Saturday, September 15, 2012

Paddling the Fjords of Norway

Cassy is calling our 5-day Norway trip at the end of August, "the best trip we've done in Europe."  I think she's right.

The Crew
Top Row: Riot, Boba, Nic, Britton, Gina, Craps
Bottom Row: Jennifer, Alana, Tonka, Gaza, Lady Gaza, Amanda, Michae

Let's make one thing clear: this was not a sufferfest.  We spent lots of time "foraging" for food after our guide laid out enough grub for 20 people (we had 13 in our group).  Fresh avocados, blueberries, delicious bread, cheese, potatoes, burgers, pesto, and wine were all standard fare.
Planning the route.  Here, Tonka worries about the 50 miles of paddling and a bit of hiking.  We spent 2 nights in a Norwegian home and 2 nights in tents. 

Josh and Jennifer  in front of one of more than 100 waterfalls we saw in 5 days.

The fjords were carved by glaciers and subsequently filled in by the ocean.  The mountains rise 2000-3000 feet above the fjords.  The water itself is up to 4,000 feet deep in one section we paddled.

Britton rocked the single kayak, paddling in some terrible conditions later in the trip and earning the "tough chick" award while her husband, Alex, stayed back at the office.

This dude, Arald Dyrdal, is the sole year-round resident of the town of Dyrdal.  There's no road access to the town; everything arrives by boat.  He let us stay in his house and during dinner our guide translated Arald's account of his family history.

Michael and Amanda

Escaping the rain

Craps, in his element

Day 2 called for a long hike to the cliffs overlooking the fjords.  It poured rain for the entire 4-hour ascent.

Boba and Craps nearing the summit

Just as we approached the summit, the clouds parted and we had amazing views of the water we paddled the day before.

I ate 6 kinds of wild berries on the trip: blueberries, raspberries, lingonberries, strawberries, cloudberries , and some sort of berries that grow in huge red clumps on the trees.

Riot demonstrates how to make your wife nervous with a stupid human trick.

We camped outside the town of Fresvik.  Gorgeous.

Riot is a serious competitor.

Norwegian kids were absolutely psyched to see us when we landed our kayaks on the banks below their school yard.

Nic guides in Norway in the northern summer and in New Zealand in the southern summer.

Our last night outside

One thing that struck me about the fjords was how quiet it was.  We only saw a few boats each day and many parts of the fjords have no road access.  

We got a peak at the glacier in the background just before finishing the trip.

Photo by Boba Feth

Salsa Dancing and Bikinis

In June, we drove to the city of Rovinj, Croatia for the 2012 Salsa Dancing Festival.  We spent several days cruising the beach on our bikes during the day and salsa dancing late into the night.  
This trip is a must for anyone living in Italy.

Kelia, Sara, Rachel, Cassy

Cri, Sabrina, Lily, Sara, Cassy
Steve, Luc, and Jordan

Valentino, an awesome bar right on the water where you grab a cushion, pick a spot on the rocks, and order a drink.

The Salsa Festival ended with a MTV-esque party on an island a few miles from Rovinj.  I've never been to a party like this.  These people love to dance.
Thriller - always a classic

Jordan and Cristina get their salsa on

Cruising town