After two-and-a-half weeks of relaxation and rest on this Sula island trip residence, I packed up my touring bicycle, pedaled out of the drive means, and commenced my 10-day self-supported bicycle tour throughout Norway and Sweden.
I needed to depart tremendous early on the primary day, so I used to be tremendous drained as I left the holiday residence and commenced pedaling throughout the island towards the ferry touchdown. After greater than two entire weeks on the island, it felt unusual to be biking away from a spot that now felt very very like residence. A spot I’d probably by no means see once more.
I obtained to the ferry terminal with time to spare after which jumped on board the boat as quickly because it arrived on the ferry touchdown. The ticket to Selje, Norway price me practically $100 USD, however it was a quick scenic experience that rapidly transported each me and my bicycle up north in a record-setting time.
Earlier than I knew it, I used to be in Selje, Norway and I used to be again on my bicycle. Whereas I used to be extraordinarily drained (from lack of sleep the evening earlier than), I used to be in good spirits. The solar was out and the climate/surroundings was spectacular.
After biking alongside the coast and up over a couple of small mountain passes, I handed by way of the city of Eidsa and make a fast relaxation cease at a neighborhood grocery store to fill up on meals for the night. One of many nice issues about bicycle touring in Norway is that in small cities like this, I nearly by no means needed to lock up my bicycle when going inside the shop.
With my panniers now filled with contemporary meals, I cycled down the street only a quick distance to the Koparnes ferry touchdown and took my second ferry of the day over the a close-by island and the city of Arvik.
To make an extended story quick, I spent the subsequent week biking throughout Norway on my bicycle. Aside from that first day, it was chilly and moist an excessive amount of the time.
I crammed up my water bottles at cemeteries alongside the best way, slept in my tent every evening, and fought off each ticks and mosquitoes when tenting within the first. I used to be chilly and depressing a lot of the time, however I additionally cherished each minute of it. I used to be in Norway, after-all, and the surroundings was spectacular, the biking was very good, and I used to be comfortable to be doing what I used to be doing. Watch the movies on this web page to see a day-by-day account of my bike tour throughout Norway and Sweden.
On September fifth, 2015, I skilled the worst day of biking I had skilled all 12 months. It was raining all day lengthy, I needed to climb over a excessive mountain go, and on the best way down the wind started to beneath. Biking by way of the chilly, windy air once I was already drenched to the pores and skin made me extraordinarily chilly and depressing whereas I used to be driving my bike.
I had hoped to experience over 100 kilometers that day, however as a result of I used to be so chilly and moist, I ended the day early – pedaling solely about 70 kilometers earlier than I pushed my bike up a forested hillside and pitched my tent within the woods only a quick distance away from an empty trip residence.
I give up biking round 4 PM that day, so I had numerous time within the night to simply sit inside my tent, learn a ebook and discover my close by environment. Within the morning, I must cross the bridge that you simply see within the picture beneath… which might take me over to a sequence of small islands.
After I woke the next morning, I used to be delighted to see that the solar was shining in a portion of the Norwegian sky. So I jumped again on my touring bicycle, crossed over the bridge and commenced my day by crossing over a sequence of small islands and later within the day taking my final Norwegian ferry boat from Kanestraum to Halsa.
On September 7, 2015, I woke within the forest close to town of Vinjeora, Norway and commenced biking east towards Trondheim. It was one other chilly, moist day of bicycle touring, however my plan was to succeed in town of Trondheim (greater than 100 kilometers away) after which soar on a practice from there to Sweden.
Fortunate for me, nonetheless, I noticed a bus on the facet of the street that was going to Stjordal, Norway – a metropolis only a quick distance to the east of Trondheim. I used to be chilly and moist, so I jumped within the bus and loved the experience to Stjordal. As soon as there, I cycled just some kilometers to the south and town of Hell. I arrived there just some minutes earlier than the practice to Sweden arrived, and I jumped on board with my bicycle in tow.
