Saturday, August 24, 2013

Driving to the Lysfjord

A little achey from the previous day's exploits, we retraced our tyre tracks to the ferry crossing from the Preikstollen.  Back over the ferry and otherwise an uneventful road, except for finding cheap fuel to get us there.

Finally the turn off for Lysfjord (the other end), complete with the warning signs indicating that the road is 29km long, twisty and don't be stupid with your caravan.  It didn't really sink in that the vanu was so old and unreliable and we'd broken the clutch before so it's probably time for a new one again already. 

The road went up and up for quite some time and gradually became steeper and more twisty.  Just as we were worrying our pretty little heads about the curves on the climb, a utility vehicle came down the hill towards us, its flashy lights flashing & warnings about convoi exceptionel (ok, not italy but that kind of thing) blazened on the front.  "Oh my", we said, "what beast is to become us?"  "What is following you?"

A club run!  A fucking club run!  The ones who weren't fast enough up the climb even got dropped by the support vehicle bringing up the rear!

After hours of toottling about on the plateau with all its lumps and bumps, we finally reached the car park for the Kjerag - the vanu's resting point for the day we leave the valley.

As we passed it, we didn't really have the chance to think twice.  Before we knew it, the road ahead was 200ft below us having already gone through three hairpin turns to get there.  Holy fuck.  This was my Alpe d'Huez.

All I could do was drive it to the best of my ability - making the most of the brakes (cos bits of those are new) and trying my best not to use the clutch too much to slow the engine.  There was a rest stop (finally).  

We pulled in.  My head needed a rest, my feet were hot and needed a rest and the vanu stank of clutch and needed a rest.  We all rested - me with my feet in the waterfall, Andrew foraging for wild raspberries.  I couldn't put it off any longer.  We set off again - same plan.  Finally, there was a sign for a tunnel.  We both breathed a sigh of relief.  That has to be two-way, right?  It's probably straight too, right?


Single track road (with passing places), badly lit, 1:3 and two bends tighter than a right angle… oh, and a double decker bus coming the other way.  I only just had time to adapt my thought patterns to the situation and find a passing place.  Thankfully, the rest of the tunnel was a clear run at least.  No more scary bends and on to the campsite.

The disappointment of the day was the village - no shops open, tourist info shut for the season.  We got bread from the man in the ferry kiosk - that was it.  Four hot-dog style white buns out of the freezer.  We returned to the campsite shop - no ice cream left.

The footpath past the hydro-power station was not the most inspiring
We went for a walk.  I was pissy because I was too tired from Priekstolen to do anything.  I sat on a rock in the middle of the field with my shirt over my head for cover from the heat and felt rubbish that I hadn't done any exercise on the "nicest" day of our week together.  Still, the settings were nice.  I just couldn't climb any hills.  TSK was the same as his knee was hurting from his ride.

We concluded that we didn't want to be separate on our anniversary but that we also didn't want to sit around in Lysboten doing nothing all day and the vanu wouldn't be capable of two trips up the hill (never mind back down again).  So the only option was to up and leave the next day and head for the big walk to the Kjerag. 

I went to go swimming in the sea which I couldn't quite bring myself to do without my wetsuit due to the minor threat of jellyfish (I saw one) and the icy chill of sea water.  So I set off upstream along the river to a place I'd noticed earlier.  Some kids were trying to get into the water but I was already wet.  I pretty much got straight in and once I had, so did they.  It was the perfect perpetual swimming pool - just enough flow to resist my stroke.  If I'd had my wetsuit on I could've been in for longer but it was incredibly exhilarating to swim in the chilly water in just my shorts and bikini top.  The final brother jumped into the pond and ran out screaming but I shook his hand nevertheless and he hunkered under a big beach towel in his mothers arms.

We had dinner shaking our heads at the yeeaha base-jumpers who were going to be up partying all night and still up and looking beautiful in the morning - bastards   

Concluding there really was little else to do in Lysfjord, we watched the sun set behind the cliffs before we went to bed, looking forwards to our first anniversary, though with me still worrying slightly about the clutch on the vanu for the grand depart in the morning.

No comments: