So the bike tour continued to roll. I fully enjoyed this feeling of freedom with no obligations, no time to keep and no strict plan. I made a lot of stops, mostly because I was not able to shut down my always observing “photoeye” – everything is interesting! Just like during my warmup bikehike-tour to Åndalsnes and Romsdalseggen
The hospitality I met most places was really a joy.. so welcoming and helpful people, but still not pushing. Most of the time I didn’t at all feel alone as most people are very curious about what you’re up to, especially when you are “solotripp’n” I believe, and as a solo traveller you will pretty soon connect with other solo travellers from all over the world – awesome!
Billingen in Skjåk: Did a morning stopover here and was served a supertasty local produced breakfast by the lovely owner – afterwards I went out to do a spontaneous “poem-track” upwards the frothing river Tora before I continued my bike ride – such a cool experience and some wise words richer! This is also a gateway into beautiful Breheimen Nationalpark and Reinheimen Nationalpark
Along RV15 you will have a 360 degrees of magnificent landscape views … but by the time I passed Grotli Høyfjellshotell the traffic had increased with more heavy traffic, however, as long as the road could offer me a shoulder it worked very well (see tip below). And fortunately (with a few exceptions) most drivers DO make allowance for cyclists. After bargaining a night in a cosy cabin along the way to dry up my equipment, a lil’ morning trek and tasty breakfast stopover at Billingen, I continued towards Lom national park village in Bøverdalen and Jotunheimen…
Reaching Lom I decided to stay a couple of nights. so I set up my tent pretty near the always roaring river Bøvra at a camp site – of course with a beautiful view to the surrounding mountains, but please bear in mind that you may need ear plugs if you want to sleep near this river 😉
After a massive burger & fries dinner together with a chilled cider I decided to take an evening walk to check out the famous Lom Stave Church for some historical inspiration and design admiration – dated back to the 12th century!
The very next day I actually had a lil’ plan – to climb Galdhøpiggen – the roof of Norway also the highest mountain in Scandinavia and Northern Europe at a hight of 2,469 m (8,100 ft) – we just call it Piggen in Norwegian.
The rising sun was promising and the morning bus brought a nice bunch of mountain hikers & climbers up the serpentine road and into the Jotunheimen National Park. Since we had to cross the glacier Styggebreen we needed harness and safety ropes, but otherwise this is a not a hard climb and suites most healthy people,families .. and dogs.
Packet with mountain lovers at the end of Styggebreen clacier: After an exceptionally grey summer the sun finally glitters and illicit hordes of people to enjoy this fun and beautiful day – not exactly a day for those who seeks silence and tranquility – but for a change I actually loved to be among all these smiling faces
NOTE! On our way down we met two tourists not wearing any equipment crossing the glacier Styggebreen, and they did not care at all that a guide warned them. This annoys me a lot, as I see it as lack of respect for nature and to use common sense in the mountains. And what kind of signals does this send out to others? It is really cheap to join a guided tour with necessary equipment at Juvasshytta! (It will only cost you 175 NOK)
This day was 1 of only 5 sunny days on Piggen during the whole summer a guy told us – so we where lucky! The Norwegian army paid us a flyby-visit at the top of Galdhøpiggen with one of their hercules ..to celebrate an awesome day. Many of us screamed when the air plane passed, it sure did look like it would crash right into the top hut ..ha…ha whohaaa!
A flying view
Back at the Juvasshytta we where a little bunch of very pleased people just sitting outside relaxing in the wonderful weather with some hot chocolate and candy, waiting for the experienced and kind bus driver to take us back down. I only have one important reminder/advice for days like this..to save you a lot of pain: PLEASE …bring your highest sun protection!
To be continued…..
Some trip advice for travellers in Norway:
Travelling solo? Ask for a discount:
Now and then (especially if you’re bike touring) you want to rent a cabin to rearrange, fix and dry all your stuff (clothes, tent, sleeping bag, shoes etc) – mention that you travel alone and you may get a discount, very appreciated since renting cabins in Norway usually isn`t a cheap experience.
Local produced food, poems and national parks:
Billingen Seterpensjonat in Skjåk will serve you local produced products, breakfast and room. Also a gate to Breheimen Nasjonalpark, Reinheimen Nasjonalpark and the “Diktarstigen” where you can trek along the Tora river and read poems by Jan Magne Bruheim. View their Facebook-page.
Plenty of outdoor activities and adventures to do in Lom:
Make sure you spend enough time in the Lom (preferably at a decent price at one of the camping sites or Bøverdalen hostel if you’re on budget like me). There is so much to do in this area both for sports and mountain lovers or nature seekers that 2 days are far from enough…try out zip-lining across Prestefossen, climb a bunch of 2000-meter mountains, go into the ice world at the Climate Park (Klimaparken) or visit Norsk Fjellmusem.
Along road 63 and RV15 from Djupvasshytta to Lom you have 3 great national parks around (Right before you enter the RV15 from63 you can choose to take off and bike most of this stretch on a parallel road with much less traffic! – unfortunately I am not sure about conditions for this “cabins road”)
Map of Part 2 from Djupvasshytta to Lom + the 3 surrounding national parks