Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 30--Norwegian Hill Repeats, and Breaking the Law!

Finally, the Norwegian border! Actually, where we camped was only about 1 or 2 kilometers from the border. We almost didn't stop as we went by the sign. I said to Christian, "Was that the border?" We went back for the photo-op.

So we entered our 4th country. We always look to see what is different. Besides the fact that Norway is not part of the European Union (but that's not visible), the only immediate differences was the name of the road (165 in Sweden became 22 in Norway), and the fact that the center line was now yellow instead of white, and the shoulder line was a solid white line instead of dashed. Other than that, Norway looked a lot like Sweden.

We rode to Haldon where we were able to change money to Swedish Kroner. My Credit Union would not let me get cash, but I just exchanged US Dollars for Kroner. Then we went to a bakery for mid-morning snack. I had some very bready pastries. They were good.

When we were ready to leave, I looked up and could see this fortress. I think it was called Fastling Fortress (I'd seen a sign).
Then I asked Christian if we were staying on 22. He said yes. So we continued out of Haldon. We had to go up a really steep hill--a super-granny hill. At one point, Christian says something about going to the Tourist Info Center to ask about the North Sea Bikeway. I said, "Don't we just stay on 22?" He said, "Ja ja." So we continued. 

After about 10 miles, we stopped for a break. Christian looks at his map. Turns out we were NOT supposed to stay on 22. In fact, we were supposed to go another way at Haldon. So, now we are headed north, but not anywhere near the North Sea Bike Route. When I said I thought we were supposed to stay on 22, Christian said, "Ja, until Haldon." I don't understand...Anyway, we made a plan to work our way more west, but still going north. It's just another way to get to Oslo--I think it might even be shorter.

The road went through lots of Norwegian countryside, mostly farms and fields.

We stopped in a small town called Degernes (or something like that) for eating lunch and gettin dinner groceries. At first I went in to the grocery to get something to drink. The cashier asked me in Norwegian if I had a member card. When I asked her if she spoke English, she said yes and asked me in English about the card. We laughed, because obviously, I didn't have a member card. I said maybe when I come again. Then, after Christian returned from getting his gas station lunch, and I finished my lunch (there was a picnic table outside of the grocery), we decided to go ahead and get our dinner stuff. When we went back into the store, the lady and I had another laugh. I told her maybe I should get that card! She was also kind enough to translate the cooking directions for the soup we got. Mostly, I wanted to make sure it was prepared with water, not milk.

From there we continued to the next town where we looked at the Garmin for any camping possibilities. Nope, there were none in the reasonable direction we were headed. So, we decided to ride to Askim, via a shorter road, get water there, and look for a place to free-camp. 

The road may have been shorter, but it was super hilly. Steep ups, and steep downs. As always, the downs didn't last nearly long enough! It was like doing hill repeats, only without enough recovery in between. 

In Askim, we got water. Then we continued riding keeping an eye out for a suitable camping spot. We came to the river. There was a great picnic place with tables and even toilets! Perfect...except there is a sign saying "Camping Vorboten". And, if there is any doubt as to what that means, it says, "Camping Forbidden" in English also. Well, we have ridden 62 miles. We don't want to go further. We figure we can somewhat hide our tents at the end of the shrubbery, and hopefully not be visible from the road. Here's a photo.
I'm going to put my tent at the end of the shrubs on the left, and Christian will put his on the right. We'll tuck the bikes out of sight, and hope for the best. You would think, hey, just wait until dark. Problem is, it's not going to get dark for a long time, and it will get light at about 4:30 in the morning. It is the day before the longest day of the year.

One final shot...saw a lot of these signs today, but no actual moose.

Total miles for today: 62.9

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