Sweat till you Drop

Friday started out really sunny… finally! It was perfect because I had booked a Kayak tour in Flam. So, I got a ride with the French couple staying on the ship. We were in kayaks of two; I was paired with a Swedish guy. The group was really international from South Korea, Sweden, USA, Australia, and Germany. During the tour (which was sadly not long enough to fully enjoy the sun and amazing scenery), I learned of many things, including that an enemy ship found its way into the Fjords during WWII and the people of Flam got them to abandon their ship by hosting a big party, thus allowing the national guard to put dynamite into the hull and blow up the ship. The shipwreck is still underwater thus making it a prime place for scuba diving. Even though the Fjords are directly connected to the sea, the water was not salty due to all the glacial water pour off the mountains.

After this kayak trip (from which I was sore for a good number of days!), I decided to rent a bike – except that I forgot my ID. So – they gave me the bike in exchange for my credit card. With the bike, I went back 7km all the way to Aurland to get the ID, biked back to Flam, then told myself that I’ll go part of the way up to Myrdal which is 20km long, over 1000 m elevation gain trip one way. But of course, me being me, I push myself all the way to the top, where there were still large snowy patches. This trip is one I feel silly describing by words, since even the pictures don’t do justice to the beauty of nature. It is like biking up the road to some water-queen heaven. At one point I told myself I won’t stop at every waterfall to take a picture, only every other one, which then had to be switched to every third one. After all, I had a deadline of 10pm to return the bike. It took around 3 hours to get to the top, partially biking, partially pushing the bike (especially at the top “death path” of 180 degree hairpin turns of insane steepness – I lost count how many there were after about 7 or 8). And of course, taking tons of pictures.

I passed no other biker going up, and neither did anyone else pass me going up. There were others biking down, presumably from the train station at the top, but it seemed no one else was crazy enough to do the uphill journey.

Well I was. And I’m glad I did it. Even though I ate dirt on the way down, getting a bit carried away with my ability to navigate hairpin turns at high-ish speeds. My right knee paid for it in blood, and left thigh in bruises. Something also happened to my left ankle as I couldn’t move it for about 30 seconds, but I must have sent some insane healing energy towards it because after a few minutes of resting it up on a rock, I couldn’t feel any pain anymore and could move it no problem.

By the end of the day, I had biked over 55km, with 2000+ m elevation change, and kayaked for 2 hours. As soon as I returned the bike, I sat down right there, and ordered a nice wild caught salmon with potatoes and salad from this “Green norWay” food cart. I must have worked off like 4000 calories that day. Then it started drizzling, but I was still 7km from my ship-cupboard room… and I was pretty sure the last bus was gone. So I either hobble back on foot, or… hitchhike. Thankfully after standing in the misty bog by the side of the road for about 15 mins, a Polish-Norwegian couple picked me up and dropped me real close to the port. On the ship, I found out that a new couple had joined us, from Portland, OR. What a small world, and… Ahhh… what a Friday 🙂

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