Cycling through Norway - meeting with amazing nature and people

Norway was kind of a dream for me for a long time.
The way I decided to go to Norwey was amazing. I just was thinking of that which I received an email from a Fb friend telling me that he is in Oslo and will welcome me if I ever go there.
The idea of going there was growing and I just opened the map to have some ideas about Norwey. Where I should start then? After I saw the map I was thinking that I should cross the country from west to the east and regarding the season I couldn’t go much up to the north.  I just pointed my finger in a town called Stavanger which I didn’t have any information about it.
A week later I received an email from another friend of mine who just wrote” that if you ever come to Norwey I just moved to Stavanger to study and I have a place for you to stay! “
After I received that email from Malihe, then I was quite sure that my plan is to ride across the country from Stavanger to Oslo.
The ferry left Hirshtals at 10:30 pm and after having a shaking night on the ferry I arrived to Stavanger 7 am next morning.
After having some rest and a hot shower, Malihe came and we went to discover the town.
Weekends were all raining and a bit cold and I preferred to stay at home all day long. It was enough to be outside under rain and I just needed to stay inside.
on Monday I just went to the International school of Stavanger where my good friend Marcia already sent them an email to inform them about my visit.
Dr Linda kindly introduced me to one of the teachers and we agreed to find out how we can manage it for the workshops.
Trenton ( the teacher who had sent emails to teachers about my visit !)  sent me an email in the evening and enclosed an email from one of the teachers called Simon Teylor. “

Hi Trent

 

We know him! (sort of)

He’s Iranian from Mashhad in the North East, we stayed with all of his friends all over Iran a few years ago and he helped us out loads. He was in Tehran at the time so we never actually got to meet him, just chatted on the phone.

 

Didn’t know he was in Stavanger. We will definitely pop to see him.

Who is he staying with? Give him our phone number:…..He’s welcome to come and stay.

 

Simon “

 It was wonderful to read from Simon who I spoke to on the phone few years back while he was riding through Iran with his wife.
The next day I moved to stay n Simon’s place which was a cabin by the sea! It was amazingly peaceful and nice.
I spent almost whole Wednesday in school and I stayed also 3 nights in Simon’s place.
It was wonderful to spend time with Simon and Isabelle as they are professional cyclist and long traveler, so they had lots of useful information about Norway and they helped a lot with maps and planning my route.
I was supposed to leave on Thursday and I actually said goodbye to Simon and Isabelle but in the morning I just felt that I need to stay one more day and it is not the right time to leave! So I did.

After having farther discussion with Simon about the route, I decided to ignore Priekestolen and take a ferry all the way to Lysabothen and visit Kjerag and we were checking weather broadcast time to time.
On Friday morning I woke up and the ferry was about 1 pm, so I had no rush.
While having breakfast I checked again the weather in Prikestolen and I saw that it will be quite fine on Saturday, so a big desire came and a wish to visit it.
it was enough powerful which I could not ignore it. So I just changed my mind and I went out to go to Tau which I could ride to Priekestolen.
There was every 30 min a ferry to Tau and just one in any second day for Lysabothn. I was standing outside under a bus stop roof looking at the ferry to Lysabothn which was leaving, so I had only one way to go which was just Priekestolen.
after about 20 km I arrived at the foot hill of Priekestolen where I should leave my bike down there to walk to the rock.  I just took what I needed for a night camping and I left everything somewhere in the forest behind a piece of rock.
I began to walk and after nearly 2 hours I was there at the top. It took me quite longer than usual as I was carrying quite a heavy back pack and also I was walking at dark, but just following red T marks.
It was too dark because of the rain at the top and I just could find a spot to pitch my tent and fix it well and it was the only place I could do that despite another place which I saw a plastic bag with some stuff like cloths left from someone! So I avoided it and I just camped at the first place but quite close to the edge!  Just about 5 meter from the edge! And it is scary when you know that there is 600 meter drop at the edge. !
Regarding the weather broadcast it should be quite pleasant night but it began to blow strong wind! And rain afterward!!
hard rain made a stream under my tent and inside was full of water and everything wet!
But still fine till wind became more stronger and of coursed bit scary !
I woke up early morning before sunrise and I went out to take pictures and a little whole in the clouds were good enough to let the sun rays shine the fjiord and mountain and creat a lovely landscape.















