September 25, 2017
Up and down the mountains
Middalsbu. Over two long, Norwegian light days, we are served a haute cuisine of perfectly prepared postcards. The black-green mountain peaks flanked with aqua blue lakes and small herds of sheep. A dressing of hail-white snow interwoven with the falu red pigment they use to paint the houses here. A few medieval log cabins appear to be carelessly added to the scenery. Both the giant mountains and the tiniest flowers, everything is like a feast for our eyes.
A grumpy descent
After this warm-up, we think our legs will be ready for steeper climbs in Odda. Jeroen feels like a sprinter eager to leave the starting block. He wants to go! Unfortunately, I’m dragging him down. My ankle injury, sustained in the Greek mountains, appears insufficiently healed. The trip that takes us over a part of the glacier toward Holmaskjer, I have to throw in the towel halfway. The day after, from Kinsarvik to Stavali, an energetic Jeroen starts ahead. And that’s a good thing, too. After less than 100 metres of climbing, I am forced to turn back for a grumpy descent.
Sad for a while
Back in the camper, I get to be sad for a little while. Fifteen minutes. I pour my lamentation out over the patient lines of my typically Dutch Hema-notebook. Then I make tea. While sipping, I shift my focus to the immense happiness in my life. And I let my heart go out to some of the loved ones in my family circle that have to live with chronic pain every day. At moments like these, I realise that they are the strongest ones. I imprint their life’s motto in my head: ‘look at what you can do’. Meanwhile, Jeroen sends me pictures that radiate his pleasure. They bring a smile to my face, too.
The family walk along the Kinsarvik Falls. That is something I can do. Playing around with shutter times is still on my photography wish list. Two birds with one stone. Upon arrival, I cling to the imprint in my head. About 20 larger-than-large cameras are flashing in a row up there. What was I thinking? That I would be unique? Just before, I saw a tiny path leading toward the swirling river. With my tail between my legs, I retreat to find my gold down there.
Outside of time
Looking, squatting, clicking, playing. With Floyd as my loyal companion, this spot gets me ‘in-the-zone’ in no-time. Until I am startled by Jeroen’s hand sliding into my neck. With eyes the size of UFOs, I look up and mumble: ‘How did you know I was here?’ Between his grey beard he smiles wisely: ‘intuition’. He, too, jumping and skipping over the rocks, travelled outside of time. A spontaneous coffee visit from an Australian couple and the unmasking of the beautiful image I made that afternoon provides the golden frame of this day. Fully decorated with curls.
In the evening, we drive toward the city of Bergen in no hurry. Roaming through the streets among modern art, we live like true yups here. A camper is full of supplies and all of the wild camping has been great for our budget. No matter the cost of the heart-decorate cappuccinos, the Norwegian coffee buns, and the food here, we indulge our taste buds with culinary goodness.