Monday, 17 July 2017

Monday 17 July - Trollkyrken

Where’s Bertie? He's in a large, deep layby/picnic area on the edge of Isfjorden, about 5km outside of the town of Åndalsnes (exact location: 62.56844, 7.75392)

It was not a good night's sleep. The road next to which we were parked was busier overnight than I had anticipated, but I probably wouldn't have noticed (being reasonably immune to traffic noise) if I hadn't been woken repeatedly by heavy rain drumming on the roof.

In view of the continued rain, today started with an outrageously long lie-in, followed by elevenses and a couple of phone calls. Then we fully waterproofed ourselves (ha! Like any waterproof material can cope with that weather!) and headed outside as, having stayed in the car park for the Trollkyrken walk, it seemed silly not to go and do the walk.

Alas, when I thought to myself last night "Shall I put a head torch on the table now to make sure that we don't forget it", the conclusion I reached was that there was no need - we were going to visit a cave (the Trollkyrken (Troll's Church) being a cave system) and we wouldn't be so stupid as to forget the torches.

Except, of course, we were so stupid and were about half way to the cave (which sits at an altitude of about 500m) before we realised. Our exploration of the cave thus ended after about ten metres, and we didn't get to see the huge caverns, one containing a waterfall with a 15m drop, which is lit by a shaft of light from above.

The bonus of all this wet weather is the state of the tumbling streams (one of the associated downsides is that the paths turn into streams)

Whereas forgetting the torches was stupidity, setting out at gone noon (having not eaten lunch), taking no food or drink with us was a concious decision* (it's bad enough in such a confined space getting two sets of wet clothing and shoes dry; I didn't want to add a wet pack into the equation unnecessarily). Whilst the outing was a short one, being somewhere around 4-5 miles with 400m ascent, the rocky terrain was slow in places, so by the time we got back to Bertie at 3pm we were ready to eat a scabby dog, not to mention drink six cups of tea apiece.

Three places had knotted ropes to assist with passage across rock slabs, but the rock is so grippy that the ropes weren't really necessary.

With our late lunch eaten, there was a sudden imperative to make a move, as another night in the same place wasn't an attractive proposition, and moving on involved a ferry.

Looking at route options a couple of days ago, Google Maps was quite adamant that we couldn't take the obvious route along road 64, and was sure that we either had to go right around a fjord on a tiny road before reaching the ferry crossing, or take a longer route via Molde, involving a much longer ferry crossing (35 minutes at a cost of around £20 vs 15 minutes at a cost of £12). Happily Google was just having an aberration and there was nothing to prevent us from using the 64, and even more happily we arrived at the ferry queue just as a ferry arrived. The crossing was so smooth that I wouldn't have even noticed that we were moving if Mick hadn't pointed it out.

The picnic area in which we have ended our day is again well within earshot of the road, which may or may not be as busy as last night's road. It does, however, have a very nice view, which would be even better if this sodding rain would stop!

^^ (*If we had taken a pack, we would have had a torch, as a torch lives permanently in each of our packs)

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