A Travellerspoint blog

Day 16 ~ The Only Way is Up!

Briksdalen

overcast 22 °C
View To the South of the North 2022 on CariadJohn's travel map.

Today was very much a day of two halves, first the pain, then the pleasure. But first, let me rewind to last night. Snug in our van, chicken wrapped in prosciutto ham eaten and tidied away, a few drinks drunk, we suddenly decided to visit the sauna and glacial pool!

We rushed to put our swimsuits on, whilst arguing about etiquette. Was it pool, sauna, pool like I wanted, or pool, sauna, van like Lyn wanted? We walked the 25m to the campsite toilet block where the saunas were located, one for men and one for women, and looked at the glacial pool. Now this pool is a natural pool, a side pool as it were to the river that rushes through the campsite, straight from the waterfall above our heads that comes straight from the glacier. We had
looked at it the day before, but it had a sign saying “river high” as a deterrent. The water level was definitely down today, so it looked possible. Lyn stripped off his dry robe, handed it to me and was in. He lasted 3 minutes, and came out uncontrollably shivering, it was bitingly cold. Then it was my turn. It took my breath away, but not as much as the naked man who entered the pool as well! It’s not a big pool, todger alert! It was not a big todger either! As I came out, a naked woman got in. They’re were not together, at least not to start. Another Scandi tradition I think, one that we were blissfully unaware of until the evidence was swinging in my face.

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We went into our respective saunas and agreed to meet in 5 minutes back at the pool. Mine started off blissfully with just me and another quiet woman in it, until a big gang of girls took ages coming in with their bottles of beer, leaving the door open for ages. How rude! I waited for Lyn outside, but typical Lyn had got talking to another ultra marathoner in there after he (Lyn) had broken the sauna light with his shoulders! He was the only non naked guy in there. I had given up waiting and got in, lasting 6 minutes. I love it, there’s no feeling like it. Lyn got in, and excitedly started telling me about his sauna convo. We left before more naked people arrived.

Now, onto today. We had planned a walk before we left the campsite. I was quite nervous about this, because the route only went one way, and it wasn’t down or across. At least it was a good chance for me to practise with my hiking poles, and boy did I need them!

I can’t really say too much about the walk, I’ve blanked out the painful memory. Let’s just say it was only a mile in total, but it’s my slowest mile ever. It just went up, up, up, up….you get the picture. Now imagine up, up, up, but over really slippery mud, tree roots and rocks. It was exhausting. I was feeling every year of my age and every pound of my weight, and was beginning to regret every last chocolate I have ever eaten, until I stopped for a breather to let a big gang of young gorgeous Scandi girls go past. Every last one of them, was puffing like a steam train too, and could not speak, just a grimace that passed for a smile as they continued on up into the stratosphere. That made me feel slightly better. We knew there was no chance we could do the full hike, mainly due to time constraints (and the risk of me having a heart attack) so turned around.

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Going downhill was not much easier though. Lyn with his long legs found it easier, but some of the steps between the rocks were a challenge for little legs. Lyn was my trail Angel, and kept me going with words of encouragement. It all worked because a) I didn’t cry and b)didn’t have a heart attack, c) fall to my death. I was glad to be back on level ground again and out of the clouds. Climbing vertically for half a mile is not in my top 10 of things to do. We got back to the van and I was already working out when and where I could shower and nap.

Luckily we didn’t have far to go for our next campsite. We wanted to stay in the same valley, so drove 2 miles to our next sleeping place. We decided against one camp site due to the smell of cow shit, but found another site with the most perfect view of the glacier over the stunning lake. Time to chill and take in the view for a while.

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Oh, and apologies for the photos of me. Hiking hair, don’t care! There’s Insta Hiking and there’s Lucy’s Reality Hiking. It’s not pretty, but it is real. There’s none of Lyn because I either didn’t have the energy or couldn’t let go of my poles for fear! And the photos do no justice to the height we climbed! Honestly.

Posted by CariadJohn 17:03 Archived in Norway Tagged landscapes hiking lake glacier norway dipping

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