Fjord to Sea trip
For this trip the Outdoor Education course has been divided in two groups of 12 people, while group one started the trip and group one followed the week after. The plan was that we got taken to Trollaktiv (Evje) by bus where we do some canoeing for two days with an overnight at an island and then returning to Trollaktiv. On the next day we were supposed to ride to Kilefjord and learn some more climbing techniques. After another overnight we wanted to ride back to Kristiansand. So much for the plan…
Day 1 – Zig Zag
As I said the other group did the trip one week before us and they liked it a lot. So our expectations were quite high, when we entered the bus. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was not so nice for the following days. It was supposed to rain from Day 2 on. Arriving in Evje we started with canoeing immediately and learned some basic techniques, as the J-stroke or the C-stroke and paddling sidewards. After one or two hours of playing around and practicing we started the trip to an island. In the canoe the person in the front is the “engine” and is responsible for moving forward, while the one in the back tries to keep the canoe in a straight line. After paddling for two days I have to admit that I didn’t do the best job in the back. I think no other canoe went as zig zag as the one I sat in. With some advice from Thomas and other “canoe-experts” (props to Ida Nielsen) it worked a little better – but just a little. Anyway, we reached the islan d, and the sun was against all odds still shining. After building a toilet spot we lit a little bonfire, as it was already May and therefore, we had to be careful about bonfires. After cooking we all went to our tents/shelters.
Day 2 – Weather is important
Around 5am it started raining and it didn’t stop the whole day. As you can imagine, canoeing on heavy rain and five degrees air temperature is not the most fun, so we tried to just come back to Trollaktiv as soon as possible with as little breaks as possible. Unsurprisingly the general mood decreased as everyone got wet and cold, but we as a group managed to keep a little fun in the canoeing as we were singing while paddling through the rain. My personal low point was right after the only break we did that day, as I was very cold, and the steering worked as well as the day before…😉.
Sooner than we expected we reached the Trollaktiv dam and got a nice surprise: Due to the bad weather we got upgraded from sleeping outside in tents to being able to use the cabins for the night. So we had a chance to get warm and to dry all our clothes which helped the mood a lot. Especially after some food and a little nap everyone felt a lot better. In the evening we had a discussion with Thomas about the following days. Frankly it was rather a discussion in the group, which was led by Thomas. Everyone who climbs, knows that after a whole day of rain, there is no point in climbing on wet rock. It is not only zero fun, there is a serious increase of danger, so we decided to postpone the whole thing to better weather and ride back with the bikes on day 3.
Day 3 – warm welcome on a cold day
After getting the bikes from Trollaktiv we rode back to Kristiansand and were welcomed by our fellow students with hot chocolate. I love it!
On this trip you could really see, how important the weather is regarding the group cohesion or the general mood. I think if we compare the reports from group one of this trip with our stories, we will see big differences although we all did more or less the same thing. Its just a lot more fun with “good” weather. But even if we had some hard times with canoeing in the rain, with a bad effect on general mood and group cohesion, I think in long terms the bad weather made us stick together even more, as we had to challenge the bad weather and achieved even more in the end than group one.