The Return from Vestland (day 4)

Last Updated on: August 20, 2023

The return from Vestland wasn’t going to be all solo. My friend, who came from Bergen, decided to tag along, for a while.

There was a reason for that. A reason In the form of a particular gravel he had not ridden before. A detour for my friend from Bergen. The opposite direction kind of detour. But a small price to pay for some gravel and dirt fun.

Side valley in Aurland,

Making our way up in a small side valley in Aurland.

Before the return, a surprise

Before the return to our respective homes we had some exploring to do in Aurland. A local tipped us about a gravel road, leading up through and into a small side-valley.

As many gravel roads in Vestland, and indeed elsewhere in the country, sometimes the smallest and coolest roads don’t lead anywhere. You have to go back down, or back out, the same way. This is no defeat, quite the contrary. And you get to ride the road in both directions!

This particular road turned out to be a very cool surprise. Not long, but with lots of variation. Entirely gravel, dirt and rocks, with several sharp turns, steep inclines and wash-outs. Latter probably because of meltwater or rain.

A side valley in Aurland, Norway

Almost at the end of the road, almost but not quite

The ascent started through a dense wood, with plenty of dozile sheep near or on the road. Caution is needed, one never knows what awaits around a corner. But soon we were above tree limit, and the valley opened up. The road turned pretty rough, but that’s the stuff we like!

Mid June and snow in Aurland

Road blocked with snow

We made our way past the hurdles, well, all but one. Across a bridge the road was blocked with snow. While we might have been able to get past, more snow further up was likely. As a result, we decided to call it quits, turned around and went back down.

Return via Smådølvegen to Rødberg

Down again we rode up Fv50 from Vassbygdi. Below what you can expect to see roadside. There are plenty of places to stop to marvel at the nature.

The return home: Vassbygdivatnet - Aurland, Norway

View from Fv50, over Vassbygdivatnet – Aurland, Norway

There are a lot of tunnels, both twisted and very long ones. And cold. In fact so cold that if you come this way early in the spring be well prepared. Even in mid June the temp in the longest tunnel dropped to 7C.

We kept on to Hagafoss, took Rv7 to Geilo, then Fv40 to Dagali. A little after Dagali, we took to the left, onto Smådølvegen. It is a automatic toll road, like many in the country equipped with cameras and the entries. Note that cameras are only set up in the Rødberg end.

You can also ride in from Rødberg, a third option is to enter or exit at Brostrud in Uvdal.

May 2023, Smådølvegen, Uvdal, Norway

May 2023 Smådølvegen looked very different, with lots of deep fresh gravel & dirt.

The road was ridden down compared to when I was here last time. Not as loose and deep gravel which was a good thing for my friend on a BMW 1250GSA. Although he’s used to the waywardness or wandering this bike does when you are on gravel road. We have great fun. I might have been speeding just a tiny little bit.

Return home via Smådølvegen, Uvdal, Norway

Along Smådølvegen, close to the end by Rødberg.

Smådølsvegen is about 31 kilometers long, with quite a bit of variation both with regards to surface, twists, turns and hills. It’s a good idea to watch out for wildlife when you come down more into the wood section.

Return home

Back on pavement we rode down to Rødberg where we departed. My friend took the route across the mountains back to Bergen whereas I continued south. But not without detouring on gravel for a bit, before taking known routes back to base.

Gravel intersection in the woods.

Didn’t stop for any pictures this time. Above video was filmed back in May. A couple of hours later yet another great mini-adventure came to a close. And I knew I had to go back, to check out some of the places, without snow barriers! Back soon with more.

Return home via Smådølvegen

The route from Dagali to Rødberg. Note: there’s only camera in the Rødberg end!

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