After the wonderful day yesterday, it is with excitement I start a new day. I’m not in the habit of taking the shortest route home, and that wasn’t the case today either. There are too many turns to be ridden. This is day three of my West Country Tour 2020.
It was a quiet night, and I woke up to morning dew on the grass and a sun working its way up over the hill in the east to eventually make its way down to my tent. A lovely start to the day. I take up the “kitchen” and cook a generous portion of oatmeal porridge, which I decorate with cinnamon and sugar. A simple and good breakfast. I make the food on a trip like this as simple as possible. It involves porridge for breakfast, it only requires a cooker, a pot, a spoon and a plate as well as the ingredients, which I can easily fit in the pot. I take lunch along the road, there is usually a bakery, or like yesterday when I had a delicious lunch from Joker in Erfjord. Dinner will either be at a fast food restaurant or a cafe along the road, and in the evening – leftovers from lunch.
I want to become better at finishing the ride of the day a little earlier so there is a bit of evening and daylight left after the tent is set up. But I must admit that I still have some learning to do. I have always ridden either far or too long – a bit depending on how fast the roads are and how many photo stops there are along the way.
Yesterday’s stage was not among the longest but taking the stops into account it is just over 400 kilometress more than I had expected. The trip up to Blåsjø and then the detour to Litunet took time. Today I can ride straight home. But I haven’t ridden over Aurlandsfjellet this year, and a look at the map reveals that that trip is within reach – after all, it’s only Saturday and the weather is still fabulously great.
I take my time packing and let the sun dry the the tent, while I do the rest of the packing. I’m not in a hurry and enjoy the trip inland to Hardangerbrua along a mirrorlike fjord. The roundabout inside the tunnel is illuminated and so fascinating that I almost take the wrong way out. The Hardanger Bridge is impressive – for a moment I consider whether I should take the trip beyond Ulvik. It’s very tempting, but I have quite a long stage ahead of me, so no – not today! I refuel north of Voss and the first photo stop is at Lønavatnet. I can’t remember that I’ve passed here without the the water being flat like a mirror, next photo stop Voss Actives Climbing Park – just to look at the waterfall, then it’s Tvinnefossenwaterfalls that steals my attention and at Oppheimsvatnet flat water takes on new meaning.
At Vinje it is time to say goodbye to road 113 and I take the E16 to Aurland. No detour via Stalheimskleiva this time. The first time I rode it on a Suzuki GS 400 with a passenger and holiday luggage, it still had a gravel road. The only challenge then was to get going again after stopping to take pictures in the middle of the steep hill. Today it is paved, but still impressively steep.
In Aurland I stop for a quick snack before setting off on the road over the mountain. There is significantly more traffic here than I have had earlier today. On the climb up from Aurland, it is challenging to meet cars even with a motorbike if you are unlucky with the timing. I get a couple of involuntary stops, but here it’s just a matter of taking my time – I’m not in a hurry. Without the side panniers, the RS is quite slim. There are some bikers struggling more than me, adventure bikes with large aluminum panniers are wide!
The car park at Stegastein outlook is full and I don’t feel the need to top here today, so I continue up to the mountain and don’t stop until I get to Vetle Andisvatnet. I go behind a small rabble and lie down in the warm heather. My body shapes the surface into a perfect bed. The small elevation towards the road shields me from the noise of the traffic and I enjoy the sound of the stream nearby.
It’s nice to be able to include a trip over Aurlandsfjellet every summer, but one day I’ll have to take the tunnel too. The trip over the mountain is just too tempting. I have visited the Stegastein and Flotane rest areas before and the next time I go over here, the Vedahaugane on the north side will be there for a walk. When I come from the south, it always comes on a bit suddenly, and if you’re the in the flow zone, it’s easy to just ride on. I like the last part of the road along the Erdalselvi down to the Lærdalsfjord very much. Down by the fjord, I take a short break and enjoy the splashing of the water against the shore before I start the journey home – for real.
At Borlaug, I choose Hemsedalsfjellet – which also shows itself at its best. From Gol it’s a straight road home, well next, at Ørgenvika I can’t help myself and drive the old road around Noresund, on to Vikersund and road 284 to Sylling, on 285 to Skaret and from there it’s straight home.
What a ride! Sometimes reality exceeds all expectations. These three days have only been fulfilled to the full extent – I will live for a long time on the impressions from this trip.