The Perfect Pitch

Norway’s “Allemansratten” or the right to roam has been one of the many joys of being in this country. It has allowed me to camp freely in forests, by the sea, by rushing rivers and by lakes. And when a piece of grass in a campsite can cost up to £25 it feels even sweeter. But there is an art to finding the perfect place. It has to be off the beaten track, on flat ground, preferably near water, sheltered from wind, and easy access for a bicycle. About an hour before I feel like stopping I have a quick look at the map to see where I think might be a good place and then the scouting begins. It is a mixture of guesswork, estimation, sometimes a recommendation from a local if there happens to be someone I can ask and of course.. luck. When I find it, I put up my tent and call that little piece of grass my home for the night. My dad (a farmer) always maintained that he was just a guardian of the land and welcomed people to enjoy it as much as he did. How wonderful that an entire country has the same attitude. 

From Trondheim I headed inland, away from the tourist cavalcade by the coast with the armchair cruising mobile homes, the roaring motor bikes and the speeding lorries. These smaller roads have sometimes ended up being little more than a gravel forest track but on the whole I have enjoyed the road less travelled. It has also flattened out… that is “Norwegian flat” which can still proffer some challenging hills. 

Both on and off the road I have met some wonderful people – Thorlief in Roros who gave me the keys to his cottage in the heart of the row of old copper miners houses street so I stayed in the best seat in the Unesco World Heritage House. Then Roar, the 80 year old cyclist who wore jeans and a hoodie and wellies and was cycling and wild camping round Southern Norway and bought me lunch 2 days in a row. And then Roar and Ellen Marie who gave me a home from home with a bed, shower, home cooked food, a guided tour and sandwiches to see me on my way. So even on the days when I wake up and it’s raining and I’m tired and I don’t feel like getting back in my bike, I remind myself that round the next bend or over the next brow of a hill there are always unexpected surprises. 

A perfect place to write my blog

Roar and Ellen Marie – my new Norwegian friends

Roar the octagenarian cyclist

A room with a view

My swimming pool at the end of the day


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9 thoughts on “The Perfect Pitch

  1. So glorious Phil, loving the regular updates, and the scenery is out of this world! You must be fit as a fiddle by now. You’really basically just awesome. X x Alix

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  2. Wonderful to see your beaming cheerful face with your Norwegian friends, and such lovely photographs of the landscape. All well here in Wales X Jmrra

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  3. phil! what fun mate! so wish I was cycling alongside you. such beautiful photo too! thinking of you on both the sunny and rainy days x

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  4. Aah, the ‘art’ of finding good wild camping spots. It’s something you become very good in after a while.
    If you happen to cycle through Denmark, they have something like ‘camping i det fri’. Many times it’s in the forest, where you’ll have a picnick bench and simple toilet and it’s for free, or sometimes it is a simple privat owned campground for hikers and bikers. Not the parking lots like most camping grounds look nowedays.
    Maybe this can help ‘http://www.friluftsraadet.dk/indhold/overnatning-i-det-fri/english.aspx’, or google ‘camping i det fri’.
    Good luck !
    Koen.

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  5. just got your postcard Phil – thank you! Any chance we can get a shot of the stove in action? how is the scandanavian cuisine & cooking coming on? You rock x

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  6. Have just bought your Uncle Bernard his first set of two tone purple lycra biking gear, a yellow helmet, two times one litre wine bottle holder with straw. He is currently waxing his legs (he never had a hairy chest) but as you are interested in 80 year olds he will reach that milestone in December this year – Peter Pan or what?! Keep pedaling because he can’t! But at least he doesn’t need a Shewee! Loves you, Monica

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