Day 9 – Bjerka Camping to Hell

It was nice waking up in a bed, OK it was the top bunk in a pretty basic and not exactly luxury bunk bed but it was still a bed. The night had been a bit chilly, so much so that I had gotten up and taken the blanket off the bottom bunk in the night to stop the shivering. We were right next to a river and it was pretty exposed so I guess there was little to keep any heat from escaping.  I looked over at the other bunk, Paul was curled up with his blanket covering his head. I climbed down from my bunk and headed to the toilet block half expecting to see Roy washing his bike still. By the time I came back there were noises from Paul’s bunk, turns out he’d been a bit chilly in the night but unlike me, he couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed to get another blanket and instead opted to freeze half to death.

I started to get my electrical gear together before going to my bike where the loading process once again started. Thankfully today there was no tent to put away.

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We got our gear on and I coaxed the guys into going over the playground near the cabins to grab a few silly shots, my tripod once again coming in very handy. We took some shots on a couple of bouncy spring toys then I got paul to run up the slide and pose. I set the camera on timer and tried the same, only for my boots to slip and my head planted nicely into the slide with a bit of a clunk! Then it was time to leave and continue our ride south.

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The main objective of the day was to reach Hell, yes I said Hell. It is a village located near Trondheim and was where we were to meet up with Arvid, a fellow IT geek and biker who was to be our guide for the last days of the trip. The main goal of reaching the Arctic Circle had been achieved and now we were going to be riding some amazing and dangerous roads, testing our skills to the limits at times.  The day was going to be pretty much riding all day with no other stops on route to Hell.

As we rode, the scenery continued to amaze and delight us. At one point we passed a crystal clear lake backed by snowy mountains and we pulled over so I could go back and take a few pictures. I turned back with Roy and we rode back maybe 1/4 mile to a small turning on the opposite side of the road from the lake. I pulled over and put my side stand down but I wasn’t happy with the lean on the bike so I rolled a little further along but now the slope was worse. I climbed off as I couldn’t push the bike back whilst sat on it, the ground was too gravely and too steep to grip, as I tried to push the bike back it tilted back and once again I couldn’t stop it going right over onto it’s side although I did “put it down” gently. Roy came over and gave me a hand and we got it back up on 2 wheels. By this time I was a bit sweaty and frustrated! But I’d come for the photo and I was going to take it! I turned the bike around and parked up on the road next to the lake then climbed down the bank leaving the bike at the mercy of passing drivers hoping they didn’t clip it or knock it over. We got a few pictures before climbing back on and heading off once again.

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We had a cycle of riding and refuelling, something that would probably feel like a pain at home, but not in Norway. The breaks gave us a chance to chat, eat and cause mischief, not only that but we stopped at the most scenic petrol stations you can imagine. During one of our stops today I looked up to see Gregg wandering around his bike looking rather puzzled, in his hand one of his wing mirrors. “Has anyone got a spanner” he called out which immediately launched Paul into action. I wandered over to take a look with the sound of Paul unlocking top boxes and panniers in the background. I took the mirror and looked at Gregg… “Why don’t you just screw it back on?” I said, so I took the mirror and screwed in back into the thread anticlockwise. “Oh.. ” said Gregg. Paul then arrived and continued to wrench the mirror so tight it was never going come off again, ever.

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We sat and chatted, had a coffee and I took a “selfie” to satisfy Gregg’s needs which he clearly thought was hilarious.

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We rode on, the roads continued to be great to ride but we were starting to hit more traffic now the further south we travelled. Paul rode off with an addition to his bike, Gregg had sneaked into the garage and purchased a “Flaming Christmas Tree” air freshner which he had tied, hidden from plain view, to the back of Paul’s bike. We stopped later in the day as the riding was hard work in the traffic at which point Gregg’s giggles raised Paul’s awareness to the item attached to his bike.

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After what felt like an eternity we arrived in Hell (maybe it’s supposed to feel like that in Hell… who knows) We found a small petrol station and stopped to work out which way the main town was. We were looking forward to sitting down in a nice restaurant or coffee shop in Hell’s high street, looking around a few souvenir shops, seeing the sights and so on. Problem is we couldn’t find a high street, or shops or anything. Pauls magic Iphone directed us towards a road the way we had come from so we headed back down that road and took the first turning off which led to the train station, Hell’s train station.

We climbed off and had a good look around, not that there was much to see. A train rolled in but no one got off, guess Hell had no new souls today. We knocked on the door of the station and a young man opened the door, he wasn’t wearing a red lycra suit, he had no horns or tail and not even a pointy beard, instead he wore a rail ticket office uniform. We enquired as to where the main town was only to be told there wasn’t one as such. We looked at each other, rather disappointed and surprised that a place called Hell hadn’t taken advantage of that very fact. Any other country would have milked that!

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We sat and waited for Arvid to arrive which very shortly after he did, a rumble across the car park from his VFR, a cloud of dust and there he was. We said our hello’s, none of us had met Arvid in person before so there was a lot to chat about over the next week. We took a few photographs at the station before leaving and heading off to a campsite that was about 10 minutes ride away.

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Ertsgaard Camping was actually on what looked to be a farm, the owner must have seen an opportunity to make a few extra Krone by setting aside an area by the river, building a few huts and a toilet/shower hut and renting out space for tents and caravans. It was dirt cheap as well, about £7 for a tent for the night! Arvid sorted out the details with the owner and we then rode into the nearby town of Stjordal to get some food. Arvid had brought a portable BBQ with him and bought some sausages (much to Gregg’s delight) and chicken wings. We bought some drinks and snacks as well then headed back to the campsite.

Roy and Gregg once again slipped into a hut for the night whilst myself, Paul and Arvid all set our tents up for the night. Arvid setup his camping BBQ and we appointed Gregg as official cook (all Americans are keen BBQ cooks are they not?) I brewed up some tea and we sat around the tents, chatting and eating. As you can see Paul’s erection skills were still lacking as his tent collapsed once again… which Gregg thought was hilarious!

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Below you can see our camp setup and Gregg lovingly tending to his sausages.

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We then called it a day and headed to our tents/hut to get some well needed sleep. I took a few moments to read my Overland magazine at which point Paul decided to jump me from his tent!

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The end of my day 9!

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