Around the Pond: 5000 km on the North Sea Cycle Route

The day starts with a heavy rain. First thing in the morning I go to the reception to register and pay. The owner asks me about my plans for the day, and advises me to take the ferry from Oyndang to Risør. This is supposed to be the oldest ferry in Norway. Later looking at my map I see that the NSCR takes exactly that route.

I wait for a rain shower to pass, before I pack my stuff. As I leave it is already nearly noon. Considering the weather I decide to try and find a camping site after 50km or so today.

For the first 20 km the weather is dry, though the rain clouds are already gathering. I find the ferry to Risør without problems, and arrive a few minutes before it leaves. The ferry is a small wooden ship, with a capacity of perhaps three cars.

On arrival in Risør it starts to rain. I take shelter under a tree for half an hour, until the rain stops. As I continue on my ride it starts to pour. A few minutes later I'm wet. At least with all the hills I don't get cold.

I check the map for camping sites. 20 km down the road seems to be a suitable place. Shortly before I arrive there the rain really comes down. Now I'm so wet, to get any wetter I'd have to jump into the water. I check the time, and the map. It is just 4 p.m., and I can't possible get any wetter. 25 km away is another camping site. So i just cycle on.

I spend the next 1.5 hours in the pouring rain. Riding uphill is ok, it keeps me warm, and my clothes are light enough not to hinder me even when wet. But downhill is a bit unpleasant, as I get the rain in my eyes as I roll down with 50 km/h. Water in the eyes is not funny if you are wearing contacts. And shooting down the hills half blind may be bad for your health...

Eventually the 25 km are behind me. But where, according to the map, should be a camping site is nothing. Well, it's just 6 p.m., and 20 km further on is Arendal with several camping sites. So I continue.

I arrive in Arendal at 7:30 p.m. I get a lot of curious looks, which may be due to my bike, or because I'm so wet... I get splashed by a bus driving through a puddle, but it makes no noticeable difference.

This time I find a camping site. It even has cabins, so I don't have to pitch my tent in the rain. I rent a cabin for two nights. Tomorrow I'll try to dry my stuff and repair the tent pole.

Day 35 - July 7th: Ørvik - Arendal


Ørvik - Stabbestad - Oysang - Risør - Tvedestrand - Arendal


Distance: 90.79 km
Cycle time: 5:17 h
Average speed: 17.13 kmh
Hight difference: 1091 m
Total distance: 2352 km
© Thomas Stets
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