When I think back to last week, the first word that comes to mind is a lot. We’ve been tossed from side to side this past week. Especially when it comes to emotions. A lot has happened, but also very little at the same time. We drove a lot, put many new ideas into action and said goodbye to things, some temporarily, but unfortunately also someone permanently. Swallow… Deep breath… But let me start at the beginning.
On Sunday another big hike was on the program, the Besseggen hike. This is one of the best known and most beautiful walks (according to the books) in Norway. From Lom it was a 1.5 hour drive to the departure point of the boat, yes the boat, you read it right. For this walk you take a boat to the starting point and then you walk back. It is also a very busy hike and so it was necessary to book the boat in advance. We had reserved the boat at 10.20 am, because the weather would be better at the end of the day and we hoped to follow the crowds a bit. The boat trip took 20 minutes and was really full. This gave a different feeling, especially at the start of the walk. You start walking with 100 other people at the same time, so it quickly feels very busy. However, the boat we had was also the last one for the time being, the next one wouldn’t go until around 3:00 PM. We just took it easy so that we were at the end of the line and therefore still walked nice and quiet. As I said, at the end of the day the clouds would open up, so the later we arrived at the lookout point the better. In the beginning there was still a lot of clouds, so we couldn’t see much of the mountains around us. It was also still quite cold. But we knew in advance that it would be cold (~6 C) so we were dressed accordingly. The Besseggen hike is described by many people as very difficult with many steep climbs, parts of which you have to walk on all fours. The walk is around 14 km and has more than 1000 m of altitude difference. We were therefore very curious how much heavier or less difficult this walk would be compared to the walk 2 days ago and compared to the walk to the Trolltunga. In any case, the walk started of good, the first hour would be quite a climb. But it wasn’t too bad for us, it was indeed quite uphill but it was fairly easy. We didn’t have to climb or clamber over rocks, but we could put our feet everywhere without too much concentration. Within the predicted hour, the first climb had reached the top. This was followed by a number of smaller climbs with which the views became more and more beautiful. We could look into the beautiful fjord and here too the water was so incredibly blue. Later we could see a beautiful high lake, a waterfall and the fjord. This was almost too much beautiful nature together. Fortunately, the clouds started to disappear, as predicted, and the sun started to show itself more and more. This immediately made it a lot warmer and the jackets could even be taken off. When we had already climbed quite a few climbs, it was time for a necessary lunch. We had already made nice a filling last night and brought wraps. We ate our lunch with a great view. It couldn’t be better, at those moments we feel really lucky. We could use the energy we gained because after lunch it was time for ‘the real climb’, the hike to the Besseggen peak. Here we first had to walk over a narrow ridge and then climb up steeply. And it was a real scramble, it was a little less steep and narrow than 2 days ago but it was still an exciting climb. I had a really hard time on 1 part and really suffered from my fear of hights here, but the rest of the climb went really well. By continuing to talk about anything and everything, I was distracted enough to just keep climbing. Soon we were at a viewpoint with a great view. Here you again had a view of the fjord with another large lake higher up, with the tops of the snowy mountains in the background where we were two days ago. Really very beautiful. The surroundings and the mountains were completely different than two days ago. We sat here for a while and took pictures and videos. This was also a challenge because Jap forgot to charge his camera, rookie mistake. After enjoying the views it was time to climb a little further to the real top of the mountain. This path was a lot less steep and soon we were up there too. The wind was blowing hard here, so the temperature dropped again, but the sun was shining and we both felt good. The last 5 km consisted of descending, descending and more descending. And after 7.5 hours of which 6 hours of active hike time we were back at the starting point. Here we treated ourselves to a nice ice cream and took the bus back to Bob. On the way back we found a relatively nice place to sleep along the road and after having something to eat we quickly went to bed.
