I left Sandnes Camping around 8:00 this morning. I didn't see Stewart to say goodbye. Would have liked to. I was almost in Mandal. I got there, and went to a grocery store because I had no more lunch food, or snack food. I just got three rolls to make peanut butter and jam for lunch (Alex's homemade strawberry jam--YUM). I also got 4 Double Snicker Bars. They have two good size pieces in each bar.
When I left the store, I didn't see any route signs (of course). I just headed toward the water. I didn't see any signs until I got to Vigeland. I rode on E39 for awhile. There was a lot of traffic, but it was nothing I haven't done before. It was also more of a straight shot to Vigeland. Like I said, I finally saw the route signs there. I followed them, and I started up a steep hill. About 1/2 way up, a lady who was walking said, in Norwegian, that I was going the wrong way. That I needed to go back and take a right. I'm pretty sure she was wrong, because doing that put me back on E39. The route never goes on E39. But, I couldn't see going back and going up the hill a second time. I kept going. I think the signs were somehow not correct in Vigeland. I don't know...
Anyway, I stayed on E39 to the next town where I got off and on the road to Lyngdal. After I went through Lyngdal, I started seeing the signs again. I followed them to Farsund. This is Farsund.
I stopped at a gas station to get water. I also got two Cokes (it was one for 17kr, or two for 30kr). I drank part of one, and stowed them in my panniers.
From Farsund, I did something I haven't done so far on the route. I blatantly disregarded my friend the brown sign! The route went around the Coast. There was another way that was shorter on my map. I went the shorter way. Well, it may have been shorter in distance, but it was quite the climb. Oh, it was okay to start with, but then there was a tunnel. I discovered earlier in the day that when there is a tunnel, there is a road that bypasses the tunnel, for bikes. I think it's just the old road from before the tunnel. It worked out nicely earlier. In fact, one of the roads afforded me a nice lunch spot.
Complete with picnic table!
Anyway, I took the bike route road. Apparently, the tunnel went through a rather large mountain, because I started climbing...and climbing...and climbing. At a lookout spot, I took this photo, then finished one of the Cokes.
I had been down there.
I continued climbing. Finally, it topped out for a bit at a string of lakes. I think the drinking water for the towns below comes from these lakes because there were signs that indicated no swimming allowed.
Finally, I came down, down, down. It was great! I came out to where Route 1 was. I even had a tailwind for awhile! I was flying along, happy, happy. Then, another mountain. Back to 3mph in Super Granny gear (SGG).
There was another awesome descent on the other side. The road came to E39. There was a route sign to turn left...and go up another massive hill. Arrrggg! At the bottom, I met another cyclist from The Netherlands. He was going the same direction. He gave me the low-down--yes, that was the route to Flekkefjord. We started off semi-together, but he was pulling a trailer, and had to walk up the hill. I plodded along in SGG. At one of the tops, I ate the first half of Double Snicker 2. Oh, but that was just the beginning of the climbing. Awhile later, I thought I was at the top. There would be short little downhills, but then the road would go up again. Here's a photo of the view.
Finally, the full-on descent started. It went all the way down to the valley below, then headed back out toward the water (a big U-Turn of sorts).
I was riding along, not even caring that there was a headwind, because the route was flat. Then...I started climbing again. See the mountains on the other side of the valley in the photo above? Yep, got to go all the way back up those! At one point, I stopped and ate the second half of the Snicker.
Finally, another blistering descent (at least I was resting on the way down). I came out at the bottom and rode underneath E39 way above. I could see the road had come through another tunnel (that explains the over-the-mountain route).
I came into Feda. Netherlands guy and I had talked about campgrounds. I said I was aiming for the one by Feda. Seeing no camping signs, I asked a guy sunning himself. He said the campground was on the other side of...you guessed it...another mountainous climb! Halfway up that one, I took a long swig from the second Coke.
That's Feda down below, about 2/3 of the way up. There was a sign saying camping in 1km. Best sign of the day!
So, I made it! And so did Netherlands guy! Tomorrow is supposed to be another hilly one. If the hill I have to climb to get out of here in the morning is any indication, I think it will be another Double Double Snicker Bar Day! YIKES!