My last two cycle legs had been marked by two traits: their brevity and soddenness!
I had left my lovely apartment in Ålesund around afternoon to catch the ferry to Hareid. However, I somehow had missed the ferry-does-not-operate-on-Sundays-notice on it’s schedule. Furthermore, I totally forgot to check the weather forecast. Analysing the ferry time tables and the weather report (correctly) has actually become second nature to me over the last six weeks. That is, what staying in cities does with you, you stop bothering. The upshot was, that I missed the ferry, and was met with gales and heavy rain when finally arriving in Hareid early evening. Originally, I had planned to cycle to Runde, a tiny island which is known for it’s rich bird wildlife. But with an average speed of 5km/h due to the strong head wind there was no way I was going to reach the island any time soon or even on the same day. Luckily I found the only accomodation available within a radius of 20km and was welcomed warmly by my German-Norwegian landlords. That was my shortest leg so far: I only cycled 12km on that day! After a hot shower, I revived over a steaming cup of tea and a roaring fire.
Next morning, after a lovely breakfast chat with my host Marthe, I continued my way south through rain and over some nasty climbs. Not even the beautiful flowers lining the country lanes could ease the way. This called for more dramatic measures: when disembarking from the ferry in Koparnes, I spontaneously hopped on the waiting bus at the pier, letting myself transport to Åheim, where I had found lodging in the Gjesteheim at short notice.
At the hostel
When I arrived, two other cyclists had already sought refuge there, and we happily exchanged our weather horror stories. We were the only guests in the big house, which had a ghostlike atmosphere. No wonder, we were stranded somewhere out in the williwags.
The weather was still awful next morning and was, according to the forecast, going to stay this way for the remainder of the week. The prospect of cycling several more days in THIS was not very enticing. Especially as there were some torturous climbs ahead. Glumly, I decided on cutting my tour short and taking the express ferry to Bergen, reaching my final destination in Norway a few days earlier than anticipated.