Thursday, 16 August 2012

the border run

Okay, we've succumbed.  To the south west are some of Norway's most dramatic fjords and the highest road in northern Europe which is described as one of the best cycle rides in....oh, somewhere.  But we can't face any more rain, so instead we're heading south east into Sweden and down to Stockholm, where the sun is shining, the weather is sweet, makes you wanna move your dancin' feet.  Or have we just been listening to too much Bob Marley?

We follow a wonderful wide salmon river south of Trondheim and turn eastwards with it as it climbs into the high plateau on the border.  It takes us a couple of days or so to reach Roros, all uphill, and we start to get a feel for Norway's inland forest scenery.   The river is popular for fishing and the first night we check out a fishing spot for a camp.  It's now absolutely chucking it down and a young Norwegian/American fisherman puts us off - telling us the landowner would chase us off.  We can't be bothered arguing our rights. Tea is cooked and consumed on a tiny railway platform in the shelter.  Then Gayle goes for a wander in the rain, knocks on a door and Christian answers.  He's in an old school that's now an arts centre.  Yes, of course we can camp on their huge lawn.  Would we like a shower?  We can use the kitchen and the lounge too.   Perfect.  After scrubbing up we chat with him most of the evening and sleep comfortably on the kind of lawn we can normally only dream about.

Roros is an old copper mining town full of the traditional wooden houses built in its 19th century heyday - all fairly well preserved.  Even the slag heaps are UNESCO listed. The town sits on the edge of what feels like a high mountain plateau - a fairly bleak and unpromising place now visited by large numbers of tourists.
a cheeky stag takes a peek up Roros' high street
We meet Marie-Ann and Benya here, also cycle touring, and we share a nice camp by a bathing place with pit toilets and picnic benches.  Living the high life.

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