Going north, yet

May 22, 2011 (day 4) Norway

Each departure by plane to some distant place is a very stressful moment to me. This time the airline didn't help, when on Wednesday afternoon, following long hours spent on the phone, they had finally acknowledged that my bike wouldd fly with me on Thursday. My stress hadn't been relieved until the moment I picked it up from the baggage belt in Alta and made sure it's intact.

Packing

Packing

In the meantime the security guard at Oslo airport turned me back with a bottle of Polish mead I was carrying to drink with my parents. Despite being bought at airport duty-free shop, it didn't comply to the strict security rules. I gave it to a random chap hanging around the exit from the terminal. Hope he liked it.

Hmm, and this part – where it goes?

Hmm, and this part – where it goes?

When I finally arrived, it took me four hours to reassemble the bike from the parts crammed into small cardboard box. Even though it was 2AM and the second night without proper sleep, I started cycling. The plan to cover significant distance failed. I encountered several long uphills and big amounts of snow, fortunately not on the road. When Alta was 30km behind me, I gave up. Opportunities for camping were quite limited there, 200m above the sea level, so finally I chose a reasonably clean and hard pile of melting snow and picked up my tent there.

I will miss it in Africa

I will miss it in Africa

Last two days didn't give me too much rest, so I started the next day at 5PM. Well, it's hard to distinguish the day from the night, for there it's always bright in May.

Bright nights, bright shadows

Bright nights, bright shadows

The desolation and roughness of this area is impressive. Bare rocks covered by patches of melting snow, small twisted trees, streams and ocassional frozen lakes make up for the most of the landscape. Chilly and often drizzling, the weather doesn't give too much reasons to stop. There are almost no people, excluding those in cars passing about twice in an hour.

In the interior – desolation and silence

In the interior – desolation and silence

The next day started earlier, one hour after the noon, giving me an opportunity to see why cycling during the so-called day is a better idea. Not only because of open shops, being infrequent sources of cola and chocolate, but also for the sun which sometimes appears between countless clouds. Short glimpses of sunshine change landscapes dramatically, especially on the coast, turning dull gray nothing into a spectacle of subtle colours and reflections.

This barren landscape is rich in wildlife. On the first camping I shared the area with a rat, which seemed to ignore my presence. Hares, grouses, foxes and reindeers accompanied me for much of the time. The last ones behaved strangely, trying to run in front of me even if I was going to pass along in a safe distance. They were overtaking me and running in front of my bike for few hundred meters, before turning into some bushes or swamp. A reindeer's way to say hello maybe?

A company of reindeers

A company of reindeers

When no animals around, and without cars passing ocassionally, there is silence. Overhelming, absolute silence. Something you never ever experience living in a city.

Silence and subtle colours – this is how the North looks

Silence and subtle colours – this is how the North looks

Finally, after two full days since landing and 200km cycled, I reached Havøysund. I spotted the boat immediately after the first glimpse at the port. FRI cannot be mistaken for anything else. I arrived, knocked at the deck and hugged my parents, whom I hadn't seen for half a year.

I owe you a word of explanation: My parents are sailors, and after their children had grown up enough, they engaged again on their passion. The last winter (and polar night) they spent in the north of Norway, mostly on a desolated tiny island of Risvær in Lofoten. After the sun reappeared again, they sailed northwards, to the very end of Europe. You may read about their journeys here: http://fri.info.pl

Yes, it's something about the DNA that I started my bicycle journey. And yes, they kept a bottle of mead for our meeting.

Comments:

aamarcin
aamarcin
13 years ago
Nic, tylko pozazdrościć wyprawy...
Choć i tak wszyscy wiedzą, że się nie uda :)
Emes wyślij esemes :)
kaha
kaha
13 years ago
co Wy z tym "się nie uda" jakiś ferment z podrozerowerowe.info czy coś buuuu. się uda, na maksa się uda!
Patrys
Patrys
13 years ago
Dobra, emes jest daleko, kaha, możesz już wbijać na imprezę :)
piotr
piotr
13 years ago
Czesc Michal
Gratulujemy udanego startu wyprawy. Spedzilismy 2 tygodnie:
Wielkanocny i 1-majowy z Ela i Wackiem na FRI, wiemy
wiec prawie wszystko o Tobie i Twojej wyprawie. Piszesz
fantastycznie o swojej wyprawie, to tez odziedziczyles po rodzicach. Odzywiaj
sie dobrze! Przykladem niech beda te 2 tygodnie na FRI,
gdzie wyzywienie bylo nadzwyczajne. Pozdrawiamy Piotr i Gosia
michał
michał
13 years ago
@piotr: Wyżywienie na FRI zawsze jest nadzwyczajne. Wszak nie ma to jak u mamy! :D
kaha
kaha
13 years ago
jejeje! Patrys, kiedy i gdzie imprezka, ja będę :) :) :) emes, wciągaj póki możesz bo Afryka niedaleko :)
ciosna
ciosna
13 years ago
Emes porządny pierwszy wpis- tak trzymaj. Powiedziałeś czwartek i poleciałeś w czwartek. Widzę, że towarzyszy Ci śnieg, a tu człowiek siedzi i piecze się w biurze. Mam olbrzymi szacunek do Ciebie, że podjąłeś wyzwanie. Trzymam kciuki- powodzenia
yoshko
yoshko
13 years ago
Im bardziej mu się nie uda tym bardziej się uda. :)
jerzyboy
jerzyboy
13 years ago
Gratuluję Rodziców,odwagi,ułańskiej fantazji i sposobu prowadzenia dziennika pokładowego.No i ten "mniodek"!!
Polak potrafi,czy Żeglarze zadbali? -DNA...
Cisza i nad Pilicą gęstnieje czasem na krótko jednak ptaszęta tu mamy rozwydrzone i pyskują kiedy w niewłaściwą stronę skręcić,a drozd jeden nie pozwala nam podejść do kompostownika w porze Jego urzędowania.Nie ustąpi,a i ofuknąć potrafi- Pan na kompoście...
przepraszam za gapiostwo i wycofuję się potulnie,a On się nadyma i puszy.Takie Panisko!
Ergo miej baczenie na tamtejszych Ważniaków,boć to przecie miejscowi Włodarze i szacun im się należy..

Pozdro i nara.
marge
marge
12 years, 2 months ago
Trzymam kciuki za powodzenie wyprawy! Podziwiam, trzeba mieć w sobie wiele odwagi i wielką pasję!
Pozdro!