The day to Gaularfjellet was probably one of the favourite.
We took our bicycles on the bus from Balestrand at 10am in the morning. The bus took us past Dragsvik and the second fjord and turned right just before we reached Menace. It then made a long ardous, and windy climb up to the top of the mountain. That climb made me sick.
We got off right at the top, where there is a small carpark. The weather was awesome. Blue skies, some clouds but no rain. From the carpark, we made our way West-wards. The first part, before Langestølen was somewhat undulating. It wasn’t a continuous downhill cycle. It is nothing too difficult though. We had the lake on our left as we headed Westwards, and sometimes on the right, there will be water gushing down from the mountains. It was absolutely stunning and I spent a long time stopping to take photos. Saw plenty of sheep as well.
At Langestølen, we walked some ways to find the waterfall. The waterfall was nothing that impressive, given that there are so many other waterfalls around the fjord. Moreover, it was quite a walk to get there. But walking there was beautiful though. The sun was at the perfect angle, which made the grass look impossibly green, and the water incredibly blue. We continued to Likholefossen, where we had to walk about a kilometre to see Likholefoss. It was quite a walk through the woods. If we weren’t rushing for time, I would certainly have enjoyed it much more. The waterfall was huge though, and really quite impressive.
From Likholefossen, it was (almost) all downhill to Espeset, the very pretty cafe and shop which sold ice-cream, had a hand-crafted wooden doll house and a beautiful verandah. At some point in time, while speeding downhill, I had my back tyre brakes almost full on, and I was still accelerating downhill. We were traveling so fast that we missed several quite spectacular waterfalls and rivers along the way. There was so much momentum from going downhill that the little uphills were ‘erased’. There weren’t too many cars as well (thankfully) although I kept a careful watch while going around corners.
We reached Espeset and the cafe with time to spare. I had two ice-creams (delicious on a hot day, after cycling about 2-3 hours and walking 1 hour ish). The bus to Balestrand, due at 1455, arrived around 1500 and waited there for about 10 minutes. The bus then made the uphill journey (which we did going downhill in the opposite direction) through Gaularfjellet, back to Balestrand.
When the bus passed through the first lake that we saw, before the waterfall trail, I was just astounded. The mountains were reflected against the still lake and it was so beautiful that I was speechless. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos to show. But the image of it is ingrained in my memory. As the bus took the winding road down the mountain, I manage to get some pictures of the mountains and the waterfalls cascading down. Spectacular.
It is such a great idea to cycle through to Espeset (the cafe) and then take the bus back. The nature trail (with the 7 waterfalls) is 20km long and would take a long time to complete. But on a bike, it is so much faster (and also required less effort, since its downhill going from East to West), but still gives the freedom to stop as and when desired. And there’s ice-cream at the end!