Day 6 – Aurlandsfjellet

I awake in my little hiding space in the woods to the sound of countless vehicles rolling by on the road below me. The lookout point is now teeming with tourists, and some stop to gawp at me as I prepare breakfast on a stone bench. Its hot today, an easy 27 degrees, and I feel it immediately as I set off up the road. I managed maybe 600 metres yesterday, so I had another 700 metres to go before reaching to top of the pass. The woodlands that provided glorious shade soon vanished below me and I was left on a series of long switchbacks climbing above the treeline towards a distant peak. The climb was grueling, and between the heat and the lack of shade I found myself overheating constantly. I would hide in any shade I could find, and gulped down both water bottles in no time at all. Whenever I found a stream I would drench myself in it just to feel the heat leave me, even if only for a few minutes before I dried out again. The switchbacks ended at the base of a mountain that led to even more switchbacks. I took a longer rest here and watched a number of road cyclists charge past, filling me with envy. I gathered up the willpower to continue and with a final push trudged up remaining switchbacks to the top. 1300 metres. Here the land was distinctly Icelandic, with multicoloured moss growing everywhere amid the half frozen lakes. The road was fairly even for a good while as I swooped past mountain peak after mountain peak. Eventually the road started its descent and for the next 15km or so I was a mere passenger to gravity. I swept past lakes, rushing rivers and eventually thick forests, all the way down to the fjord on the other side, back down to 0 metres above sea level.

The town on the other side was named Laerdal, and was apparently the favoured fishing spot for the king of Norway. I treated myself to an expensive reward burger, then made my way out of town where I found a nice campsite on an unused road. I met some Norwegian campers and we chatted for a while over absurdly priced biscuits and wine before retiring to bed.


  1. Katie
    August 8, 2017

    Oh hey, Laerdal is the name of the company that makes the creepy CPR dolls. They’re not based in London Laerdal, though.

  2. Wayne
    August 9, 2017

    Dude – Apart from maintaining my strong desire for you to feature some of the local populous in your pictorial assessment of this fascinating country, I’m intruiged to know…how many kms are you covering each day?

    • Andrew
      August 9, 2017

      In Norway I’m doing about 80km with one or two small (200-400 metre) climbs per day.

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