I was stunned with the beauty, power and wild nature up there and kept taking pictures and a guy helped me also to have my picture sitting at the edge!
After breakfast I began to pack which I heard a strong sound…” something is wrong! “ I told myself and Suddenly I saw one of the pole from my tent is broken !
Not a lovely sign at least in this weather and being out in the wild.
I continued packing and I began to walk down to my bike.
A long line of people were walking up and I was quite happy to be there just on my own with no crowd.
I left my backpack on the road and I went into the forest to pick my bike which was left behind a rock under some dirt.
organizing again my things and I cycled back to the main road and to Foresand and after crossing the Fjiord Hole and then following the road no 508 toward Ortedal.
It was about afternoon and not much time left for cycling but still I needed to get to some place with a shelter, so I could sit somewhere dry and try to fix my tent even though it looks some challenging work with no right tools and spare parts.
It was about 4pm that I was almost at the foothill to climb for few km.
There were some trees which were painted with lots of colors form autumn and I was thinking of a picture but the same time I had a voice inside of me telling me that” no time for now…hurry up and find a shelter which is the most important thing for now !”

I was pushing my bike hard to climb that a lady wave hands from inside her house and soon after her partner came to the window and gave me a sign too!

Right away he asked me if I like to have a drink or not trough his body gesture!

I just stopped and he ran out with a cold drink and we began to talk. Straight away I told him about my tent and the roof I am looking for to pitch my tent underneath and he replied” your tent is broken? I am a mountain guy and I might be able to fix it…just bring your tent in!”

In a few minutes I was inside spreading my wet and dirty tent around his house and making everything quite dirty which was embarrassing, but he was so cool which I could keep my confident and be quite relax.
Then Veronica, the lady told me that while you are fixing the tent dinner will be ready and we can eat together. Such a nice offer!

After we looked at the tent Erik told me that it is almost gone and not much we can for it but he just bought a new tent and he can offer his old tent which was Norwegian tent to me.
WHAT? I was surprised!! I could not even believe it that replacing tent is just there before even I found a shelter!!
so we just throw my tent away and I got the tent but still I kept the cover from my old tent because the new tent was no longer waterproof from the outer cover.
Dinner was ready and we had an amazing meal especially French fries with Trophy oil and parmesan cheese which I have never tasted it before.
After dinner we kept talking with Erik and he kindly kept bringing me some different stuff which I would need while traveling through Scandinavian countries in cold weather. A set of woolen first layer, a sun glasses for winter, a waterproof cover for my cell phone, a woolen sucks…
Their kindness continued with an offer for a place to sleep also but as they didn’t have enough space Erik called his neighbor and asked them if I can stay in their house? And the answer was of course positive.
All these circumstances were building up my images of Norway and Norwegians which before I was heard that they are cold and a bit closed, but I was having totally a different experience!

