The lofty mountains of the Lofoten are behind me and the road continues through a more agricultural landscape. The rugged vistas and dramatic glacial valleys have been replaced by bumpy forested hills stretching like a line of molehills with dairy farms and vibrant shimmering green fields of barley. Even in the most wild of places the Norwegians seem to have immaculate well kept gardens and a healthy love of a lawnmower. Perhaps it is down to a human desire to place a sense of order when everything surrounding is wild and untamed. Houses are painted largely in a traditional red ochre and perch precariously above the road.
It has been nice to have some company on the road. It can be a lonely place when there is just a never ending stretch of grey snaking through the landscape. The roller coaster can be mental and physical – and the highs and lows equally as exhilarating or exhausting. When the going gets tough music is my saviour. Headphones in and the legs power away to the beat. So I will be forever grateful for new Spotify playlists to keep me going! (Philcox2). From time to time there will be a point where nothing hurts, the legs just turn, the breath even and unfaltering, the mind wandering from the aesthetic to the existential to the practical and before I know it another 10kms have been clocked.
I have left my German friends behind. They have been true gentlemen of the road – helping me with bike problems, chaperoning me through some terrifying tunnels and sharing the joys and challenges of the road. After this rest day in Trondheim I head inland. For some reason I am apprehensive of this next stage. Maybe because there are many routes and my GPS packed up a week ago. For anyone that knows me well, navigation has never been my strongpoint (or left and right for that matter). But perhaps such a lack of reliance on technology will be good for me..Or at the very least an enforced reason to let go and see where the road takes me.