Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tuesday 18 July - Åndalsnes

Where's Bertie? He's in a very large car park, along with a lot of other motorhomes, overlooking the train line and fjord at Åndalsnes. (Exact location: 63.56647, 7.69383)

View from last night's kipping spot. This was as good as the weather got whilst we were there.

Considering that we were on the road before breakfast today, and only moved position by 3km, I'm not sure where the day has gone.

The early start was prompted by having run out of Mick's breakfast cereal and thus needing to visit a supermarket. Having brought substantial quantities of cereal from home (six weeks in and I've still got a couple of weeks worth of my stash left), this was the first time we needed to buy breakfast locally, and having surveyed the prices, Mick is on cornflakes for the rest of the time in Norway (85p/750g vs £3-4 per 4-500g for most other options). We already had plenty of bananas, but finding a bag of seven fruit, in good condition, reduced down to 50p, was too good a bargain to miss. Bananas agogo for the next few days.

The morning was then frittered away between Bertie, the Tourist Office, wandering, and watching activity around the huge cruise ship that was moored within 200m in front of us.

As the liner tooted its horn and headed off back to the open sea, we repaired to Bertie for lunch, before donning suitable clothing for a muddy walk. The arrow points to our destination:

The walkway upon which we started out was surprising, not just in its engineered solution to path erosion, but also in how far it went as it zig-zagged up the first bit of the hill:

Then we were into the eroded terrain and, after two and a half days of rain, it was a touch on the muddy side:

Yep it's a popular walk! I couldn't help but notice that the vast majority of the people heading the other way looked thoroughly miserable

By and by we caught sight of the viewpoint to which we were heading:

Mick is walking in the wrong direction in this shot, I can only assume he'd walked past and came back a few paces when I pointed out our first clear view of the platform.

This is another place where they've had Sherpas over from Nepal to build stone staircases and, I must say, on the evidence of the two seen to date, they do build them very impressively:

I was less keen on a narrow iron staircase at the top of the stonework, and not far beyond that we arrived at our destination. Hoping out loud that the engineers had got their calculations correct, I stepped out onto the walkway:

550m above the town of Åndalsnes

With a mesh floor at the end, and a whole lot of nothing underneath it - and with my head not being overly fond of heights - I considered myself pretty brave to not just go to the end, but to let go my firm grip on the railings to take some snaps and a bit of video. It was a fine view, even in the dull weather:

I had expected the descent to be pretty awful, because of its relentless steepness and the mud and roots, but it was fine.

As I sit here and type (at 2020) the weather is improving. Apparently tomorrow and Thursday are going to be fine days. I do hope that's true; I have plans...

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