It was like eastern countries for me where you can easily call your neighbor and ask for help, or just show up at the door to have a tea together or …it was amazing.
After dinner I went to their neighbor’s house and we began to talk again there for another 2 hours.
time was passing so quick and I couldn’t catch all the beauty of the moments and all the valuable feeling of humanity and caring. I just wanted to fill all my cells with the pure joy of this sudden and fresh friendship, but my mind was too far behind my soul to catch those moments.
We were having breakfast in the morning which a comment in my FB from Eik made me smile…” Gooooood morning! your equipment is dry, the Coffee is ready, so you can Come when you want !”
After a while I was packed and ready to leave even though there was a very strong wind and broadcasting some storm…
I had possible storm and rain ahead of me and lovely friends and warmish house behind, but I was about to leave and it was my decision!. That’s always a practice for me to leave at the right time and do not consider anything when it is time to leave!! do not scare of any possible storm ahead and do not let temptation of comfort lay you back!
Just before saying goodbye, Erik raised hid hands and asked me to promise him that I will call him anytime in Norway if I need a help!! I was feeling so much comfort and confident to see how he is supporting me.
I hugged them and I began to climb the hill while fighting with strong wind.
It was an amazing feeling of joy, peace, love and caring pushing me to go farther to meet more lovely people.
It began to rain in the afternoon and I cycled the rest of day under rain before I arrived to a lake to camp.
Because of very strong wind I had to shelter myself and I put my tent behind a cabin ( holiday house in Norway called cabin!) 10 m away from the lake.
everything was wet and my tent also got wet totally while setting it.
My very first night in my new tent was like just to move to a new house and experiencing it for the first time. Kind of new and I had things to discover and find out how it works and how I should manage my stuff there.
finally I was happy that my tent wont get wet from the bottom and this tent has still very good condition from the bottom, so I could sleep quite easy.
It kept raining all night and in the morning I packed under rain, but it was getting colder and I hd to find a shelter for the next night.
I knew there is a hut about 55km from where I was and in that raining cold day I couldn’t cycle a lot and I had to shelter myself quite soon, but the problem was there was no road to that hut and I had to walk 700 meter through a trekking path to go over a hill.
I was at the turn off and I began to push my bike but just after 50 meter I realized it is almost impossible to take my bike fully loaded over this hill.
I took off 2 bags and walk to the top of hill where I could see the hut at the bottom of the other side laying next to the heart shaped lake called Oyuvsvatnet..
Went back to get the bike but still enough heavy to stop me carrying it, so another two bags and walk again and along the way I had to walk in the water few times.
I was totally wet, cold and very strong side winds made me feel so cold..I was telling myself every 30 second that how stupid I am doing it while I just passed a shelter 3 km before that which I could camp underneath and dry up my tent!!
at least 20 times I told myself that” what a silly thing I am doing? Hey guy do you think of walking back the same way? …”
But I was there and I already began this work, so there was no chance to stop it.
I kept also telling myself “ don’t worry…if you are here doing this job means you should do it! Just keep calm and do it and do not think of next day…just do it!!
700 meter took me 2 hours while walking would take just 9 minutes!!
I opened the door and I went in…a fully equipped hut but empty from any human being and silence. It was Monday and I was quite sure no one would even pass by. Also the road would be winter closed in 2 days, so not many people will come this time!
The very first thing was burning some woods to dry my cloths and warm up the room.
and then hanging all my wet stuff in drying room.
I was planning to leave next day, so I had to dry up everything and I had to keep the fire on. So I would wake up every 90 minutes to put some wood into fire place till 2 am and then I just slept.
In the morning I looked at of the window, strong wind and rain. I walked outside…it was so cold.
No way to leave then…I had to stay another day. So I began to clean up around myself and dry the rest of things.
I sat there all day alone looking outside. In the late afternoon I heard someone at the door…I jumped like I was going to meet an angel! I opened the door and I saw a guy standing out cleaning his shows.
we were both surprised to meet someone else there..I said hi and the very first thing I told him was “ I think it is cold outside, let me make a coffee for you !” and I ran inside to boil some water for coffee.
Kjetil was also sitting at the same table, so I had a company to talk and share that empty, quiet time. It is so interesting that I have no problem being alone in the nature in my tent for days, but not inside.
After having spaghetti for diner, Kjetil offered me to help me in the morning to take 2 of my bags to the road, where he had parked his car. It was like a relief for me. But still thinking of walking through water to get back to the road was a night mare. I had my shows dry now and then they will be totally wet and I wont be able to dry them again. It was cold and I had to keep them dry.
In the morning while having breakfast Kjetil told me that “  I was thinking last night that it would be hard for you to walk into the water with your shows, so I have a pair of rubber boot in mmy car and I will go to take them for you first and then we can go back to the road together.”
So he took one of my bags and he walked to the car while I continued packing, he returned with a pair of rubber boot and took another two bags and I carried my bike to the road.
HE also offered me some ready meal and some other food to carry with me, also he offered me to cover my accommodation expenses!! I was totally surprised and I could not even believe that how things can change in a so positive way in a second. Now I knew why I was doing that job and why I was carrying my stuff to that hut! And I was so happy which I trusted my feeling.
My trust to the universe and GOD is growing and it is expanding to any piece of my life now and I try to bring it to the smaller parts of my life. To the little things and try to free my mind even more and help my soul to touch the elements of nature.
I said goodbye and he began to drive and I began to pack, but he stopped and he came to me, he handed some money and told me that “ Hey Mohammad, this is my contribution to your tour!”
I had nothing to say, just smiled deeply from my heart and let the joy settle into my soul and peace into my heart!
I began to cycle. It was cold and temperature was below zero as water was frozen last night and even was a little snowing, but gladly I was dry.
2 more nights on the road, camping and cycling through beautiful Norwegian nature with its unlimited lakes and waterfalls and rivers, thick forests and mountains was a gift which I was blessed with.
On the second night of camping I found a little piece of rock stretched into the water and a flat space big enough to pitch my tent, no more I needed to have a pleasant night out in the nature.




