Paddling the fjords of Norway (Part 2)


(Part one | Part Three)
The farm buildings. Yes, that is grass on the roof for insulation.

After a relaxing 24 hours at the Ytste Skotet farm it was time to head back out on to the water. It was good to be paddling again, working up an appetite for our next meal and otherwise enjoying the beautiful weather that Norway was providing us.

The paddling on day three was not particularly strenuous. We only had to go an hour or so, just across the fjord and around the corner to find our way to the next stopping point. That meant lots more time to explore and – for a few of the folks on the trip – a chance to go fishing. The fishing was rather unlike anything I’ve ever seen previously. The lines weren’t baited. They were simply unwound off the back of the kayak and then the folks fishing would paddle a few hundred yards through the fjord and reel it in to see what was hooked. Oh, and they managed to drink a bottle of Jack Daniels, too.

One of the two fishing pairs was more successful than the other. In a big way. At the end of the efforts the score was 8-0 in terms of fish caught, with a single line pulling in 5 fish at one point. That was much more luck than anything else, it turns out. Three of those five were not hooked through the mouth. Either way, they were definitely delicious, filleted right there on the rocks and then grilled over an open fire. It was among the freshest fish I’ve ever had and it was wonderful.

Jeromy shows off his eight-fingered fish gloves.

The other effect of filleting the fish on the shore near the campsite was that we were treated to a show from the many seagulls that came along to help clean up. Watching them swoop in and fight over the scraps was quite entertaining.

Fighting over fish guts
Taking time out to relax and reflect
This kid was having fun playing on the dock in Stranda

After yet another beautiful night of camping it was on to the town of Stranda to reload our supplies. We were up early – too early as it turns out. Stranda is a quiet little town with a few houses and a ferry terminal and not much else. Well, it does have a couple grocery stores, a post office and a liquor store. Maybe it isn’t so bad after all. We stocked up at the grocery (the guides on fresh fruits and veggies, me on chocolates and candy) and then wandered next door to stock up on the more critical bottled supplies. It was just before 10am and the liquor store didn’t open until 11am. Fortunately we had a contingency plan for this scenario – wait. Having exhausted the entirety of our supply of booze (the bottle of vodka during dinner at the farm and the Jack Daniels during the fishing) it was declared that waiting to get more booze was more important than getting back out on the water. Shortly after 11am we collectively had about a case of hooch (red & white wine, scotch, vodka, aquavit and probably some more, too) loaded up in the kayaks and we were back out on the water and headed on.

Day four also happened to be the longest paddle day of the trip. Maybe it was because we kept believing Brian when he said that the campsite was just past the next point or maybe it is because it was the first day where we had to deal with rain (just a tiny bit of drizzle) or maybe it was simply because we were getting tired. But that was a long day of paddling. The good news is that we had plenty of booze to celebrate with when we made it to camp.

The clouds rolled in, but that just made the mountain views more impressive
Sure, it was cloudy, but our campsite still had spectacular views

Like the previous nights, the views from camp were simply outstanding. The fjords make for great backdrops and the failed to disappoint at any moment during the trip.

Looking down from our campsite on night 4

That’s all for part two of the trip. Part three should be online shortly. In the meantime, there are a ton more pictures here to keep you busy.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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