One hour later I used to be in Storlien, Sweden – a chilly, moist ski resort city within the mountains. The place was like a ghost city, however I used to be comfortable to be there. Sadly, I must take a seperate practice from Strorlien to Sundsval, Sweden the next morning. So I cycled a brief distance out of city, pitched my tent on the sting of a close-by nature reserve, after which cycled again to the practice station early the subsequent morning in time to catch my practice to Sundsval.
Sadly, when it got here time for me to pay the conductor for my practice ticket, my bank card didn’t work… and so the one means I might pay the conductor was with money. Fortunately, I had about 550 Swedish Krona in my pockets, however the ticket was nearer to 750 Krona. Undecided what to do, I gave the conductor the 550 Krona that I had in money and the conductor agreed to let me experience all the best way to Sundsvall with out paying the extra 200 I owed.
Now in Sundsvall with about 45 minutes to spare earlier than the practice to Umea arrived, I started dashing round city to seek out an ATM machine the place I might withdraw some money, so I might pay for the subsequent leg of my journey. I didn’t need to get on one other practice (this time with none money) and figuring out that my bank card wasn’t working for no matter purpose. So I ran round Sundsvall till I lastly discovered an ATM machine. However once I tried to withdraw my cash, I discovered that my debit card had expired just some days earlier than. in reality, all three of my debit playing cards had expired! My bank cards weren’t working and I had no method to withdraw any money.
Not figuring out what to do, I noticed I had tons of cash in my pockets. The one drawback was, not one of the cash was Swedish! I had cash from the USA, The UK, Denmark, Norway, Romania, and so on. if I might discover a place to change that money, it may be sufficient for my practice ticket to Umea and sufficient meals to get me by way of my final week in Sweden. So with solely quarter-hour to spare earlier than my practice left the station, I started operating round city looking for a foreign money change workplace. It took me some time, however I lastly discovered a spot, and the girl inside was very understanding. I gave her what little money I had in these varied foreign exchange and she or he handed me again some Krona. With lower than 3 minutes now earlier than the practice left, I dashed throughout city, rode my bike straight by way of the practice station and slid into the practice simply because the doorways had been closing. I had made it!
I used to be so comfortable to be on the practice to Umea… and amazed that I had been capable of get the mandatory money for my practice ticket in such a brief period of time – in a metropolis I had by no means earlier than visited. However that’s when all the things went downhill. When the conductor got here round to examine tickets, I advised him I used to be going to Umea and he took my cash. However a couple of minutes later the conductor got here again to my seat and knowledgeable me that I wanted to get off the practice – they might not be taking me to Umea as they’d promised. The conductor defined that this specific practice, whereas geared up with bicycle racks, was not presupposed to let anybody with a bicycle on-board. And regardless that the conductor himself had no drawback with taking me and my bicycle to Umea, the motive force of the practice was insisting that I get off. Apparently, he didn’t need to get in bother for breaking the nonsensical rule. So, to make an extended story quick, they kicked me off the practice on the subsequent cease and I obtained off within the metropolis of Harnosand (213 kilometers from Umea) not figuring out what to do. I had been planning to be in Umea by dusk.
There was nobody on the practice station to ask for assist, so when the subsequent couple trains pulled into the station, I requested the conductors onboard if their practice (with was additionally heading to Umea) would take me and my bicycle in that path. However not one of the trains heading to Umea would take my bicycle on-board. As an alternative, they urged, I look into taking a bus. So, that’s precisely what I did! There weren’t any buses going to Umea till late that evening. However I discovered a bus heading north to town of Ornskoldsvik and I made a decision to take the experience there. I had hoped to reach within the metropolis simply earlier than dusk. The plan was to get there, rapidly discover a place to sleep within the woods for the evening, after which cycle from Ornskoldsvik to Umea over the course of the next two days.
The bus experience to Ornskoldsvik was a pleasing one and once we arrived on the bus station there, I used to be the one particular person left on the bus. The bus driver was extremely good and supplied to let me go contained in the non-public bus driver lavatory and refill my water bottles there. However once I got here out of the toilet, I found that the bus driver was no the place to be discovered. Now trapped contained in the constructing by myself, I attempted the door main exterior, however as I turned the knob on the door, the constructing alarm instantly sounded. I had set off the safety alarm!
