Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Tuesday 25 July - Turistveg Gaularfjell and Much Indecision

Where's Bertie? He's in a little pull-in that sits perpendicular to a very minor road, about 250m away from the E39, not far from a tiny place called Hjelmås. (Exact location: 60.59978, 5.37507)

To go to Bergen or not to go to Bergen, that was the question. We pondered it over breakfast, made no decision and set off on the basis that we didn't really need to decide for another 40km. We were going to take a drive along Turistveg Gaularfjell - one of many tourist routes dotted over the country, so designated as they offer the best scenery - but if we were going to go to Bergen then it made sense for us only to do the first bit of the route along Route 13, before cutting back along another arm of the Turistveg on the more minor road 610.

Good reflections

With a couple of stops to marvel at the mirror-like surface of a lake and to contemplate a walk, we had still made no decision, so we continued on past the turn for the 610 and went to look at a waterfall (the main feature of this particular Turistveg being waterfalls; there are 27 notable ones in the area).

Looking downstream from the bridge over the waterfall

The fall wasn't as impressive as others we've seen, but over elevenses in the car park there, we did finally make a decision. We would backtrack to the 610 and go to Bergen.

Lunch was had at the picnic area above another waterfall, down to which we walked after eating. That one wasn't particularly impressive either. Perhaps this Turistveg is good if you do all of it, but the bits we did were just pleasant rather than anything special.

Postprandial strollette to another of the falls

Another efficient ferry journey was required to get us to our night stop. The ferries effectively form part of the road network (sometimes there are bridges, sometimes tunnels, and sometimes ferries). This was a 20 minute crossing being serviced by three ferries constantly trundling back and forth, as this crossing is a link in the E39 trunk road. As boats that look like floating roads go (there's not much to these boats other than an open car deck), this one was quite good, in that we had a view. Most have sides so high that you can't see out.

A ferry with a view - it helped that we were right at the front

The night stop for which we were aiming was a one-vehicle sized and we were in luck, finding it vacant. A few more vehicles came along during the afternoon with obvious hopes of staying here, but it was a couple of Austrian lads in a small VW who were lucky. They tried to pull in just as I got back from a run and as there was clearly space behind us for them, I offered to move to give them access, as long as they were happy to be blocked in overnight. The downside of having close neighbours, however, is that we can hear them talking and we can't play an audiobook or podcast through Bertie's speakers to avoid disturbing them.

More reflections on today's running route

Tomorrow it is Bergen. The place we want to stay there has space for 28 vans. Pure luck will determine whether we get a space. Fingers crossed!

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