We finally found a river that looks like the ones we have back home... sweet as
Monday, 25 June 2007
Sunday, 24 June 2007
Right here they are… the big water photos that no one has been screaming for (or even asking for that matter). But they will inflect them on you never the less. These were taken yesterday on the Raundalselvi in Voss (we are here for the extreme sports festival this week – I sense a party or two) and the river was at about twice the recommended maximum flow in the guide book… perfect.
Rolfy Bear on the last falls of the run
Friday, 22 June 2007
For the last few days we had been running the (add name here – I forget) which while being a cool read and run creek with some fun moves had one two too many rocks in it. My frustration was quickly growing with each one I hit… time for something different.
I can fly...
Water levels were still too high for some of the harder creeks about so we headed for the easier ones hoping to find water levels above their recommended flows (that should take care of my ‘too many rocks’ problem). And high water levels is what we found on a section of the (add name here… hey I’m not a genius) with plenty of read and run grade 4 big water action for all. Sweet as but I feel I need something more…
Yep pretty happy about that ride
At the local campground there is a super nice play wave – big and bouncy and fast… perfect but we only have our creek boats with us and that won’t do at all. No worries though, a quick phone call to a complete stranger and we were in action with two Bliss-Stick RAD’s… you beauty.
Thee Eden Sinclair going vertical
The play wave was aerial blunt city… I don’t really need to say more. Just check out the photos if you don’t believe me. We were even able to get the start of a helix working (google it if you don’t know what it is)
Attempted Helix... and I do stress attempted
Probably one of the best times I’ve had in a while and
Our friend who hooked us up with boat's
A couple of days ago we bumped into a local raft guide who said that we could camp around the back of their base… sweet as. Fire pit with plenty of fire wood, big tepee to sleep in, and even toilets - what a score.
Bought all by ourselves!
Well because we have a fire pit we though we better find a reason to use it and what better use than to cook our tea on... ah but what to have? Time to be adventures we all though… ok so Rolfy Bear wasn’t to keen but we assured him that we were trained professionals (one of the things we have learnt to say in Norwegian).
One thing that is cheap over here is fish and you can buy whole frozen salmon for only under $10 NZD a kilo. So salmon it is then should be good I reckon. A quick trip to the shops saw us acquire the necessary ingredients and so it was time to go boating while our salmon defrosted in the afternoon sun. Many hours of play boating and a flood run creek should be enough time (see the next post for photos of the action)
In the fire with you
Looks good au... peau peau
And an hour latter we had probably the best feast that we have cooked to date. Sure beats paste and canned tuna… choice.
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Monday, 18 June 2007
After a week of boating it was time to head to Lillyhammer for a 40th birthday party of one of Rolf’s family members. Now we had come to kayak so we weren’t exactly prepared for a formal dinner party (at which everybody was dressed up for). If you only knew that three people in the room were kayakers then you could have easily picked out who we were. Although the fact that
Cheap import labour hard at work
One Norwegian tradition that we weren’t quite prepared for was singing during dinner… that’s right singing… and (you guessed it) in Norwegian. Everybody got a few sheets of paper with the lyrics to the songs that we were to sing. Well we could barely read the sheets let alone sing them, for English speakers pronouncing Norwegian words is not straight forward. I do have a new favourite quote though from one of the songs “Livet er ikke det værste man har, og om litt er kaffen klar”. I’ll let you try and figure out what it means!
Thor god of thunder tagged along for our trip
After saying goodbye to our new friends we headed for Sjoa and the Åmot run. A pleasant little trip down a narrow section with plenty of water… what better way to burn off all the cake we had eaten. And because it was ‘only’ grade 4 we figured we should play follow the leader to spice things up a little. First run down we took it a little easy but for the next two runs it was - plug the middle and get laughed at if you don’t make it… aye Rolf.
Not to be out done by Eden, Rolf found his own hole
Friday, 15 June 2007
The abundance of warm weather meant that water in Telemark was fast disappearing, time for us to leave. Next stop Buskerud. We headed north in search of greener pastures and stumbled across a stretch of river nicked named ‘the
Well as we drove across the bridge our cocky banter was abruptly ended. The river looked a little on the high side with what Eden and I guessed was 500-600 cumecs (while Rolf tried to workout what the hell a ‘cumec’ was, he’s American you see). Yep that should form one or two big holes we thought to ourselves as we headed up the road for a little closer. Ahh there’s a big hole… and there goes another one. There’s one over there too… there bloody everywhere!
The run is about 10 km long so before diving into reading and running a ‘
Grass on the roof... more grazing for the sheep I guess
Morning time! Let’s go paddling… or not. Rolf had the crazy idea that with everything being high maybe there could be some good boating in one of the tributaries. As Eden and I didn’t like what we had seen on the
The next day we meet up with some crazy German boaters who had paddled the run a few days earlier and more importantly knew the lines!! Sweet as then we’ll just follow you guys. And that is exactly what we did. Probably the best way to describe the run was like putting Nevis Bluff and Citron back to back for 10 km (with some ‘flattish’ bits thrown in to calm the nerves). The holes in there were huge that’s the only word for it but our crazy German guides saw us right. My favourite quote on the river was “you can stop and look at this one if you like because it is pretty big but there’s no point because you can’t see anything from the bank anyway”. Ok so we’ll just keep following you then…
If you have managed to read this far then good one ya and you have probably noticed that the photos have nothing to do with the text… basically we didn’t get any photos because we were too scared (and playing follow the crazy German).
