23rd of July, 2013.
As you know by now when you’re cycling here (you’ve seen it when you were arriving to Geiranger), leaving Geiranger means either a boat or a hard climb. I’d definitively recommend the climb, obviously. The views are stunning. You really don’t want to leave that valley/fjord. But everything must finish at some point…
Once you reach the top, the downhill is not very steep neither, which means you’ve got some nice kilometers ahead of you. There’s a tunnel, by the way, which can be cycled through or take the side unpaved road to border it. It’s quite short anyway.
At the end of those 20-something kilometers, my first boat of the trip! To be honest, I felt like a boat then. Grabbed some food in one of the supermarkets there (even though the strawberries they were selling at the entry of the boat were really tempting!!), and into the boat I went.
Selling strawberries is quite common in this area. The valley from here to Trollstigen is full of young kids selling them by their houses.
No, I didn’t go to Trollstigen. Again, I didn’t have that much time. I know, nice ride and all, but gotta leave something for next time!!
Instead, I turned left (west) after the boat. The road is full of some not-very-nice tunnels. It’s not forbidden to cycle there, but I wouldn’t do it without lights!!!! Honest, BRING SOME LIGHTS FOR THESE TUNNELS, YOU’LL FEEL SAFER! The tunnels are not very well lite, but you can see ok; the fear is cars might not see you (not in time, at least).
Another boat took me to Stranda (and I didn’t pay, by the way; I didn’t realize until I was gone). It felt like quite a boring town. Actually, those 20 or 30 kilometers after Stranda were the most boring ones of the trip. Maybe in another country they’d’ve been great kilometers, but here they felt pretty average.
And then the tunnels began again.
These tunnels didn’t feels safe at all, but they were much worse than previous ones. Really long. Glad I was going downhill. In the other direction they must feel like hell. You can avoid the second one, since there’s a side road that takes you to Hellesylt. DO THAT. HONEST. YOU WON’T REGRET IT.
In Hellesylt I said goodbye to the fjords (for a while; it felt sad to leave that area anyway, it’s really nice here!!) and kept on cycling. This part of the road, even if it’s a little bit more steep and the road is narrower, was much more nicer! At least, that’s my impression!! Once you reach the “top” (there’s really no pass there, but at some point you stop going upwards and start going downhill), it gets even nicer. Deffinitively recommended place. There’re millions of spots where I felt like camping also, and some campsites too.
Finally I stopped in Hornindal. It felt like a very nice town. And swimming in the lake (not fjord) felt great after a long and hot day! And, also, the very nice people I found in the campsite.