Day 6: Company & Solitude

I wake up and I can smell coffee. It’s coming from the bathroom. Strange, but this is how the lady of the house likes it, and I can see why. The shared bathroom contains a coffee machine, so that upon waking, one can get a coffee and return to the warm bed for an hour or so to read. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to live slowly and feel that in doing so you’re actually more fulfilled.

Thermometer

There are obvious parallels with bicycle travel, which is a methodical, hands-on, progressive style of living. But this morning I’m enjoying being indoors like never before.

I make my way downstairs and am given two fried eggs and bacon by my lovely host. Given the choice of anything in the world to eat for breakfast, I would probably have opted for just that.

It’s not easy to find company in Norway. If I thought the British were a reserved bunch, they’ve been thoroughly outdone by the Norwegians. I find it lonely here. “We’re as cold as the weather”, I had been told the previous day by the only person to make conversation with me since Oslo.

Luckily the day distracts me in its ethereal beauty. I pass through soft, ancient mountains and glacial valleys, the roads to myself. The blue sky is strafed with suggestive wisps of cloud, but the sun illuminates the valley throughout the day. The bitter cold is almost obscured by the splendour of the visible world.

I camp in a field, stamping out a patch of snow for my tent, tying the corners to my panniers and slinging them into the deep snow to anchor the pitch. This works well. I line the floor with a sheet of plastic obtained from a sports shop in Koppang in the morning.

Then I stand in the field, stomach full and bed made, and look at the stars. No wonder these things have inspired so many poems and works of art. Visible with more clarity here than anywhere I’ve been, I have a sudden feeling of where I am; standing on the surface of a rock, hurtling through space; my existence begun and ended in the blink of a galactic eye.

Norway moon

Like I said, it’s lonely here.

Schwalbe bicycle tyres, Extrawheel single-wheel trailers

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6 Responses to “Day 6: Company & Solitude”

  1. ninasbuick

    You’re not alone in cyberspace! Love the posts and the journey. Keep ’em coming,
    Nick

    Reply
  2. fruchtzwerg

    as nick said, you’re not alone, there are always people thinking of you. hope that thought can help to get you through the loneliness of a tent in winter.
    if you’re passing through trondheim and need a rest there, give me shout and i can try to hook you up with some friends! strangely enough, standing around with skis seems to help to get random norwegians to talk… shame that skis are a bit impractical for a bike!

    Reply
    • Tom

      Thank you. I don’t think I’ll be in Trondheim on this trip though. Skis are starting to look like a good idea, by the way 🙂

      Reply
  3. John Suscovich

    Tom,

    Love the updates man, keep’em coming. How are you doing the Google map in the post?

    Cheers,

    John

    Reply
  4. Liz

    I love the two paragraphs – ‘Luckily the day distracts me ………….’ and ‘Then I stand in the field ………….’
    Very inspiring.
    I look forward to the daily blog 🙂
    xx

    Reply

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