This mornings grey, dull sky were a complete contrast to last nights sunset. What a day to be grey! The highlight of today, is the spectacular drive on the Atlanterhavsveien (The Atlantic Road) and just after 9am we crossed a small section of the lonely road to the tiny island of Hulvegan. We jumped out of Vin and walked around the island looking across the water to see how the roads interconnect the islands. The spectacular road passes over islets and skerries and across 12 low bridges but we couldn’t really see them. We jumped back in and then stopped at the next island. A purpose built cafe with toilet facilities telling you about the story of the road…but still we couldn’t see much of the road.
We jumped back in Vin and scooted all the way along the Atlantic Road, turned around, went back to the beginning and did it all again. I was convinced we’d missed the view but nope, no grand vista or sense of being out in the Atlantic! We were quite perplexed as to why the road captured so much attention? We appreciate the engineering challenges but we ‘the prettiest road in Europe’ is very much an exaggeration or a case of someone having a laugh. We can only assume someone hyped up the road to attract in the tourists and recoup some of the construction fees in tolls. Thankfully, they recently stopped the toll fees because we would be might gutted if wed paid £50 to cross 6 kilometres of road.
We drove on in a state of confusion.
About half way to Kristiansund we spotted a nice little bit of coastline. A bite to each and then a walk with the dogs, which turned out to be a rather hilarious event. Imagine half a dozen rock fingers gradually sloping down to the sea. In between the fingers, heather, wild flowers and ong grasses. Craig opted to take a short cut from one rock finger to the next. Well, it was like walking on big blobs of wobbly, sponge. Tosh glided through the grasses no problem. Mac well he jumped around like a goof ball with unstable legs.
Jumping from one grass blob to the next and failing miserably. Then all of a sudden he disappeared.
“Craig, Craig, Mac’s disappeared”
“Where’s he gone”
“I don’t know, he disappeared down a hole”
We darted over and found Mac desperately trying to climb out the hole. He’d fell in to the smelliest, dirtiest bog in the world. It looked like he’d been dipped in tar. If ever there is an award for the clumsiest dog then he would win first prize. Needless to say he got a good scrubbing after the walk.
Our journey continued to Kristiansund but not before we paid our toll. Thankfully, in April the motorhome fees across all of Norway reduced so you pay the price of a car otherwise we would be paying £50 to cross. Instead, we turned over NOK130 a friendly man in a white cap who gave us a receipt and wished us a pleasant journey. We set off through the 6 kilometre ‘V’ tunnel that dipped down 250 meters in to the bowels of the earth, under the sea and all to reappear a few minutes later at Kristiansund.
Kristiansund didn’t rock our boat either but the historic boat yard and museum offered a an afternoon of clambered around old boats and tooting in workshops. I guess our mood was slightly damped by the fact the filling station just outside Bergen had ‘withheld’ NOK1,500 or £140 on our Caxton card. The lady at Caxton was brilliant in sorting out the release. This is why we hate using cards abroad and only use when card is the only option. Basically, fuel stations work on the basis you insert your card, they ‘withhold’ an amount (just so you cant fill up and run), in this case £140, you fill up, they take the actual value off your card and then they release the ‘withheld’ value. However, the majority of fuel stations forget to release the ‘initial withheld’ amount, which stays as a pending transaction until sorted. This pending item means you cant spend the money until cleared. Last time we will be using our card at a fuel station!
With a huff and a puff of what to do next, we went in search of a Tomme Station. Little service stations dotted all around Norway for you to empty your loo, grey water and fill up with fresh. We found one at Shell fuel station and filled up Vin with some diesel…using cash, of course. Then a quick nip in to Kiwi Supermarket for some basic goodies, which included a quick flick through a Norwegian newspaper.I cant understand it but I get the gist of the story and On the front page pf the newspaper there is a photograph of a football pitch. Looks like Euro 2016 is causing the usual battles amongst rival fans plus some sort of sanction for Croatia? With a top up on news and a fridge full, we set off to find a camping spot and cook our evening meal.
Nearly forgot! We have received a lot of emails recently from people who have just found our blog….thanks for contacting us folks and great to hear from you. Most of you are heading to Norway in the next few weeks, so If you want to see all our posts from Norway, click here.
Our sleep spot tonight..a picnic spot with a dozen or so other campers. Lovely view over the river at Aspoya and surrounded by lots of nice flower beds.
GPS position N062.989765 and E007.882399
Route: Skarvoya to Aspoya
Weather: Low 10 and high 20…grey start to the day followed by scattered showers but by the end of the day, a glimpse of blue skies.