It started raining just before we started packing up the tent this morning, and it didn’t really stop raining all day. We had planned to drive the scenic route along the coast, which involved several (more) ferry rides, but it all seemed to be a bit of a waste if we weren’t actually going to see anything. So we headed back to the main (inland) highway, the E6, and headed north. The scenery along the main route is still incredible, at times going along the sides of mountains and fjords. It seems like every time we go around another bend, there’s another perfect postcard-worthy picture of green fields with assorted red, cream and yellow buildings, or a granite mountain with stripey white waterfalls running down, or fir trees growing all the way down to the deep, clear water of a fjord.
I’m really hoping it stops raining soon and we get some blue skies, but even with cloudy grey skies, this scenery is amongst the most beautiful I have ever seen. We are still driving through a combination of forest and farmland, mostly grain crops with an occasional small herd of sheep or dairy cows. It’s just at the end of the hay-making season, and occasionally we have seen fields of cut hay being dried on long racks – I guess the ground is too damp to leave it lying there as it would never dry. Today we drove through 2 really, really long tunnels. One was 5.9kms, and the other was 8.6kms. The Norwegians are incredible tunnel-builders.
The ‘free-access camping‘ we had planned to do hasn’t worked out as we thought it would. We thought we’d be able to just drive down smaller roads off the highway and find somewhere to pitch our tent for the night, but there are little villages, farms and houses just about everywhere. Last night we camped at the campground at Vennesund and enjoyed using their cosy camp kitchen. An unpowered tent site cost us $30. Tonight we’re in a cabin at Krokstrand, just 20kms south of the Arctic Circle. A few reasons for being in a cabin – an unpowered tent site here is $40 (!!), and a 2-berth cabin with fridge, hotplate, heater, table & chairs & covered verandah is $60. It took us less than a nano-second to opt for the cabin and forego putting up a wet tent on wet grass in the rain. Funny about that.
Update: 300Kr does not give you a hot shower, that’s extra 5kr (A$1) for 3 minutes.