I throw everything inside the tent and I went to pick some woods to make fire. It was an amazingly quiet and calm night and I was sitting by the fire next to the lake.
Again rain from midnight …I was quite tired of having lots of rain, so I postponed packing in the morning and kept the hope that rain might stop, but didn’t. so I packed and I began to ride.
I had a very cold day and my fingers no longer could tolerate the pain. They were wet and cold.
I arrived to a little town called Lunde and I was hoping to find a bicycle shop and buy some break paths. Mine was totally gone and even in downhill I was quite afraid as I had no more break, but there was no bike shop in that town. But I still had to stay somewhere to get a bit warm and dry up a little bit.




was almost crying of the pain I had in my fingers and I could do nothing but just keep cycling to the town. 

I saw a supermarket and I ran inside, I left my soaked gloves outside and my fingers began to feel the warmth of the place and it was along with a big pain flowing through my fingers as blood was reaching their tips.
I walked around supermarket and I picked some little things to eat and I sat just on the corner to eat and spend some little time.
It was really hard even to think f continue this way, so I sent a sms to Simon to ask about the weather details: “ light rain whole day continues all night, tomorrow dryer but shower in the afternoon and 2 degrees warmer!”
Then I had to think of camping as soon as I could and stay somewhere sheltered!
In the supermarket I took 2 plastic bags to cover my fingers from the rain, so I could keep them a bit warm.
Then I was also thinking of the distance I still should cycle to Oslo, so I had no choice but keep cycling.
It was around 4 pm and 30 minutes before it gets dark and my last chances to find a shelter.
I found a house with a garag
e and I went to the guy standing at the door to ask if I am allowed to put my tent inside the garage? And he answered that “  you know, I am used to put my car inside, so I think it is better you continue to find another place! But he kindly filled my bottles with water.” 

 I continued few more kilometers and I asked another person and got the same answer!
I was too tired, wet and cold and kind of exhausted! But I kept telling myself that, hey Mohammad : “  you will get something wonderful! There is always something amazing after a hard day! Just keep on”
Finally I came to a sign “ Hytte-Rom” I thought that there should be a place renting out room, so there also might be a chance to find a shelter.
I cycled down into the place but as I had no breaks anymore I had to stop the bike with my shows…
I rang the bell and a lady showed up at the door! “  can I put my tent somewhere under a shelter? “ I asked and
she kindly replied YES!! But we have cabin you can have a bed there. “ How much is that? “  I asked again and she answered 100 Kr!! This was too less regarding prices in Norway!
I was happy for it and I followed her to the cabin. Her husband came a long to open the door and he took me to a big cabin fully funitued and he began to put some woods into fire place!!

While he was making fire he looked back and told me:” you can stay here as many days as you want and it is all free for you! Just come over to our house when you are changed to have superb with us!”

 
I was kind of shocked!! I could not believe it…everything just turned out to an extremely wonderful situation and a beautiful cabin right at the lake!
I brought my bags inside and I changed my cloths and walked to their house to have dinner.
in less than an hour I was kind of a part of family and I was at home with my family!!
Tomorrow we will go for a walk to see hidden church and tomorrow evening we will have Moos steak for dinner! Is that fine with you? “ Hakon asked me!! “  super great..but I think I stay here 3 nights” I replied. I called Erik to tell him that I am fine and he explained Hakon how the things went with me and about the tent and asked him to provide me a tarp for my tent…he was still caring for me and Hakon gave me a big tarp which I can use it as a shelter for my tent, also gave me some waterproof gloves and the most lovely thing they gave me a wooden bowl made by Hakon himself.
And he kindly said that’s fine. Don’t worry and on Monday I can drive you to Oslo. So no worries!!
While staying there I more preferred to spend my time with them rather than staying alone in the cabin even though the cabin was so beautiful.
We talked for many hours and I realized that Ann’s father just died few days back. I was sad to hear that also happy to be there, so we could share some words and we could talk and let the pain goes from her heart, even though it will be kind of everlasting pain after anyone lose her/his parents but just to let it go a bit and have more peace.
Last morning I woke up early to have breakfast with them at 7am, so I could meet Adrian ( their 10 years old son) again before I leave.
They drove me to
 Oslo and I hugged them and said goodbye to them and followed Shahab, my Iranian host in Oslo who I was meeting him for the first time. We were FB friends for w while but never met before. 





I was almost done w
ith Norway and my memories and stories of kind and warm hearten people of Norway will always stay in my heart. 

And now looking farther to have some wonderful stories in Sweden

11 November 2014











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Released at October 28
After nearly 3 months I am on my back to Iran. last 2 years I didnt travel much because I should spend more time in Iran working on the Association to develop it. this year also I will spend few months in Iran in order to do more work for the Association. Of course is not that easy for me to stay in Iran long time but I have an important job to do though. 
I think I am almost done with Europe and my next leg of journey will be South America in 2018.