The Tarmac snake

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  The rugged vistas and dramatic glacial valleys have been replaced by bumpy forested hills stretching like a line of molehills with dairy farms and vibrant shimmering green fields of barley.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. 

a rewarding view after a 350m climb

with lother the 75 yr old legend

outside Trondheim cathedral being a true pilgrim

attempting the bike elevator in Trondheim. i got 2 metres up and fell off


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3 thoughts on “The Tarmac snake

  1. I love your thoughts and your wonderful descriptions, not to mention the photos – it just makes me want to pedal alongside. I’m excited at the thought that you are now GPS-free – who knows what might happen! If your sense of direction is anything like your sister’s – I’m not sure it’s that bad! – you’ll have some fascinating detours! Much love. Michael Xx

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  2. Darling Phil, it all sounds utterly glorious, not least because you describe it so beautifully! Keep going chica, and send plenty more updates so we can join you in spirit. Love and hugs, Alikiliki xxx

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