Today's mountain passes and 10's of magnificent tunnels were great for cooling us down as it was a very hot day. We didn't make it to Kjaragsbolten today but we'll check that out tomorrow. Similarly I was looking for some amazing cliffs I saw on the Internet but I was probably going too fast and missed them. Camped-up in an off the beaten track yet busy campsite - nothing special here. Tomorrow will take us back into the big city and away from all of this beauty. We will both miss Norway - probably the most beautiful country either of us have ever seen, something special around every corner. Overall: Mosquito/Midge Aggressiveness: 6/10 Ass Pain Rating: 5/10 Hot Dog Tally: 16

Day 11 - 09/07/2013

Day 11 Valldal to near Odda. 3909 miles since leaving home. 281 miles today + 3 Ferries. Our day started a little badly today; with heavy rain soaking us and the tent (as we packed) and us getting up late resulting in us not being able to thoroughly enjoy Geiranger fjord in places. Nevertheless, the views were still phenominal and the suprise of seeing two large cruise ships within the fjord making it an even more remarkable sight, considering we were well inland and away from the coast. After leaving the fjord, the usual tunnels (the longest today being 8km) and high mountain passes making us freeze- coupled with heavy rain and fog being very unpleasant at times. We went on undetered, and after crossing Sognafjord (the largest in Norway) the weather slowly improved, with intermittant rain/sunshine. We also rode with some Danish bloke all the way to Voss from the boat - Andy says he had a decent pace, most people on the roads here dawdle about. Following our last ferry of the day, and noticing darkness for the first time since Sweden, we found a fjordside campsite, and camped up. In conclusion, despite getting wet and cold throughout, we still managed to enjoy a spectacular part of Norway - truly stunning. Overall: Mosquito Aggressiveness: 2/10 Ass Pain Rating: 6/10 (due to severe cold+wet) Hot Dog Tally: 16