Saturday, 6 September 2014


It's been another one of those passages of time when I've had this page open more than once, only to shut it down without a word written. Sometimes because there was too much else going on... well, actually, it was always because there was too much going on. Only, if it wasn't stuff around me, it was stuff in my head.

The days have been passing rather blissfully, all in all. Weeks disappear, leaving behind a trail of happy thoughts and memories. As always, we get older, one day at a time. And not, as popular wisdom would have it, a year at a time :). But more on that later.

Mondays are the best days to take off from work. If it's just one day that you can take. Even otherwise, come to think of it. The time to increased-awesomeness-of-life ratio is unmatched with Mondays. So yeah, I took last Monday off. And we decided to go hike Besseggen over the long weekend!

We drove up to Gjendesheim on the Friday night, a drive made memorable mostly because of the spectacularly twisting last fifty or so kilometres before we got to the cabin! There were no lights, it was completely dark, and every now and then, at completely random and incomprehensible intervals, there would be these sticks with little bits of reflective tape, sticking out of the two edges of the tarmac! Slightly insane-ish g forces were achieved :D. But a fully loaded car makes for a surprisingly smooth ride!

The hike over Besseggen is supposed to be the most frequented in all of Norway. Which wouldn't be saying much, except, a boat load of people (literally, in fact) trying to scramble up a narrow ridge somewhere around 1500m above sea level on their hands and knees while you are trying to climb down the same ridge can make for an interesting situation :).

The weather called for a fair bit of walking in the clouds. But that meant when we did descend below said clouds, there was much delighted whooping at the suddenly appeared spectacular-ness of the view :). Yes, for a wet, rainy and cold day, it was one filled with a surprising amount of good humour! Plus, the precise spot were the views opened up for us was just where Bessvatnet (lake at 1400m, dark blue water, altogether not too awesome looking on it's own) all but overlooks Gjende (lake at 1000m, turquoise waters, and indeed quite spectacular looking even without the setting).

By the time we arrived at Memurubu, our stop for the night, we were all rather tired, but warmth and hot beverages have a way of fixing things :). A nice hot meal helps too! We managed a cabin with ten bunks all to ourselves, and with five people that quite neatly translated to one bunk each for sleeping, and one for drying wet stuff!

The second day was much nicer in terms of weather. For one thing, the rain stayed away the whole time! The clouds continued to play tag with us, offering up random views of distant glaciers, vast high plateaus, twisting meandering rivers, stupendous waterfalls but also sometimes hiding sleepy little bits of boulder strewn water barely a few yards away! The first half of the day was almost a magical and fantastic sort of journey :).

And then came the drop. To say it was steep would be an understatement of fairly sizeable proportions. As we sailed by later, each of us alternately gawked and cheered at the sheer wall that we seemed to have climbed down! But at the end of the walk stood yet another awesome cosy and, most importantly, warm hytta, Gjendebu.

With a couple of hours to spare before the boat came to ferry us back to Gjendesheim, we filled up on chocolate, somewhat more healthy warm food, and half dozed in a fitfully sunny afternoon. The boat ride back was rather cold. But that was mostly as we refused to get inside the cabin and chose to regale each other while watching the mesmerizing wake churning up the water.

You'd have thought hiking well over thirty kilometres in two days would have dampened the spirits somewhat, but no! There was enough energy left for a surprise party :). Well, surprise for me, mostly. And for someone who didn't manage to hit the light switches in time :P. Although that was at least partly because of the large number of light switches!

Monday morning was a lazy affair, which suited me just fine :). We drove back along the aforementioned spectacularly twisting road in marginally better light, but almost even less visibility than Friday night as some rain clouds decided to come by and say hello by discharging their contents from close range. In response, we decided to have a second breakfast/lunch in a very sleepy Beitostølen.

Eventually as the afternoon progressed the blue holes in the clouds grew until it was almost bright and sunny! Sadly it was also time to start saying goodbyes.

So there you have it. A proper travel post! I should really do the Lofoten one before the really fun bits disappear into the cracks of an imperfect memory. First I'd have to go through the thousands of photographs though!

Currently: moving as little as possible besides fingertips (jeez, I've gotten out of cycling shape)
Listening to: Owl City - Gold

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