Day 22: Alta to Russeness

Distance: 114km

Elevation: 1.200m

After I had a slept a good 10 hours, I felt a little stronger again. Outside it was raining and the sky was covered with huge clouds. Also the temperature had dropped.

It is one thing to get wet in the evening after a hot summer day. It is something else to start cycling in wind and rain. So, there was a lot of noise in my inner team and there were some motivation issues to be addressed.

After an hour, the rain stopped and the sky cleared up. The task for today was to get from the west to the east coast which meant climbing up some hills and decent on the other side.

Because of the clouds the views were super dramatic today. Much different – and probably more typical for here – than on the days with blue skies before.

After I had cycled through 80km of mountains with virtually no infrastructure, I came to a gas station with a shop. This is how it must feel to find an oasis in the desert. I had a yummy meal and then took on the rest of the distance.

After a short climb the route descended through a river valley towards the east coast. It had started to rain again and the wind had developed into a bit of a tailwind storm for me. So I went downhill with up to 70km/h and arrived frozen stiff at the camping site.

Because of the rain, I had decided to get myself a cabin today but all were rented out to the workers who are building a brand new tunnel tube to the North Cape.

So I set up my tent in wind and rain which was not quite as simple as the days before.

In the large kitchen I finally met other cyclists and hikers who I had been looking for over the past weeks.

There was Emily from France who had cycled over three months via Germany, Poland, the Baltic States, Finland and Norway to the North Cape and was now heading home via Denmark, Germany and Belgium. She is a freelancer in the event industry and since there was no work she rented out her apartment and started her biggest journey so far. With this she was also saving costs she said. Very impressive lady.

Then there was Adrian from Geneva who had cycled around the ring road of Iceland and then flew into Norway and went to North Cape by ship to now cycle down the Norwegian coast. He feels that he is carrying to much luggage and that he has a lot of headwind. Both is probably true. A very nice and thoughtful guy.

And there was Doreen from Germany who works as an ergo-therapist in a forensic psychiatry in Bavaria and is now on an 21 months sabbatical. She arrived in Alta today and had spent the night before in a bar at Oslo airport because she had missed her connecting flight. Her plan is to hike down the E1 from the North Cape through Norway and the see were her path may lead her. She did that before in New Zealand and does between 20 and 50 km a day. A very cool lady.

We spent the evening with cooking, eating and chatting and it was delightful. Everyone asked questions, was curious and appreciative. The topics of the evening can only be appreciated by fellow travelers I guess. Other campers who wanted to do their dishes felt a bit like intruders and only whispered with each other – funny.

Unfortunately, my “waterproof” GoPro has died today in the rain. So, no videos from today onwards unfortunately – which is a real pity.

Learning of the day: Don’t always rely on the loudest voice in your head. It might be your fear.

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