Monday, September 15, 2014

8/29/14 Day 225 Trolltunga Adventure

Waking up next to a beautiful fjord is really a treat, even if we are waking up in the front seats of our Polo. We gather ourselves and head for the Odda tourist information to get a better handle on our hike today. We spent the better part of an hour debating between doing the 22 kilometer hike in one day, or breaking it up into two days and camping next to the fjord. In the end we are too slow and it makes more sense to break up the hike instead of rushing to get to the top and back. The first segment of the ascent is really steep with large rocks and roots, especially with our 10 kilo packs which we haven't hardly worn for the last two months. After a grueling first hour we reached a plateau, into a beautiful valley full of adorable secluded cabins, what a relief to be walking forward instead of up for awhile. This relief didn't last long before we were scurrying up sheer rock face again and into the cold wind nonetheless. up through the barren landscape of velvet smooth rockery. Another 30 or 40 minutes of tough climbing and the trail begins to level out a bit and finally we can see that bluebird colored water below us, what a sight! With a second, or maybe third wind we have the energy to hustle up to the crowning jewel of Hardangerfjord. Leaving the parking lot at 12:30 for a 22 kilometer hike that is an average of 8 hours ensured that we were pretty much the last people up of the day. The crowd waiting in queue when we arrived quickly evaporated into the depths of the fjord while we were left to do nothing but stare in awe at the most epic landscape I have ever seen, just amazing! When we are finally able to pull ourselves away from the rock it is already 18:00 and time to head down and find ourselves a place to camp. By 19:30 we are nestled up on the top of a cliff overlooking that amazing water and enjoying a gourmet meal of tortellini and freshly foraged mountain blueberries, a perfect day in Norway! It is not long into our slumber before the ripping and wrapping of the tent fabric in the heavy winds has us alert and sleepless. In and out of our dreamworld throughout the night until, *snap!* the top fly support pole has cracked right at the fulcrum point. Not a deal breaker for the night, the tent is still holding up well we are dry and warm enough, so back in and out of sleep we go until morning when we hike back down and pack up the car for our 4 hour drive to Bergen. The drive is unreal, the roads are hugging the fjord like white on rice and every curve seems to offer a larger number of fruit orchards; apples, plums, pears and these trees are loaded down with fruit, helpless really. Kevin and I feel it is our duty to help relieve some of this weight so every so often we stopover and harvest some of the perfectly ripe, begging to be eaten fruit. We drive up the East coast of the fjord and then cross over the new bridge (built less than a year ago) and head back down the West side of the fjord. Passing through hundreds of adorable cabins, past waterfall after waterfall gushing from the glaciers and with a car full of fresh Norwegian fruit we are satisfied with our trip to Hardangerfjord.

 Ready for our overnight hike

The trolley is no longer in use but sure would have saved us an hour of really hard hiking
And the view from the top of our first ascension section
Water falling down the mountain

Remote green roof cabins

Cotton plants in the breeze
Emergency shelter

We made it
Not too shabby Hardangerfjord

Love Lock

Epic camping spot

Bent in half orange tent pole

Wild blueberries!

Glaciers on the drive home

Fjord side orchards

More auto tolls we will not be paying this one is for a bridge and would have been almost 20€

Foraged fruit

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