Rolf 'the bear' Kelly
Have a good one
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
With all three of us finally in the same spot and after being well feed and looked after we headed for the Telemark region about two hours drive from
Rolfy Bear's attempt at flight on the Gøyst
The first river we hit up was an upper section of the Austbygdi (note: upper doesn’t equal harder over here). As we all got changed
Our guide Sam on the Home Run section of the Mår
Sam to the rescue… a friend of ours, Sam Hughes, who lives in
The paparazzi our out in force today - Sam runs the smallest drop on Home Run
With Sam in town for the weekend he showed us some of the sweet drops in the area… either that or he tried to scare us, I’m not totally sure. On the Saturday we paddled the Gøyst again from a bit higher and then did a blue angle run (one after the other no stopping), although still not a fast as Sam would have liked. Apparently we weren’t meant to catch any eddies!
Jono on the California section of the Austbygdi
On Sunday things got more interesting however. The day started early (not a problem in
With the waterfalls dispensed with we headed for a big slide (just above a waterfall you can’t run without breaking yourself) and another even bigger waterfall, Spånemfossen, which is apparent ‘all good down the middle’. Sweet as
More from the Californian section
Well I’m still typing so all was well and we even found our favourite run to date. The Californian section of the Austbygdi which was more of a river than a waterfall-slide combination. Much closer to what we are use to in
Spot the paddler!!!
Saturday, 9 June 2007
Rolf had told us that Norwegians were generous with his relatives being no exception and he could not have been more correct. After picking up him up from the train station we headed back to his Aunty Grette Johanne and Uncle Arne’s place just out of
They live in an apartment type building but it is built on a hill so everyone gets a balcony without another place directly above them making the place feel like a house… and besides it is about as big anyway… plenty of room for three scumbag kayakers to make themselves feel at home.
Enjoying a meal of fresh salmon
But it even got better… yes better. The food they gave use was amazing. I remember waking up the other morning to and walking out into the living area to find the dinning table full from one end to the other with everything I could possible think that I might want for breakfast. You name it, it was there!!! And best yet they said we could come back… choice.
A huge thank you to Grette Johanne and Arne for looking after us so well.
Thursday, 7 June 2007
Just one thing left to do before we could hit up the legendary Norwegian white water that we had heard so much about, find our third man - Rolf ‘the bear’ Kelly. Eden and I met Rolf when he was in
As Rolf had to fly with a kayak we were interested to see what issues the wonderful airlines had presented him with. All that we had to do was find him and we would know… Ah yes find him. The plan – Rolf catches a train to Oslo Centre Station and we meat him there. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?
With my co-pilot armed with a ‘not so great’ map of the inner city and me still trying to come to terms with the give way rules in this country (seriously though they make no sense) we headed for the Oslo Centre Station. Well our success at finding our way around on the first day was not repeated… our first wrong turn cost us about 20mins driving in circles, on roads that weren’t on the map none the less and from there things got confusing… don’t you just love big cities! It wasn’t too bad I suppose, after we found where we were on the map my co-pilot kicked into top gear and we were set.
At the train station at last and the trio is complete… with our powers combined we… no wait we are just going kayaking not saving the world. Rolf’s journey was rather uneventful or as my friend Ben would say “it went better than we had hoped” so nothing interesting to report there.
Now to discover the other great side of hanging out with Rolfy Bear… his generous family. Rolf’s mum is from
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
Snails?!?... But why would you do that Fraenzi
Well with snails dispensed with we headed off for
The first day saw us drive across
That night we slept in the car in a pull-off having made it into
One of the many spectacular bridges we crossed
The next day’s travels were about as uneventful as the first. We made it to
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Buying a car in Switzerland is no easy feat… the cars are more expensive, insurance is ridiculous (and compulsory), you need to have a local address for all the forms and insurance papers, and they send all the ‘old’ vehicles off to Eastern Europe because the Swiss can’t stand the thought of driving anything that’s not in ‘mint’ condition. To add to that, even after you pay your money for the car, you aren’t allowed to drive your new car away until you get your new plates (after getting insurance; which you need the ownership papers for, and of course.. a swissy address!!)
We bypassed most of our problems with the aid of our super swiss guide – Fraenzi. She let us register the car in her name making the insurance possible as well, otherwise we would have been kicked out in the cold. (or hot… it is summer here when it is not snowing).
Sweet as, now we just have to find a vehicle (re-read the first paragraph if you imagine it is easy). After much searching on the internet and traipsing around car yards we were left with very few options. Then just when all was seemingly lost the guy at the cheapest car yard in
Choice bro… an Escort with tinted rear windows, black steel rims, complementary different coloured panel, and an 1800 fuel injected beast of an engine complete with front mount radiator and only 126,000 km on the clock… Ah we’ll take it au.
I asked him to put some custom undercoat grey patches on it but that was going to be extra… stink au. Still no worries ay, I’m sure we’ll get some before long.
Anyhow one good thing about buying a car in
We might even make it too