Two becomes four, and then one.

During our month in Sollia, it became apparent that Tanya’s injuries seemed to be recovering better than mine, or maybe just that I wasn’t dealing with the setback as well. Whatever the case, after much pondering and changing of minds, I eventually decided that I would cut my trip short and fly back to Australia to give myself the best opportunity to make a full recovery. Tanya opted to stick to our plan and carry on to Iceland.

I booked my flight, but before that we had a week of travelling with Tanya’s Dad Keith and his partner Margaret planned. At the end of July we cycled out of Sollia back down the hill to Atna, where we spent an unplanned night back at the house of previous hosts Jon and Anne, who treated us to more wonderful hospitality, including locally hunted wild moose and hand-picked blueberries in pie form. We camped in their front yard and were on the train to Oslo at 6 the next morning.

Little Atna station at 5:30am.

After leaving our bikes with warm showers host Daniel, we met Keith and Margaret at the train station and checked into an airbnb apartment. A couple of large pizzas and a big nights sleep was just what we all needed before getting our trip started.

We spent most of the next day travelling to Geiranger, where we stayed two nights in a cute little cabin with a stunning view of the Fjord. We did some hiking and checked out the village for an afternoon. The hiking helped to reinforce that my knees were not in a great state, and that Tanya’s were not perfect either.

Looking up past our cabin.

Looking down.

Tanya behind an impressive waterfall.

We then spent most of the next two days travelling to Bergen via a scenic ferry ride, a couple of buses, a night in Forde, and another bus. A tram ride got us to the door of another airbnb apartment. Out two nights in Bergen allowed us a day to look around the city which was bustling with tourists, as well as lots of good food and some cards.

Our final day together involved a scenic 7 hour train trip back across Norway to Oslo, where we checked into our respective accommodations and then met up again at an Indian restaurant. After the meal we took a walk around the harbour and then said our farewells, with Keith and Margaret off to explore Sweden and the Baltic countries.

Tanya and I still had two nights to spend in Oslo before I flew home, and we spent that time going to cafes, the botanic gardens, procuring boxes for packing our bikes, and relaxing. Our final night was spent back at Daniels house where we ate some delicious lasagna and had fun trying to fit all my luggage into a slightly undersized bike box.

In the morning we got the bus to the train station, getting off a couple of stops early and having to carry the box a little further than was comfortable. After finding the right platform on the second attempt, we had half an hour to say goodbye and wish each other luck for our 7 weeks apart (about 7 times our previous longest time apart).

I endured a sleepless 24 hour trip home, where I stayed in Sydney for a weekend with my uni mates. I then travelled to Tamworth where I saw a physio and found out what I need to do for the next month or two to get back to full health. I’m confident that next time I see Tanya I’ll be close to 100%. That’s about where my involvement in the story ends for now.

After four more days exploring Oslo, Tanya spent a night sleeping in a starbucks at the Airport, before boarding her flight to Iceland. Her first two days in the country were spent with warm showers hosts Sveinn and Unnur who gave her the best possible chance to get ready for the next 6 weeks. She has now been on the road for a few days, and it looks awesome. Let’s hope it all goes well and Tanya will be able to share her stories and photos along the way. I’m certainly looking forward to that.

Keith, Margaret, Tanya and I after disembarking the ferry from Geiranger to Hellsylt.