Day 9: Moorudalur to Berufjordor

Woke up the next morning to the sound of rain. Had to pack away a soaking tent which was a bad start. The wind was phenomenal. I was due to meet Dave so had to cycle 8km back up the gravel track. It was very hard so I waved a coach down and loaded the bike on to travel to Egilsstadir. As I left, I heard that there were Country wide warnings about the wind. It was so bad that Campervans and cars with caravans were being warned not to drive. A couple of cars were blown over very close to our route, this made the whole day very intense and the weather was still horrific with terrible rain.

Once we had left the bus we had lunch and aimed to set off again. It was getting really cold and unfortunately I had given Angelique my fleece to take back to UK during the warm sunny spells last week. Fortunately I found a shop to by one and got on the bike to follow route 1 south. Cycled through the valleys but after 25kms it turned into a gravel road. It was very hardcore and still incredibly wet. We had to climb in the rain, going uphill in progressively worse winds. There was a shortcut recommended by locals down a track. She had said it was downhill and easier that way. But it wasn’t. It was uphill and only wide enough for one car – we felt very vulnerable in the teaming rain through thick fog. Rivers were bursting their banks and it was really cold. Everything was wet, it was as miserable as hell. Then we had the issue of descending down a 17% extreme ‘slope’.  It was incredibly steep. Fierce wind, pissing with rain, water and gravel everywhere. We both needed to use brakes all the way down. Dave’s brakes started to fail first and then Julien’s.  We had to stop and tighten both bikes brakes in the torrential rain. As well  as the Hollywood like conditions around us, we also experienced a real movie scene moment. A car stopped with two passengers within it.  One opened the window and just handed Dave a big bar of Cadbury chocolate and then drove off (!). We just stopped and crammed half each. At this point,  Julien was suffering from mild hypothermia. It was very difficult to hold on to the brakes. Dave’s were so bad  that in the end he ended up running down the hill with his bike. It was horrendous. Like a bad horror movie.

We eventually got down to sea level in the East. Looked at map and found a safe place to stay called Berufjordor.  We had to climb 2kms back up the hill to find it but it was dry and warm, we were not in the mood for damp tents and found a lovely hostel. It was very cosy.8 other tourists had passed us on the way up ( 6 Israelis and 2 Dutch) and they had said that they would have the soup on ready for us. The landlady was lovely and offered to wash and dry our clothes. We had a lovely evening, we were both exhausted but enjoyed chatting to our new friends. Got to bed at 2am. Found out at the end of the day that it was the worse rain that the country had experienced all year.

Please support Kids First Trust by sponsoring Julien on his Just Giving Page

Events Team
Kids First Trust

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One week and counting…

Time is ticking away as the ensuing departure date is now less than a week away.  Even though I have been preparing for this trip for ages, I am stick racked with anticipation.  Concerns of the overall requirements of the ride interlaced with daily issues such as shopping, whilst not having my kit stolen or finding somewhere to camp.  All in all, there are many issues to contend with.

In the grander scheme of things, I hope that this ride is a success.  By this, not only do I mean achieving the loft target of cycling 2800 miles to a vary sparsely populated are of the world but I also mean raise finds for the charity I have dedicated this ride to, Child’s I Foundation.  So far, I have raised just under £350 on my Just Giving page, which is a good start.  I hope that as I continue, people read about the various adventures I am likely to have en route as my blog will be maintained by Tom from Child’s I, in my absence.  I would love to hit my target amount of £2,500, so please keep reading this blog and make a donation if possible.  All of the money is destined to help kids in Uganda.  I am paying for all of my own expenses on this trip!

I have been testing all of my kit prior to my departure and so far, so good.  I have to make sure I can maintain my MSR stove as I know occasionally they can gunk up.  The biggest challenge will be to decide how much stuff to take along with me.  In the first couple of weeks, the temperature will hopefully remain in the warm twenties.  However, the further I travel up the spin of Sweden, the cool the weather will become.  Indeed, the figures I have seen for night time temperatures for Nordkapp and the north coast of Norway, even in mid summer, are around 4 degrees Celsius.  The weather is also likely to me inclement but that should only add to the drama of the journey.

It would be great to hear from any one if they have experience of travelling in this part of the world as so little has been written about it.  That said, hopefully my blog will be a useful place for other people considering this journey as a portal of information in due course.