Norway 11/07/2008


Up late didn't go into work just packed my kit for Norway. Went for a short run 3.5 miles a bit aching from the ultimate frisbee. Met Nick in the hamilton hall at liverpool at 5.45 then met Brian, angela and John at the ticket machines. The train journey was uneventful, but when we got to stanstead we found our plane was quite delayed to bergen. The flight only took an Hour and a half, but it was an hour and a half bus ride to bergen. We took a bit of a long way to the youth hostel but made it. We had a code to get in and the safe contained our door keys. We were in a giant dorm with lots of people already asleep. So we popped our kit down and joined them.
Up early at 6.45 am and snook out of the room of sleeping people no time for breakfast we caught the 8am train out of Bergen and got lunch on the train. After 3 hours the train stopped at ?? Here it was chucking down a bit but we only had to transfer to a bus for another hour and a bits journey to the fossil hotel and a picturesque waterfall. We had a bite of lunch well an ice cream in my case and Paula bought a troll at the troll shop. We then set of in earnest straight into the rain, this was about 1pm. The rocks were a bit slippey but no one came a cropper, we soonmade it too the snow line and a few snowballs were thrown, it remained warm though in between the showers. The poncho served double duty, protecting me from rain and Mosquito's which the others were plaqued with. The walking wasn't too bad but turned out to be a lot longer than we expected, at one point we sent Angela and Nick ahead to the hostel Whilst myself and John waited for the others on a little bridge and amused ourselves by doing a little monty python dance. Brian, Paula, Sarah and Renee, joined us on the bridge then we set off for the hostel which was supposed to be 15mins away but was more like 40 mins. We got in to the hut at Hedlo at about 8.30pm and I got my five fingers slippers on and a six quid can of lager. The others were soon ready and we went trough into the dining room for a great meal, soup then reindeer and meatballs, and extra meatballs and extra potatoes. Then semolina and custard I popped to the shower and came out to find that most people had skipped off to bed.
Up at 7.45 am for a very nice breakfast including Norwegian cheese. We set off in waterproofs as it was chucking down but we soon had to divest as it cleared up. The word for the day was super. Though I didn't think that for a moment when tried to jump to a dry bit of ground that turned out to be liquid and went up to my waist nearly. Luckily I could unzip my legs and continue quite well. We were descending in rain after a long snowfield when we finally came across the icy lake we were looking for and there was our hut ????. We thought we would have the self service hut to ourself but we were joined by two Germans who were nice enough and spoke English. I had an upstairs bunk on the edge. Angela did a great job of cooking pasta and meatballs for everyone. We had a go then at the French game renee had bought, and some poker before retiring to our bunks for the night.
quick breakfast of ryvita in the morning, we tallied up our bill with a spreadsheet then headed of bit by bit up the hill very quickly we had a snow crossing and this was a bit of a theme for the day, along with river crossings. Luckily the weather was a bit more clement and the word for the day was spiffing, so we stayed together quite well, we were also delayed at river crossings, a number of times we had to sit down and take our shoes and socks off to wade across a river. I used the fivefingers to good effect but the water was extremely painful especially when it came up to your thighs. After the second such crossing we set off straight up a snowfield, Paula who had got wet earlier just strode through the rivers fully clothed. Nick had said we should consider ourselves failures if we didn't get to the Stavili hut by 4pm, so me and John strode at a purposeful rate and Nick had to run the last 100metres to make it. Luckily the place had a good heater and a warden even if it was self service and had no electricity. It meant we had a comfortable common room, bread cake and beer. John did the honours cooking dinner and I helped with the washing up. Then we sat around in the common room reading and talking by candle light. We luckily had a room that slept exactly 8 people so no German snorring tonight.
Up early just had chocolate for breakfast and paid the bill with the hut guy. It was then straight into waterproofs as it was chucking down outside and blowing a gale. I had my waterproof leggings on waterproof socks on, my snood keeping my cap on, my sunglasses keeping my eyes dry and my belt keeping my poncho from flapping. I even had surgical gloves inside my overgloves. The rain was relentless during the day. Nick had already set off at 7.30 am to catch his ferry so myself, Angela and John, soon pulled ahead, we amused ourselves by whistling every song we could think of with rain in the title, and we decided the word for the day was moist. We got as far as the slabs that were described as slippery when wet then John turned back to help the others. Myself and Angela plowed slowly downwards we were cautious and kept a good eye out for the big red teas whilst trying not to slip over on the sheer rock which was slick with rain. We came a cross a huge waterfall and then a huge mist made it difficult to see the signs for a while but a couple of times we managed to follow other folks. There were an awful lot of river crossings but we were getting good at leaping across them, and remarkably my feet stayed dry until the very last one which was just torrential. I was much better off than Angela who was completely soaked through, only our forward momentum was keeping her warm. Eventually we broke out of the woods and found a road and path near the waterfall that took us to kinsarvik. It was about 3 miles long and there was just enough sun came out to dry us before we got to the best western hotel and checked in. I had just dried my boots and headed down to the lobby to find that John had arrived 30 mins after us at 4.15 pm. Then began the long wait for the others. They all got down safely however and checked in then we met in the bar of the hotel for a drink and then the meal in the restaurant, there really wasn't much else in the village apart from a spar and two souvenir shops. After lunch we retired for a cup of coffe in the bar again before heading to bed.
Up early for a sumptious breakfast including kaviar and Norwegian cheese. We caught the ferry at 9.45 am in the rain and got to a little town in about 50 minutes that only had one shop. We waited an hour and a half then caught a bus that took 2 and a half hours to bergen. Listened to astronomy cast a lot. In Bergen it rained an awful lot so the others decided to have fish and chips outside in the smelly fishmarket. Then it really chucked down, we retreated then to the bus station café.