September 25, 2017
The first hot drops from the shower sprinkle my skin. She cheers with joy and sighs: ‘has it really been a week?’ I confirm it. We live rhythmically on the lucky number ‘seven’. Water, food, electricity, clean clothes, bedding. Everything in stock for one week of wandering in the middle of nowhere. Our daily maintenance is a splash in one of the countless, freezing lakes of Norway. Seven days ago, we turned everything upside down for major maintenance in Voss, which surrounds a dreamy lake. Now we do it in Lom, tucked in between the mountain tops. With a joyful sensation on my skin, I look back on the past.
Vos. Besides washing, scrubbing, refuelling, and sweeping, this is where seize our opportunity. It’s ‘salg’. Our Dutch ears immediately understand that this means sale. It sounds like music. Colourful, stretchy hiking pants stick to our fingers. Afterwards, Jeroen does some left and right-handed golf on one of the rare courses here. Together with Floyd, I look for our daily portion of wild blueberries and raspberries, which decorate our oatmeal every morning. That morning, too, after which we head toward Jutonheimen National Park. A quick pee break in Skjolden turns into being stuck for three days before the engine starts running again.
A dream-like state
Skjolden, situated on the tongue of the Lustrafjord, consists of little more than one hotel, one supermarket, and one football field. A reason to stick around here is that multiple simple hiking trips, perfect for further recovery of my ankle, lead into the mountains. Admiring the magical fjord, the harmoniously ruminating sheep, the flowers and the bees, they embrace us like a fluffy blanket of blessed tranquillity. The evenings go by, both absorbed by the world of our own books, in a dream-like state. Until, suddenly, a shrill whistle is heard. Jeroen looks out of the window in a reflex. He jumps up! He carelessly throws everything aside. Looking for his sports shoes. ‘They are playing football. I want to join’. Two seconds later, I see 22 men chasing a ball like rabid dogs. Including my hero. We celebrate the third half together. Singing along with golden oldies, dancing in our tiny hallway, we relive good times from our past.
The camper engine slowly gets going again. Toward Turtagro. Our desire to head up the mountain with our tent has reached its peak. After less than half an hour of driving, we pack our large backpacks and start our winding walk through the deserted valley. A great warm-up for the tough, rocky climb toward Fanaraken. Just 100 metres below the top, we find our room-with-a-view. Chilly winds and pouring rain make us set up camp quickly. Unfortunately, we have to eat our pre-cooked dinner under cover. Then, Mother Nature gives us an unexpected surprise in the form of a breath-taking lightshow. A mix of pink, blue, and yellow spotlights, snowy mountain peaks appear that we were unable to see all day due to the mist. Our mouths are wide open in amazement. After a night of twisting and turning in our tight fit cocoons, we descend with pleasure, except for my ankle.