It’s now been a week since we departed from Nøtterøy in Norway. After a good nights sleep on Sunday the 24th, and a rather stressful morning the day after, we sat on our 58 kg, and 49 kg heavy bicycles at 10 in the morning and slowly pedaled north into Tønsberg with freezing headwinds.
Luckily we were soon heading south and we had the wind in our back most of the way to Larvik and the awaiting ferry to Denmark.
Two hours before the ferry was leaving we were going to have a quick lunch a bit outside Larvik, and as we set up our Primus it had some hiccups from not having been cleaned
ever recently. It was all clogged up with petrol soot. We managed to get it working at half capacity with the cleaning needle and finally got to eat something warm before cycling on to the dock where we were met by two lovely cheering ladies with warm smiles, Tone and Line, who were welcoming two tired, frozen cyclists to their last stop in Norway.
After saying good bye to our friends we cycled onto the cargo truck deck on the ferry where a crew member strapped our bikes questionably loose to the wall railing. As he was satisfied and left, we later tightened the straps properly and headed up onto the seated deck and just rested in the sunset, relatively nervous about what we were getting outselves into and we barely managed to eat much.
When we finally arrived in Denmark after some 2-3 hours we pedalled into the nearest forest and pitched our tent in the dark. Just as we had gotten cozy in our warm sleeping bags, we heard some footsteps just outside the tent, raising our heartbeats. Daniel quickly reached for his headlamp and looked outside but there was nothing to be seen. After scouting the other direction there was a fox sitting on his butt and scratching his ear before he tiptoed into the woods. We named him Preben and fell asleep.
The following couple of days mainly consisted of freezing side- and headwind, straight cycling roads following the main road between towns. With these types of roads comes all of the loud trucks and cars passing by our side non-stop, which was a bit headache inducing.
On day four we randomly stumbled onto EuroVelo 3 which we mainly stuck to ever since then. It has been really pleasant, calm, scenic and varying. Passing through lush forests and rolling hills where there are almost no cars.
The only problem again being 10-15 m/s pure headwind from 8 in the morning to late at night, making it unavoidable once you get out in the fields. One could argue that it’s a bad start we’ve had, but we have actually felt our legs getting stronger each day from having such a heavy start. We’ve still not had a rainy cycling day so we cannot complain too much!
On Saturday, the 2nd windiest day of them all right after Friday, we realised there’s no point in trying to have a conversation as we both were exhausted from the day before, and had to scream in order to hear each other. So we put music in our earbuds and pedalled like never before, cycling one of the longest stretches of the week. Music really helps with motivation! On that same evening as we struggled to find a place to camp, we randomly came across a wind shelter in the middle of a forest on google maps, where we met two nice Danish ladies sitting by a campfire.
We chatted a bit with them as we were making our dinner for the night, and they even gave us some of their pastry for dessert, and left the campfire burning for us to enjoy when they headed off for the night. It felt good to warm our hands and toes against the fire after a long day of cycling in chilly headwinds. It later rained that night so we avoided having to pack a wet tent in the morning.
On Sunday we had tailwinds for the first time – what a relief! We were flying forward in 40 km/h on the flat roads, with the same strong winds we had the previous days. By now Thea had given Denmark a new slogan: The country where you have to reduce your speed rolling downhill according to the temperature of your fingers.
We decided to make the most of it and cycle as far as we could to set up camp right before the next large city. On the following day we would take a day to rest, shower and recharge at a B&B because the winds were shifting back to headwinds the following week.
So here we are in Kolding after one week, having cycled most of our way through Denmark, and only about 80-90 km to country number two – Germany! We’ve updated the statistics and the actual route on the website today.
So far it’s been really tough and nice at the same time. We’ve had really good routines and we are noticeably getting stronger every day. Our spirits are high and we just hope the temperature stays on the warmer side and that the winds shift in our favour more often.
We’ve also noticed our snoots are quite red, so even if it’s March in Denmark, wear your sunscreen kids!
Until next time!