"Poorly Planned... Badly Executed"

Thursday, 26 July 2007

We Found the Sunshine

Little Huka on the upper Rauma

When I first told people I was heading to Norway it was always met with “Why Norway?!?” Abruptly followed by “It’s really cold there!” More often than not this was from people who had never been near Scandinavia so at first I didn’t give there comments much concern. Then slowly the growing number of people who delighted in telling me I was going to freeze started to worry me a little and I splashed out and bought a dry suit. Still I though to myself ‘it’s going to be summer… the weather is warm in summer’
The first rapid... a cool wee mini gorge with a juicy hole in the middle

We arrived in Telemark to be greeted by temperatures in the high twenties/low thirties with non-stop sunshine and I started to think I had wasted my money… it wasn’t to last however. A week later and we were huddled up cooking tea with our down jackets zipped tight and several thermals on underneath!! The change in temperatures took less than a day and wasn’t forewarned by an increase in wind or even the presence of rain. It simply happened and with it everyone who had warned me about the temperatures was proven correct whether they were guessing or not.

Multi-angled picture taking... a new technique I have been working on involving mirrors

Rolf paddling the drop above little Huka

And that is really how the weather has been for us in Norway. When the sun is out, it’s warm… when it is not it’s cold. As you might have guessed by the title, or for the more observant of you the lack of vibrancy in many of the photos posted here, that for the last week or so we haven’t seen much of the sun. Only fleeting glimpses in fact… we weren’t put off kayaking but it is never as good when you are cold (thank god for my dry suit or I would have had to type freezing instead)

Me running little Huka... named after its larger New Zealand counterpart

The other curious thing about the weather in Norway is that it changes from cold to hot almost as seamlessly as it gets cold. One afternoon the skies steadily cleared and the temperature increased. The next day was glorious without a cloud in the sky!! Down jackets and thermals were replaced with tee-shirts. Bare feet were replaced with… ok so bare feet remained but the point I’m making is that it got warm so let’s not get too distracted by my non-sensible ramblings. Where was I… ah yes, it was going to be a good day on the Rauma (our river of choice) and I had my camera at the ready

Lookout for the rock in the bottom... Rolf and I paddled the run twice. The second time there was an extra serving of water in the river and Rolf was able to precision locate the rock using the latest in underwater kayak exploration techniques.

That’s the other great thing about good weather, you are able to take great photos. Many of you know that photography is a passion of mine and just as you might jump with delight at seeing a foot of untracked powder on a deserted ski field, the bright sun put a grin on my face from ear to ear as I glanced to the drops on the river I would soon get a chance to shot.

Rolf paddling Flemming Fossen... no camera tricks here what you see is what Rolf got

Well the river didn’t disappoint and the photos came out very well indeed but you are looking at them so I’ll let you be the judge. The second to last photo is of Rolf paddling Flemming Fossen, an 18 metre waterfall which has a reputation for breaking people. Rolf did well but still was not without injury. Click on the last photo, taken just after he got off the river, and have a closer look at his right eye… the early signs of bright black and blue shiner are already visible!
How's the eye buddy?