For this trip, we were divided in two groups, one group had the mountain to fjord trip and the other had the self-organized trip. We met for planning and because some of us already have been to Trolltunga, we divided again in groups. In the end it was Elouise, Eliska, Emma and me, who didn’t want to go to Trolltunga.
Pick up the car on Tuesday morning and drive to the lighthouse in Lindesnes, what takes us 1.5 hours. After visiting the lighthouse and having lunch, we drive up to Frafjord (2.5h) and hike up to the Monafåssen. After that we will find a place to camp, have dinner and enjoy the evening. For Wednesday, we plan a hike from Frajford (https://www.ut.no/tur/2.1821/). It is a 14.5 km hike with some steep parts and should take us around 7 hours. After the hike, we will drive up to the start of the Kjerag hike (2.5h) and stay there for the night, so that we can start the hike in the morning on Thursday. The Hike to Kjerag should take us around 5 hours. In the afternoon, we will drive towards Flekkefjord, what we will visit on Friday and do some spontaneous hiking.
Because Emma didn’t feel well, just Eliska, Elouise and I started our trip in the morning to Lindesnes. I wanted to visit this place for a long time. And now because we had the car, we decided to stop there on the way. It was very nice and nearly nobody was there at that time. We could really enjoy the nature and the silence. After lunch, we continued as planned our journey up to Frafjord. I was the driver for the trip and I realized again, that it needs a lot of energy and concentration to drive on Norwegian roads. But it was fine and I had always even Eli or Elouise next to me helping to keep an eye on the road. After nearly 3 hours we arrived in Frafjord and did the “hike” up to the Monafåssen. We looked up a hike at ut.no which should be around 2 hours, but then we realized that from the parking it is just 20 minutes one way. But we were a little later as planed anyway, so that was perfect. Also at this place were no other people and we could really enjoy the place.
Finding a place to camp with a car is not that easy. I already knew from the Easter break. After driving a little around we decided to leave the car at a parking space and there was a stare down to a river. So, we set up our tent next to the river a little hidden behind the trees. We were not sure if it was allowed to stay there because there was a gate, but we decided that we should try it. It was perfect. Everything was green around, the sun was shining and we had water. We had good team work. Everybody had something to do while setting up the tent and cooking dinner. I liked the size of our group, even if it is maybe a little to less. We had good conversations and could really enjoy. We agreed to a time to get up in the morning and went to bed early.
In the morning, we talked shortly how we should organize it with packing and having breakfast. Because we are just tree it is quite easy to decide. We packed our sleeping stuff and started to prepare breakfast. I was fastest, so I started with boiling water and cutting fruits and as soon the others were ready too, they helped me. When we were finished packing, we started our hike for the day right at this place.
We were prepared for a long, hard hike. The first part was very steep and we will do around 800 meters up. We were motivated and the weather was very good. The nature was beautiful and everything starts to be green. We even saw a goat. We were not sure what exactly it was, but it looked like a goat with big horns. There was a way signed with red spots, but the navigation was still very hard and we took sometimes the wrong way. Luckily, there were a lot of streams, which helped us orienteering. Once we hat to cross a quite broad stream and after looking for a part where it is possible to go on the other side, we decided to take of our shoes and go through the water. We had to give each other a hand, because it was icy. After 2.5 hours, we had the lunch break. We stopped for half an hour, what I think now was a little to long. At that point we didn’t know, that the hike is going to be much harder and takes us longer than expected. It was going further up and soon we arrived in the snow. We expected snow, but not that much. It was very hard to walk and sometimes we were in the snow up to our hips. The snow is now melting and it was very wet, soon we all had wet feet. It was not that bad, because it was warm in the sun, so we just continued with wet feet. After four hours, we realized that we have still a very long way to go and we were a little worried because it was still going up. We had to decide to chance our route a little and not going up to the highest point and take a shortcut. There was a part, where we nearly had to climb down and it was exhausting, because you never know where the rocks are and where the snow is very deep. But we made it with helping and motivating each other. There was a point we just walked and all of us were really tired. We were really glad, when we found a rock again, with a red spot. The way down was better and we could really see where we have to go. In the beginning the way was kind of dangerous, because it was very narrow and because of the melting snow slippery. Soon we were on a high without snow which was much easier to walk. The last part was on the road and we realized that it is much more uncomfortable to walk on a surface like this. Even the hike was very hard and it took us 8.5 hours, it was very nice and a good feeling after arriving at the car. We were the only ones up there and the nature was beautiful. We had the chance to practice orienteering and we experienced that melting snow makes everything harder.
