Travelling by bike is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing the world. Yes, it requires effort, stamina and sometimes some anger release and tears but, guess what? Once you make it up that mountain or across a new region, you know it was your own will and power that brought you all the way there.
Tristan and I embarked on our (and my) first bicycle tour only five weeks ago, with a mission to cycle most of Norway’s west coast, from Tromsø to Bergen in about three to four months. Now, after having seen the famous islands up north such as Senja and the staggering Lofoten group, we already have quite a few kilometres in our legs and time only seems to fly by.
Coming from the south of Europe, we’d never experienced the midnight sun before and let me tell you; if you’re as activity-hungry as we are, you won’t ever get to sleep! We remember countless nights of hiking up to mountain tops such as Segla, Husfjellet, Ryten or Munkebu where the sun would be at its lowest point somewhere around 2am – you’d ideally be in your bed by then but we had only just reached the summit.
It has been quite a challenge to combine cycling, hiking, photography and the tasks that come with camping out as we are barely introducing ourselves into this new lifestyle. Norway is a wonderful country for bicycle touring and Tristan’s reasons for taking me here very much have to do with the Norwegian attitude towards the balance between nature and people. Camping out in the wild is legal – as in all of Scandinavia – and water can be drank out of almost any stream or river as its glaciers and icecaps provide the country all year around (except when frozen stuck in winter). People are friendly and speak wonderful English. That said, (especially northern) Norway also provides you with plenty of challenges when cycle touring. Supermarkets can be quite apart from each other, fresh food is very pricy, heavy trafficked tunnels can be scary to pass and – as even Norwegians have told us – the weather forecast is never to be trusted. A 10km distance can already make a world of difference.
Because of one of the challenges mentioned above, Forestia’s food packages have made life on the road a little easier during those soaked by rain, sleepy in the tent or exhausted after mountain hike moments. Quick and easy to cook, wherever you are. And to be honest, that vegan green lentil curry goes above any tent-made cyclist’s meal.
We are now facing the next stretch of our journey, which promises more incredible scenery. So… If you haven’t yet considered exploring Norway, you definitively should. See you all from the road!