Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 34--On My Own

We left Jon's at 8:00 this morning. Betsy, and all my gear, was in the back of Jon's truck. Christian decided to leave Little Boy Blue at Jon's. He will return next year and do a bike tour with him. Jon put his bike on the bike rack.

We drove to Drammen where we dropped Christian off at the train station. Then Jon and I drove to Kragerø. It was close to a three hour drive. There is a ferry that goes from Kragerø across the fjord. It is part of the Cycle Route 1. These are the signs I'm following now.

I loaded up Betsy, and Jon got his bike ready. We rode to the ferry dock and caught the ferry. It was a short, but nice boat ride. It was interesting to see the houses along the water.

On the other side, we had a bite of lunch before we started riding. Then we headed up the hill, and down, and up, and down, and...well, you get the picture. It was quite hilly, but we had a nice ride to the next little ferry to Risør. When we arrived at the ferry dock, it was another half hour before the ferry would arrive. Jon headed back at this point.
But, first we took a selfie.

At the dock there was a group of bike tourists who we had seen on the Kragerø ferry. They were not carrying luggage. The husband of one of the riders was driving a sag vehicle with their luggage. They were staying in cabins in the campgrounds. They had started in Drammen. This was their 4th day. Most of them were 70 or older. I told them I thought that was great. I plan to still be touring when I'm 70 too!

The ferry was a small wooden boat ferry. It could hold three cars (and quite a few bikes).
It cost 60 Kr. The other ferry was 70 Kr.

It was a pleasant ride to Risør. I talked to Eva, one of the cycling gals. She was a very nice woman. This is what I like about solo touring. People are much more likely to have a conversation with me when I'm alone.

Here's Betsy riding the ferry.

Risør was a bustling little town. Seemed like lots of tourists. I headed up the hill, and out of town. I stopped and checked my Garmin because there was no bike route sign after getting off the ferry. I was headed in the right direction. I made a brief stop at a supermarket to get a few additional things for my dinner. Then I continued on my way.

I wasn't sure how far I would go. I just decided to go until I didn't want to, or I came to a camping place. The route continued to be very hilly. Most of the hills were steep enough that I was using super granny gear to get up them. Of course, there were some equally good downhills. Once I got to the next turn, I saw the bike route signs again (it's always reassuring to see those little brown signs).

I rode around a number of fjords. Here's one with some swans.

On the left, you can see the road. I came from there, and had to climb up a long hill and go through a rather long tunnel.

I was coming down one hill, when I saw the bike route sign to turn. So, of course, I turned. Then I saw another sign that showed a dead end, but a bike path at the end. Except, the bike path part was covered with an X of tape. I wondered if that meant the way was closed. I decided to continue on anyway and see. It was coming into Tvedestrand. The way the town was sort of built into the cliff walls, I couldn't see where a road would go. Oh, there was a road alright. It went up via switchbacks. At the top, I saw some people. I told them I didn't know if it was the way, but I had seen a sign that said it was. 

I had thought maybe I would look for camping in Tvedestrand, but there wasn't anything. That was okay. I still hadn't gone very many miles. But, I looked at the map that has the campsites on it, and there really wasn't any for the next several miles. I kept riding, keeping an eye out for a good spot to wild camp. What I really needed was someplace with water. Fortunately, there are a number of lakes. I came to one lake at about 6:30. I'd ridden 40 miles, so I decided to call it a day. There was a decent spot away from the road and somewhat hidden by the trees. I could get water from the lake. 

I didn't set up my tent right away. Instead, I cooked my dinner.

After I had cooked my dinner, a father and daughter came down the path to go swimming. They didn't seem to mind that I was there. The mom was out on the lake in a row boat, and their dog was swimming along (in light of the dog swimming, I'm glad I boiled the water before cooking my dinner).

After they left, I set up my tent to get away from the bugs. They kind of bite like mosquitos, but they are much smaller, more like No-see-ums. Before I retreated to my tent, I took this photo from my campsite.
Pretty nice free spot, I think!

Total Miles biking: 40.8

I can hear the girl across the road singing to Miley Cyrus songs. Interesting...

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