(11) It’s all about the bike – we mean hand…
Tuesday 12th June
Woke up to Sharon still in a lot of pain. We left our deluxe shed reluctantly (Sharon had managed to spread her stuff over each bed, the table and the floor – I believe this habit has not changed since her teenage years since her first ‘floordrobe’)
Our accomodation seemed to be more suited to ducks…
We headed to the Arctic museum. It was fascinating seeing articles from early exploration of the North pole – those guys were tough!!
We had lunch outside of the museum and met a lovely Australian couple who were about to do a cycle tour down in the South of Norway.
We headed off to find a garage to get some fuel. As our bottle only holds a litre, we have to ask someone buying fuel to fill our bottle for us and then we pay them. The guy we asked kindly donated us a litre and wished us a happy stay! At the same time Sara was buying a small bottle of gas which was £10! We took it back and used our free fuel instead : )
Heading out of town, we called into an interesting pub that is only open during the day. We each tried a different ale – delicious but expensive. It claims to be the world’s most northerly pub.
Before crossing the bridge over to Kvaloy, Sara pointed out a keep fit class going on in a gym. Tim had a bit of a wobble, blaming his bike.
Found a great campsite just off the roadside and watched Bridemaids on our laptop, which was suprisingly funny. Had an amazing evening/night sun. Took lots of photos.
View from our campsite at the side of the road -this photo was taken at 12.10pm
Wednesday 13th June
Still no improvement to Sharon’s hand, in fact it was getting worse despite taking the antibiotics. It looked like an inflated pink rubber glove covered in blisters, so packed up early (for us) to try and find a doctor/surgeon (!) in Sommaroy. There was no doctor but a helpful lady in a bank who told us there was one in Finnsnes. The ferry to the island of Senja was leaving at 10.30 am,in 40 minutes and the next one after that was at 5.30pm so we rode as fast as we could with full panniers and an estimated distance of 10 miles would we make it? After 6 miles we arrived at the ferry port with 20 minutes to spare very relieved.
On board the ferry
We reached Senja and continued to pedal to Finnsnes about 40 miles away only to stop for a coke and a snack to find Tim had lost his tilly hat and was gutted. This is the second hat he’s lost – he only has his cycle helmet left and if he losses that one I think you could call it a hat trick.
On arriving in Finnsnes we arrived at the hospital all of which seem to be at the top of a hill (maybe it’s to find out which ones really need medical attention) The doctor had no idea what the problem was so referred Sharon to a specalist skin doctor in Harstad the next day. Fortunately is was accessable by ferry so Sharon didn’t have to cycle – gripping the handlebar was a problem let alone braking… We then spent the next hour trying to find a spot to pitch our tents.
Thursday 14th June
Tim woke to find Sharon missing from the tent and discovered her outside sleeping because the heat in the tent made it worse. We got up early again to catch the ferry to Harstad, we arrived at the port and boarded the boat. A crew member asked us our names and nationality with a dictaphone. When he asked Tim he asked ‘Harstad’? Tim thought he said ‘hash-tag’ thinking it was some twitter thing forgetting we were heading to Harstad. Bless him.
After a very fast ferry ride to “hash-tag” with lots of nice smelling poeple we arrived. We unloaded our bikes in front of some very impatiant people to head off to the top of a long steep hill (again) where we would find the hospital.
We parked the bikes on an open bike park with a big H in the middle and heading inside to find the doctor.
The staff were extremely helpful and concluded it was an allergic reaction to a very toxic plant called Tromso palm and not the moon. The antibiotics were not the right thing for an allergic reaction and so the doctor prescribed steriods for 15 days and a purple liquid to bathe the skin in. Sharon is under strict orders to rest up for a few days. We brought pizza and headed outside ,with no helicopter to produce enough wind for tim to fly his shark kite we headed into town to find a campsite.
Since finding out we have to hang around for a few days, Sara made the decision to continue on to the Lofoten islands on her own as her flight is on Tuesday. We were sad that the 3 musketeers where to be seperated but it was the right decision otherwise Sara would miss out on the stunning islands she had come to see.
We had a slap up meal of meat balls, saute spuds, peas and pepper sauce but the feeling of losing a team member early was felt by all. Sharon had to sleep in the porch with her hand outside to keep it cool as the warmth makes it more painful. This must of been a strange sight for passers by. Tim commented that eating lots of meatballs and sleeping in a sleeping bag should carry a health warning…
Friday 15th June
Woke up with heavy rain on the tent it felt like the weather knew Sara was leaving us, Sharon felt sad we weren’t all leaving together. They said goodbye and Tim rode to the bus station with Sara to see her off. Tim said it was horrible saying goodbye.
After Sara had left Tim rode around for a bit feeling lost so went off to look for things to improve life on the road and armed with more chocolate and a bag full of goodies from the supermarket : ) went back to the campsite to check up on sharon.
We spent the rest of the day on the internet,eating chocolate, drinking tea , chatting to fellow campers and watching the weather go by.