Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nordland!


Another day on the water…

10th of August. A good, long day of paddling took us from Bø to Korsnes – 55 km. all together. We are happy to have reached Nordland. We crossed the border between Troms and Nordland yesterday and found out that our total distance so far was a little more than 1000 km. Really something to celebrate – to all luck Tor had brought a small bottle of armagnac from Tromsø, and we had a toast!
The first physical sign of being in Nordland was the bright white beaches that consist of coral sand – a beautiful sight. In addition it gives us great satisfaction to realize that the country is changing – we are making progress! We had a late dinner ashore between Ofotfjord and Tysfjord. Paddling here was spectacular – many kilometers of shallow, bright green water and coral sand underneath revealed all the life in the sea: anemones, urchins, crabs, a plethora of shells and different kinds of kelp. A bit later, on our way across Tysfjord, the otherwise cloudy sky opened, and a bright burst from the evening sun illuminated the majestic Lofoten peaks further out in the ocean.
The weather has been fine – little wind and rain so far. Yesterday we had strong winds, but we just took a good long break in the middle of the day, and continued when the wind had calmed down. When the strong wind started, we also had some serious current, so paddling was quite exciting for a while. We have also passed some strong tidal streams in narrow passages – it has been difficult to prejudge how the water is running at high tide, low tide etc. Often the water flows in different patterns – one place you paddle all you can against the current, then suddenly your kayak is turned sideways and suddenly you paddle at good speed in the direction of the current. There are many things to learn for us southern paddlers who are not used to this.   

In closing, have to share one funny incident.  After a long stretch on the water, we came across an isolated building on shore where we discerned the sign “Kro og Lefsebakeri” – a cafeteria with home-made “lefse”  - a baked good that is traditional in this region.  We decided to go ashore for a break and see if we could get some lefse.  No luck.  The place was closed – with no indication of opening hours. We don’t know if the place had closed for the day, for the season, for good or what, but it was clear that we were not going to get much joy from this place. Today.  Well, we settled down on the pebble beach, fired up the Kelly kettle, had a hot meal and coffee and enjoyed the sight of the calm sea.  The sun smiled to us.  It was actually much better than being inside.  Still …. It would have been nice with some lefse.  Later that evening we went ashore for the evening.  When it is convenient, we generally ask permission to pitch our tent when we are in an inhabited area.  According to tradition, Tor ran up to the nearest farm house to ask permission and, while he was at it, for fresh water.  The woman in the house was accommodating, and when she hear that we were famous (there had been a full-page article on our trip in the local newspaper Nordlys the day before), she was mightily impressed and – unprompted – asked “do you like lefse?”.  Well, Tor indicated that we were not completely against lefse.  The woman went over to another building a brought back a big, fat lefse!  We enjoyed it very much for lunch on a spectacular coral beach we found the next day.  Life is very, very good!.

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