Wednesday 28th of July 2010
Hardangerfjord is 179 kilometres long and thus Norway’s second longest fjord and the third longest on the planet. The fjord is a staggering 800 meters at its’ deepest point. On top of the fjord is the Folgefonna glacier which covers 220km, this was a “must see” this summer; this was what was going to save this motorcycle season!
To prepare for the trip, I went out and got myself a decent pair of motorcycle trousers, waterproof and all which turned out to be a great investment! I also brought an extra pair of gloves that were a bit thicker than the ones I normally use as they keep my hands warmer during night time riding and they take a bit longer to get soaking wet (“waterproof” my ass!) during those rainy days. So why all this waterproof wear you ask? Isn’t it summer in Europe now? Western Norway is known for its’ rain, not sure why, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the tall mountains keeping the clouds from moving on to their next destination or something like that, and eventually the clouds get too heavy and it starts to rain. I’m no scientist so don’t take my word for it, but it really does rain a lot in that part of Norway.
I tried packing light for this trip. I filled my sidebags and one extra bag that I strapped to the sissybar rack. Here’s a quick table that can be helpful if you’re ever travelling the same route. It shows what I brought, what I used and didn’t use and what I really should have brought instead. I’m learning something on every trip.
|Useful||Didn’t use||Bring next time!|
|Mobile phone + charger||Cutlery||Warm socks|
|Backup mobile phone||Heat pad||Extra batteries for flashlight|
|GoogleMaps print-out||Tiny bottles of soap|
|Toothbrush + toothpaste|
|Extra pair of gloves|
|Pen + paper|
See, you can travel pretty light. You don’t need to bring heaps of stuff for a 3 day trip. Keep it simple!
I clocked 403 kilometres the first day. I went from my hometown, Kristiansand in the afternoon and arrived in Lofthus Camping later the same day. See the GoogleMap below to see this clearer. The road that goes through Setesdalen, Hovden and Haukeligrend and all the way to Odda in Sørfjord is pretty decent compared to many of the other roads inland. There are some long and dark tunnels though, with turns and some even go uphill or downhill. Take it easy in these tunnels. After I got home I heard that sheep sometimes go inside these tunnels in summer because it’s cold and nice inside the tunnels. So unless you got a sheep-bar attached to the front of your iron horse (oooooh, dry humor!), go easy in the tunnels.
On my way to the camping place I passed one of Norway’s most famous waterfalls called Låtefoss which is actually two waterfalls or a so-called twin-waterfall which joins at the bottom. It’s 165m high. I didn’t stop to see the waterfall on my first day as I knew I was going to pass it again on my way back home. You’ll see the waterfall just before you come to a small city named Odda. I’ll post photos of this waterfall on the trip report of day 3 of the trip.
On the left side, a few minutes before I entered Sørfjord I could see the Folgegonna glacier. I’ve never seen a glacier before so even just seeing a glimpse of it in the distance was quite cool. My trip had begun!
Lofthus Camping on the east side of Sørfjord is a small camping ground with fruit trees and an amazing vie of Sørfjord itself and you can also see parts of Folgefonna. What an amazing view to have just outside your tent! One night for one person and a motorcycle set me back 75kr (approx. $US 12), which I think is a bargain! There is a hotel a few hundred meters from the camping site with a similar view, but that’ll set you back about 1.200kr (US$200) per night.
Stay tuned for day 2 of the trip! That’s when it all really begins! And remember that I also have an RSS-feed up so that you can subscribe to all my updates and even get them straight into your e-mail inbox! RSS-feed.
A map of Hardangerfjord in Western Norway.