After a pair minutes, the bus driver got here again, discovered me, and undoubtedly heard that the alarm was going off. He was upset at me for attempting to exit the safety door, however I used to be upset at him for leaving me locked inside there with out a proof of the place he was going. So, as quickly as I used to be again exterior, I grabbed my bicycle and took off – the safety alarm nonetheless going off as I cycled off into the now pitch black evening.
I attempted climbing up a steep mountainside with a view to discover a place to camp for the evening, however the path was too slender and the mountain was too steep. So after abandoning that concept, I cycled throughout a gold course and located a small patch of forest close to the sting of the golf course the place I used to be capable of climb inside, push my bicycle again just some meters from the trail, and arrange my tent for the evening. I can’t clarify simply how horrifying all this was. It was pitch black and I used to be climbing by way of the forest at evening – not capable of see a lot of something and too afraid to activate my gentle for concern that somebody strolling previous would possibly see me and name the police for establishing a campsite so near the street/gold course.
However I did ultimately get my tent pitched and I crawled inside my tent, nonetheless not fairly believing how my day had gone. I had had all of it deliberate out in my head so effectively firstly of the day, however nothing had gone to plan.
Now I wanted to cycle one other 110 kilometers to Umea and I figured I might do this over the next two days. No drawback! So, that’s precisely what I did.
Over the course of the subsequent two days, I slowly made my means north to town of Umea on my bicycle. The primary day of biking required a good quantity of freeway driving, which was loud and aggravating at instances. However the second half of the experience was good and peaceable on quiet side-roads that took me by way of flat, colourful forests (such as you see within the picture beneath).
About 35 kilometers west of Umea, I spent the evening tenting in a blueberry patch only a quick distance off a dust forest street. After 15 years of bicycle touring all all over the world, I really feel very a lot at residence in locations like this.
Because the solar set that evening, I lay in my tent enthusiastic about how this could be my final actual evening of tenting within the woods in Sweden this 12 months… and that the next day could be the final actual day of my journey. My 2015 bike tour was nearly over.
The subsequent day (September 10,2015), I cycled into Umea, Sweden… and I used to be so comfortable to be there. The city was small, however extremely charming. I wasn’t positive what to anticipate actually, however I actually favored Umea. It was my form of place – simply large enough to have all the things you want, however sufficiently small that you simply don’t really feel suffocated by its dimension.
I spent my first day in Umea simply biking round and exploring. I purchased some meals at a neighborhood restaurant after which sat by the river watching individuals stroll previous. Within the night, I cycled north exterior town middle and spent yet another evening tenting within the forest.
The subsequent morning, I wakened tremendous early and cycled again into town middle so I might meet a younger lady who had rented me her condo on AirBNB.com. The condo was situated on the third ground within the constructing you see beneath.
After 10 days of bicycle touring and entry to no public or non-public loos that total time, I used to be in severe want of a shave and a bathe. This was the longest I had ever gone with out shaving!
After I rented the condo on AirBNB.com, it got here with the stipulation that I need to additionally take care of the resident cat, whose identify as you might need guessed, was Pumpkin. She was a quiet cat that stored to herself at first of our time collectively, however as the times progressed, she turned ever extra pleasant. At evening, whereas I used to be sleeping, she would soar up on my mattress and demand that I pet her.
I used to be in Umea, Sweden and my AirBNB condo for 4 nights. Throughout that point, I despatched “Thank You” postcards to a few of my Bicycle Touring Professional readers, I picked up a cardboard bike field from one of many native bike outlets, I packed up my touring bicycle and ready or my flight again to the USA, I went on a number of lengthy bike rides across the metropolis, and I walked throughout town time and time once more.
Finally, the time got here for me to fly again residence. I known as a taxi to return and choose me up on the condo I had rented. The taxi got here proper on time and carried each me and my bicycle to the tiny Umea airport. Then, only a half-day later, I used to be in Los Angles, California, saying hey to my mom and father – whom I had not seen in practically two years. My 2014 – 2015 bike tour was over… and I used to be residence! For some time… no less than.