The next day we felt that it was about time that we started making some kilometers. We spent quite some time around Lom and the NPs that surround it, but it was time to speed up towards the Lofoten. So we had entered Trondheim on the navigation, a journey of 4.30 hours. Along the way we entertained ourselves with Podcasts, ideas about the future (will Jap start his own company?) and we made the necessary pit stops to eat and stretch our legs. One of those pit stops was to watch an Moose! He was very far away and he also ran away pretty quickly but we had spotted another one! Number 2 in the books. So cool! And another pitstop was in Hell, which we left quickly after a picture. We can now say that we have been in hell and back ?. Around 4.30 pm we arrived at our sleeping location, a spot on the water on a dead end road where a lot of campers were already parked. This would be our base to explore Trondheim tomorrow. Because we were both really tired from driving, we decided to eat somewhere tasty, an Indian restaurant. The restaurant we found was only about an hour’s walk away. It’s like Jap chose the restaurant because of it, so we could go there with those electric scooters. He had wanted to rent one of those scooters for so long and now was a good opportunity. We found two free scooters nearby and we went on our way. Jap was completely happy, he thought it was fantastic, the scooters go fairly quickly and we flew over the bike paths. And okay, I had to admit, I also liked the scooters. Although I think a big part of that was because of the grin on Jap’s face. Once in the restaurant we ordered a tasty butter paneer curry menu with samosas and lassi. It was all tasty and the gentleman of the restaurant was very nice. We also got talking to the only two other customers in the restaurant. A Greek couple who lived here for 2 years and ran a street food stall. Because we had only moved a little, we went back to the camper using our own two feet instead of using the scooters. We chilled out for the rest of the evening. We thought we deserved it after yesterday.
The next day didn’t start well, because we received a phone call that Lon’s grandmother had passed away. The health of Grandma was deteriorating for a while now and it was certainly something we took into account but it is still very sad news to receive. And this news left its mark on this day. We were on our way to explore the city. Trondheim is not very big and we mainly went into the center. We had therefore organized this day as a day of figuring things out. First we went to a bakery to eat something sweet and drink a cup of coffee. I had the best cookie I’ve ever eaten here, a florentine cookie with nuts on top. Because there was no wifi here, we quickly went to the next spot. Another bakery where they did have Wifi. We would sit here for about the rest of the day. We were able to back up a lot of material and find out a lot. We figured out what it would mean to fly home for the cremation if I wanted to, made plans for Norway, but also for the time after. Because what do we want now? And are we going to Canada or not when it opens its doors on September 7? And if not, what do we do then.. We have off course discussed this many times before, but in our opinion we have now made a final decision for the first time. A good decision, but also a difficult decision. More on that later. Furthermore, we also talked about Jap’s ‘career steps’ and also checked out a few things for that. Because during all those conversations in the car and by listening to all those inspiring podcasts, we really come up with increasingly concrete ideas. But sometimes we also have to convert those ideas into actions. So we did that today, because it was on our to do list for that day. A day completely, filled to the brim full of all kinds of complicated information. And our heads were about to explode at the end of the day. After that we did a little tour of the town and went to the van. Here we ate delicious pizza and read the rest of the evening.
The next day we wanted to cover some distance again. We are going to drive on the RV17 towards the Lofoten. Along that road there are many different sights to see, but they are really a lot further north. We could also have taken the E6 to the Lofoten, a much more direct road and much faster but also less interesting. We will have a very nice trip along the way and take several ferries to bridge the fjords. We left Trontheim reasonably on time and on the way we topped up the water and emptied the toilet. Normally we do our toilet with vinegar, but that is almost impossible to buy here and very expensive. So we’re back to the standard green bottle. Unfortunately, we think the toilet now smells more than before with vinegar. When we arrived at our place to sleep, a nice spot on the water. It turned out that there were already other Dutch people here and super coincidentally we had already spoken to them a few times via Instagram. Jens and Marijn from @vivala.van, of course we immediately started talking and admired each other’s buses. We spent the rest of the evening chatting around a nice campfire.
Yesterday and the day before yesterday we had moved little and that was still acceptable after some tough walks. But this morning it was really time for a workout. Jens and Marijn also joined in the fun and we eagerly used each other’s fitness equipment. Jens made a pull-up bar on the side of their bus which is really super handy (maybe an upgrade for us? ?). Jap has also tested this one as well. After exercise we all immediately dived, yes I went with my inflatable band into the cold water. Really it was a perfect temperature. Especially because the weather was really nice. We therefore quickly decided that it would be a shame to start driving right away and we had better dig up the SUP. Jens and Marijn had an inflatable kayak so the four of us could go out on the mirror-smooth water. We had a lovely time paddling around. Yesterday we had already seen it but there are a lot of porpoises swimming around here (a kind of dolphins). Really cool and they often come pretty close to take a breather. Unfortunately they didn’t come to play with us. After supping we had a delicious lunch and shower. The shower was a lovely temperature especially because it was really nice and warm out. After this we drove for a while, about 2.5 hours to the north to a beautiful spot along the route. We arrived at the Ferry perfectly on time and were able to ride it in no time. We enjoyed the beautiful view on the deck. Just before we arrived at the sleeping place Lon saw a really huge moose along the road. This time he was fairly close and we were able to stop in time and spend a long time watching and taking pictures. What a huge beasts those moose really are, crazy. Number 3 in the books! My day couldn’t get any better. We spent the rest of the evening reading again ☺️.
