Sunday, September 7, 2014

Aursjøvegen

My 660 on the 660… the most beautiful road I've been on so far!
Just east of Mittet starts a beautiful loop road called the Aursjøvegen. It starts as bitumen and about halfway becomes gravel and reasonably steep. The road leads you to the highest waterfall of Northern Europe, the Mardalsfossen while the climb into the mountains is considered steeper and more challenging than the Trollstigen. All the right ingredients for a great ride! To make it even better there was a classic car meet just before the gravel section started. Arne, from our previous post with his Nash, was going as well. So did we!

The day started reasonably enough. The usual stuff like packing up the tent and getting the bikes ready. We stopped for fuel just outside the small garage and grocery shop opposite the campground and were greeted by the mailman. He pointed at the newspaper he was carrying to the shop… was that us on the frontpage? Yes it was! Not only that, page 4 and 5 as well! Several other people recognised us as well that day and wanted to know more about the trip. Hmmm Mike is getting famous :-)

I don't think there are that many roads in Norway which aren't great for riding a bike ok and quite honestly is becomes harder and harder to describe. This one was actually built as a construction road for the development of Aura power station and only later expanded to Eikesdalen. You might think 'another ride along another fjord…' Problem we have of course is that this blog isn't 3D (note to Google: when is that 3D update coming?) so the incredible depth is missing. Sure the photos give an idea but at the same time they can't convey the enormity of it all.



Part of the road is aptly named the 660, which resulted in Mike taking a photo of his 660 in front of it. The scenery was again breathtaking, despite the weather not being on our side. We had quite a bit of rain along the way and as you can see in the photos, grey clouds covered most of the mountains. At the same time the weather gave it something extra, something mystique almost. The classic car meet turned out to be more than that. Not only cars, but also motorcycles and stationary engines. One of them ran on a small campinggaz bottle! 

A small 3-wheeler, made in France by Monet-Coyon, caught my eye as well. Propelled by a small Villiers two stroke engine and as utilitarian as can be. I like simple! The owner and restorer started it up for me and we were engulfed in sweet two-stroke fumes produced by an engine that was pottering away merrily! We stayed for a while but as non of us fancied camping high on the plateau we were about to ride onto, we said goodbye after an hour or so and started the climb to the high plains.





To simply say this road is a beauty, would be a gross understatement. It's unbelievable. It is more challenging than the Trollstigen but if you don't mind gravel, steep and hairpins, as well as unlit dark tunnels, then this is an absolute heaven that impresses at every corner. Just look at the photos! As you can see the weather wasn't doing us any favours and it was seriously cold there too but what a magic place! Possibly because of the weather, we didn't see a soul and felt like we were on the moon or something. We made so many stops and took so many photos that it took us hours to ride it. This is the Norway we came to see and thanks to Gunnar and Arne for pointing it out to us we did see it! (Now when can I get back to do it again?)




Hours later we rode down from the plateau and entered civilisation again. A small campground seemed a good option for the night but the friendly campground owner said we might like to travel on for 60 km to a campground with a kitchen… He obviously hasn't camped in Central America :-) There was nothing wrong with his campground, I guess what he had meant to say is that the sink was outside and rain was coming… so I did the dishes wearing my waterproof Rukka bike jacket :-)


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