Aug 28 2009

Rain-riding is not my forte

Cozy "seahouse" in Lyngvaer
Being out in the elements is both the blessing and the curse of bike touring. When the weather is good, it's an amazing way to travel. When the weather is bad, it can be downright miserable.

Prior to losing my right eye, I didn't mind cycling in the rain. As long I could stay warm enough (and keep my feet dry), I could tolerate riding through pretty steady showers. But now that my field of vision has been cut in half and I always have shatter-proof sports glasses on to protect the one eye I have, biking in the rain is suddenly a lot more than an inconvenience…it can be just plain scary. Add lack of sleep to the mix and in hindsight all I can say is, "What the he'll were we thinking?!"

But at some point, we decided we couldn't wait on the weather any longer and pedalled into a monsoon that would basically continue for 3 more days. We took a deliberately slow pace, with Dr. Darling leading the way…but there's pretty much no getting around the fact that it was 38 kilometers of misery. Worse yet, the fisherman's cabins for rent that had appeared around every curve in the road on the first two days of the trip were suddenly no-where to be found. The only thing worse than riding in bad weather is not knowing where or when you'll be able to get out of it for the night.

And then, just when I was ready to toss the Swede off the next bridge we crossed, a campground that was not on our map nor listed in any of the tourist info we had with us suddenly appeared in Lyngvaer. The reception office was just opening as we arrived, and we were pretty much ready to pay any price for whatever accommodation they had available.

We needn't have worried. With the weather so lousy, there wasn't alot of demand and we scored a nice room in a "seahouse", which is basically a large cabin near the water that can sleep 10 or 12 people, all of whom share the common kitchen, livingroom and bathrooms. Our cabin had 5 bedrooms, but we had it all to ourselves…which felt very decadent. No queue for the bathroom or the stove, and best of all: total control of the remote control to the colour TV…which got 11 different channels! It was the ideal place to dry out. Especially for only 250 Norwegian crowns! (About $45 USD)

Which is why, when it was still raining at noon the next day, we decided to stay a 2nd night. The rain finally stopped about 5 pm and we ventured out to explore the grounds, which were really nice. There was a boat dock, and wild blueberries and lingonberries growing everywhere. We never did figure out why the place wasn't listed anywhere. I could have happily stayed there the rest of the week!

But there were whales to watch in Stö, so after two nights of relative luxury we wrapped our shoes in plastic bags again and pedalled off under the still threatening skies. But this time, we knew exactly where we'd be staying at the end of the day.

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Feed my ego!

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