After it had rained for five or six days in a row, I finally caught a break. A morning without rain - even a glimpse of sunshine. Finally I could get back to business! The total amount cycled from Bognes in the preceding week couldn’t have been much more than 30km, with zero photos taken for four days. I packed up, hit the road, and... was immediately slapped in the face with an 8m/s headwind.
That’s it, I thought. I need a reset.
Sometimes things are difficult on a bicycle tour. When this happens, you go into a mode where you just deal with the basics - finding food and water, getting warm and dry, camping and resting. Everything else, like laundry and bike maintenance becomes secondary.
If this mode lasts for too long, it begins to have an effect on your mood. And the secondary issues pile up and also start to cause problems. This kind of thing doesn’t happen often, but when it does, my method of dealing with it is a “reset”.
That means trying to make everything as fresh and new as possible, as if I was starting a new tour. Meaning I eat well, bathe thoroughly, dry everything, wash my clothes and whatever else is dirty, and fix any issues with the bicycle. If it’s a sunny and warm day I lay out everything in the sunshine, because UV radiation is an effective disinfectant.
It was neither sunny nor warm, so I decided to check in to a camping ground. It was the first time I’d done that on this trip, aside from my usual shower visits. Luckily there was a place called Notvann Camping only a few kilometers away, and mostly downhill. I arrived at nine in the morning, which I believe is slightly earlier than most people choose to camp, causing some amusement.
It was a friendly family run place, overlooking a beautiful quiet river that flowed into the nearby fjord, with a mountain view and a few horses doing things that horses do when they’re off-duty.
While I may boast about how rarely I need to stay in camping grounds, I really needed it this time. And after two showers, a shave, a machineful of laundry, one lubed bicycle chain, thousands of kilocalories, recharged batteries, hours of time-lapse processing, and a good night’s sleep, I felt like a new man. When I eventually got back on the road the next day, I was smiling again.