Like we planned, we started to drive up to Kjerag. I was a little afraid to drive 2.5 hours after this hike, but I was sure it will be possible. Because it was already late, we decided to stop on the way to cook dinner and drive the rest of the way. Unfortunately, we were standing before the closed road up to the parking for Kjerag after a two-hour drive and a dinner break. We were very disappointed and sad. It was very cold outside and there were not many possibilities to camp, so we had to drive towards Flekkefjord, what would have been the destination for Friday. I was very tired but tried to drive as far as I can. On these narrow streets with no light it was very hard to see something and for the others it was hard to stay awake. Suddenly I was so tired, that I have to stop driving. We camped at a parking right next to the main road. It was not nice, but the best we could find. At least we got a few hours’ sleep to continue the next morning.
After a night where it sounded like the cars drive through the tent, we continued to Flekkefjord. We wanted to eat breakfast at a nice place, so we started to drive. After 40 minutes and no stop we arrived in Flekkefjord, where it started to rain. We prepared our porridge at a parking and ate in the car again. We decided to visit Flekkefjord and realized that it is even smaller than we expected. We had a coffee and cake and discussed what we are going to do. The weather forecast was very bad for the night and also not nice for the next day. After going over different options, the decision was to make the Brufjellhålene and head home after. For Friday, we wanted to drive from Kristiansand somewhere where the weather is good.
The sky cleared up a little and we started the hike to the caves. On the sign was written, that it is dangerous when the rock is wet. But we thought we can try it and we will see. It was very nice but also very muddy. Sometimes we nearly had to climb. We reached the point where the way started to go down to the caves. It was very steep and we had to climb down with some metal holders in the rock. I was very scared because the steps were very far apart for me. Eli went first and helped me. I felt safer when she helped me to choose the spot to put my foot on and sometimes she caught me. I was full of adrenalin. There was a moment I thought I have to stay up there and not continue the way down. I was very glad that I did it. The place is very nice and we took some good pictures. The way up was much easier and took us not that much time. The whole hike took us longer than expected. We didn’t take that much food with us. We eat at the parking before we drove home.
In the evening, we all looked up where we can go for a hike the next day. Lillesand looked nice and the weather seemed to be good.
Unfortunately, it was heavy raining in the morning when we got up. The weather forecast changed and it was supposed to be raining all day. We discussed the options and agreed that it makes no sense to go for a hike, when it is raining all day. So, we ended our trip one day earlier.
What I learned
…The Norwegian nature in spring is beautiful. Everything is green and in the sun, it can be very warm. The daylight till 10.00 p.m. makes the day very long and easier for setting up the camp and enjoying the evening. On the other hand, it can be very wet and muddy, because the snow melted or is still melting.
…Traveling by car needs more time than expected. The roads in Norway make it hard to drive as fast as it is allowed to. Sometimes I was a little scarred to corner sharply on these narrow streets. It makes it harder to find a good place to stay for the night too. We saw a lot nice places, but then there was no place to park the car.
…Driving everything was kind of exhausting. It would have been possible with no problem, when we could stick to our plan. The additional hours after reaching the closed road were a little too much for me. For a next trip, it would be better to have a second driver. With Emma, we would have had that.
…Planes are made to change. On this trip, we could stick more or less to our plan, better than on other trips before. The only problem was, that we didn’t know that the road to Kjerag was closed.
…Next time I would check if it is really possible to take the way we plan.
…A group of three is very nice. It is easy to make decisions and solve problems. To set up the …camp everybody has a job and no one is standing around.
…We cooked with two storm kitchens, what allowed us to cook something very nice. It is important to eat something you like and we really enjoyed what we had for dinner.
…For a next trip, I would like to spend less hours in the car. We could go to a nice place, because we rented a car, but it is also a pity that we spent so many hours in the car and not outside.