For the first time in Norway we went to a campsite. We needed to wash and I had found a reasonably affordable campsite near the attraction we wanted to see, Torghatten the mountain with the hole through it. So we took it easy in the morning and arrived at the campsite around 11 am. Here we worked on some projects for a while and were able to do the laundry. One of the projects we’ve been working on is our winter plan. We have decided to spend the winter in the Canary Islands. Here we want to do a number of workaway projects so as not to have to spend too much money. And don’t worry, Bob can come with us too. The plans for Canada and the Panamericana are therefore put on hold for the time being. We’ve been dreaming about this journey for such a long time that we don’t really want to make any compromises. In April or May next year we will continue to see how things are going and hopefully we can cross the pond then. But for now we are really looking forward to our winter adventure. The weather was lovely and we alternated between the sun and the shade under the awning. It really was a holiday day out of the books, a lot of hanging out at the campsite. The only thing that deviated from this was the fact that we wanted to see the sunset at the Torghatten. That would really be by far the best time to be able to see this place in all it’s beauty and without the crowds. So around 8.30 pm we got in the car towards the mountain. Along the way we ran into Jens and Marijn again, unfortunately in a not so nice way. They stood with their car in the ditch, due to the failure of their handbrake they had rolled down a hill and came to a stop a lot further in a deep ditch. Their entire left front wheel was folded in half and bent. They also had to be removed by a tow truck. We chatted with them for a while and let them know that they could reach us if they needed help and continued to the mountain. It was a 20 minute walk up from the parking lot to get to the hole. And man was that hole huge. You could also walk through it and we really took the most beautiful pictures. The light was really perfect. When you walk through it, you can’t help but wonder how such a hole is created right through the top of a mountain. And well there the Norwegians can provide you with an answer, according to Norse legend, the hole was made by a troll who couldn’t get a girl he was chasing. He then fired an arrow to kill her but the troll king threw his hat to catch the arrow. That hat eventually became the mountain. Jap also flew the drone here and was able to take really beautiful images. He had goosebumps all over when he was making them. The sunset was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have picked a better time to go here today. We were back at the campsite around 11pm.
Saturday was another sad day as this is the day of Grandma’s cremation. Fortunately, we were able to follow this via a live stream and only had to ensure a good connection. For the rest of the day consisted mainly of driving and going on the Ferry. Our final goal was the seven sisters where we might want to take a walk. But we were on a campsite so we had to take advantage of that luxury. So first take a nice shower and then refill all the water. It was also time for a big shopping round. There we met Jens and Marijn again who had slept in a hotel last night and who had recovered a bit from the shock. The damage to the bus is probably not that bad, they were mainly afraid that the rear axle might also be bent in addition to the front axle of the bus, this seems to be not too bad now, but that will have to wait until next week after a proper look. We had a nice cup of tea and chatted about their adventures and plans. And then it was time to get in the car and drive. On the way to the seven sisters, which are seven mountain peaks, we had to get on a ferry twice. The first time it was unfortunately full and we had to wait a little longer, but the second time we had more luck and we could drive on almost immediately onto the ferry. From this second Ferry we were able to follow the cremation. It was nice to be able to be part of this, even though it was really difficult not to be able to give mom and dad a big hug and physically be there for them. Once at the parking lot near the mountains, we relaxed for a long time and came up with a kind of plan for tomorrow. We both didn’t really feel like walking much here, especially since you immediately commit to a walk of 14 km and 1000 vertical meters, so definitely another 6-8 hours on the trail. The weather would not be good and we really just want to go to the Lofoten quickly. So we decided to enjoy these mountains only from a distance. We will probably do some more kilometers in the coming days to get to the Lofoten faster. In the evening the wind picked up a lot and we were rocked to sleep nicely, well not completely.
Big kiss and hug from us.
Jap and Lon
Menu of the week
Spendings of the Week
Budget per day €54 and per week €378 and per month €1700
Driven kilometers: 944