The winter is over. The snow and rains have stopped. The spring has started and in the countryside the flowers are in bloom. We also have started a new period and changed the type of activities. We had a trip from Monday to Thursday in Norwegian fjords which extended our experiences in the nature. This adventure included some activities which I haven’t tried before. For example, paddling. We were paddling in canoes for about 20 km without any accidents. Sleeping in a hammock was also my first time in my life. We had an outdoor climbing course during the week and we learnt a lot about different top roping systems. It was also my first time when I climbed to the top without any falls. Another extreme activity was cycling because of the distance we had. We were cycling from Evje to Kristiansand which is about 70 km. So this week was quite tight and full of travelling and doing different sports at the same time.
On Monday we took a bus at 0845 to Bygland. The travel was about one and a half hour and we arrived to Bygland. We walked about 5 minutes and got the local Museum. There was the meeting our teachers and we started to unload canoes and different equipment. In the afternoon we had a lecture about basic paddling techniques and also safety brief. Then we tested ourselves in canoes without any bags. My pair had some experiences with paddling so I sat at the front. My pair at the back of the canoe was in charge of steering. First we tried paddling forward. Paddling forward on the right of the boat was make us head left. Paddling forward on the left of the boat was make us head right. Holding the paddle in the water on the right was steer us to the right. We created resistance against the water in that way. And holding the paddle in the water on the left was steer us to the left. Then we tried paddling backwards. Paddling backwards on the right of the boat was turn us right very quickly. Paddling backwards on the left of the boat was turn us left very quickly. My pair at the rear gave me some instruction about which side to paddle when it was necessary. After testing we loaded canoes and were paddling to the south, practicing techniques and river navigation. We made camp on an uninhabited island which is called Storøyi. As we got the shore, it started to rain. We took some shelters quickly and prepared evening meal. Unfortunately, the weather was rainy and windy all night.
On Tuesday morning we broke camp, loaded canoes and were paddling to Syrtveit dam. There we finished the paddling part of the trip and went to Troll Aktiv. We made camp in huts there and had a shower finally. Some of us went rafting, others made hot dinner in the local kitchen. Having an equipped kitchen was kind of luxury during this trip. I was so happy that we slept in a hut because the weather was rainy and some of my clothes were totally wet because of the previous night.
On Wednesday morning we got some mountain bikes from Troll Aktiv and cycled to Kilefjord. It was about 20 km. Our bivvy and climbing gear were transported to Kile crag. During cycling the weather was really changeable and we got rains as well. At the crag we collected our climbing and bivvy equipment and made camp at Kilefjord. Then we had a lecture about climbing and top roping. Top rope climbing is when you climb on a rope that has an anchor which is already set up. There is a rope that runs from the belayer, up the wall to an anchor, and back down to the climber. There were so many crags for climbing activities so we could have tried it easily. After climbing we had free time so we discovered the area and finally prepared evening meal. That was my second time to sleep in a hammock and it was definitely better than the first one because of the weather conditions.
On Thursday morning we broke camp and gave all equipment to our teacher for transporting to the university by car. Then we were cycling to the university on the national cycle route. It was about 50 km. Fortunately, the weather was warm and sunny so the last day trip was quite beautiful. We had amazing views during cycling and also some breaks to drink and have snacks. I have cycled a lot before so the distance was not a problem for me. I really enjoyed the others’ company and the fact we were some cycling tourists in Norway.