Ye Olden Days
2nd August 2018
Where are we? Olden, Norway
We are thinking of naming our last campsite Windresunde rather than Mindresunde because at almost exactly the same time as the day before the wind started blowing a gale so this helped firm up our decision to move in. With the wind so strong it was not very pleasant and not particularly relaxing. We also wanted to get someone to look at our brakes for reassurance after the issues a few days ago so this was our first port of call. We stopped at a garage and they were quickly looked at and we were told there was nothing to worry about. So we took him at his word and hope there will be no problems. We did a quick shop and then onto another campsite, only about 20kms down the road and once again with our van parked right at the waters edge. The location is impressive, but by now that goes without saying; mountains all around, waterfalls and lakes as well and glaciers on the mountain tops, spectacular. Our first day here was just a lazy old day but we can’t do that two days in a row so our second day was a get out and climb a hill day. There are plenty of options for walks pretty much everywhere and we got a tip from the campsite owner which sounded good so we set off with a spring in our step. Some of our springs needed a bit more bounce in them though as there was a bit of moaning before we had even got very far. The walk was a bit easier than our previous escapades as the path zigzagged up the hill rather than being straight up. We did have to cross over two thundering waterfalls, not the sort you would be able to stop and have a swim in though. Luckily there were a couple of bridges to help, although one looked a bit Indiana Jones like it was actually very sturdy and we were able to carry on. We had a stop for a rest at a place with some huts and disturbed some sheep who were having a bit of a grass snack. We sat and had a little snack ourselves and took a few photos and this obviously really disturbed the sheep. Normally they are very docile creatures but one of them (the mother I think) ran straight at us from about 15 yards away before coming to a halt. She definitely had a mean look in her eye that said something like stay away from my babies but when I explained we were vegan this seemed to calm her and they all set off down the hill and we carried on up the hill. The walk was getting a bit more Norwegian (i.e. steeper) so we didn’t go a great deal further before stopping for lunch and this is when my day took a turn for the worse. While sitting eating lunch I shifted position right onto my sunglasses and they did not survive my delicate frame. I was most upset as I had found them on a bus in Cambodia and they had served me well, even if my family did ridicule them as ‘ladies’ sunglasses. After lunch it was back on the move until we made it to another hut at about 750m up and needed to stop as it had been 3¼ hours since we had set off, I love the way that we have become hikers and that a walk up a hill of this length is no problems for us. We had a bit of a nosey around the hut and I found an old pair of sunglasses on one of the shelves outside and felt like the universe was trying to tell me something. Zoink, I now have new sunglasses. We also did a bit of drone flying and filming but once again we had to decide that we would not carry on with our ascent as it would just be too much. One day we will make it to the top of one of these mountains! The walk down was good and after crossing one of the thundering waterfalls we had an option, continue on the path we had come up or take another path that seemed quicker on the map but which was unknown. The seeming quicker part won the argument so we took the new path. This was fine for a little way but was gradually getting steeper and less path-like so we had an apple stop and a think. Sensible people would probably have stopped at some point before this and turned back but that wasn’t really an option as it would have meant walking quite a long way back up hill and then quite a long way the rest of the way home and we were all too tired for that. Plus we had an Abba soundtrack keeping us in high spirits. So we kept going, on our bums for some parts and making new paths in others and even disturbing more sheep along the way, all the while with the sound of two great waterfalls all around us. In situations like this we really make a great team and we all helped each other out, we all stayed happy even if we were getting quite sore and we all made it to the bottom in one piece, bonus! That was yesterday and as seems to be the case after a walk like that we all slept in quite late this morning and I don’t know about anyone else but I was feeling pretty sore and not up for much today. The girls spent a lot of the morning playing on pedalos and stand-up paddle boards which are provided free at this campsite which is a great deal and allowed them to have a real long go at it. I didn’t really get my energy back until the afternoon and when I did Jess, Allegra and I took a pedalo out on the lake and went quite a distance out. As we turned to head back we saw someone on an SUP and wondered if it might be Lily but I was pretty sure it wasn’t. I couldn’t believe it would be her, for one thing she was a very long way from shore and was also giving it some welly, really going for it and I just thought it was someone else. But I shouldn’t have underestimated her because when we got closer she started waving so we went over and picked her up, she really was a long way out. Then a bit further back we saw another pedalo heading in our direction and when we got closer to this one we could see that it was Ruby pedalling away and Olivia standing on the bow. Jess and I have now decided that rather than try and convince the girls when we want them to do something adventurous we will just head off on our own and they will all just follow us. In all seriousness they have been champion adventurers with all the hiking, biking and canoeing we have been doing and it has been these times when we have been at our best as a family. We just seem to enjoy each other’s company and the fun things we do together so this makes it all worthwhile.
What have we learned? Two things. The lord taketh away and the lord giveth back (sunglasses) and there are so many cool locations in Norway and we are just beginning to scratch the surface.