Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Hike to Stigen (Norway Part Seven)
After two nights in the Nærøyfjord we entered the Aurlandsfjord. Our third night of camping required pulling our kayaks up onto a narrow beach and climbing straight up a cliff. Part of the trail had been blasted out of rock. This was goat country, y'all. Those with a fear of heights (me) had no choice but up, for there lay not only our beds for the night but wood stove "hot tubs". Think about it...rain and no showers for days...there were tubs full of hot water at the top...! I was able to take on those cliff-side switchbacks. It was SO worth it.
At the top was the most beautiful fairy tale of a farm, Stigen. The first joy I experienced was finding an outhouse that was clean and did not stink. What wonders had I stumbled upon?! There was even a urinal on the cliff's edge (pictured somewhere below) - a loo with a view.
Our hosts greeted us warmly. Dee told stories while Hege washed up the lettuces harvested from their garden that afternoon. We hit the hot tubs immediately. Joe, Brian and I shared the little tub on the actual edge of a cliff. The fjord lay below us and I was able to wash my hair with a watering can full of wood stove heated water!
Dee and Hege's houses were snug and cozy. They served us the most amazing dinner that was all from their farm on the cliff above the fjord. We were warm, we were clean, we were full of good food, and we were entertained with stories of life in Norway and the funny visitors to the farm over the years.
I remember I got up in the middle of the night to visit the outhouse and it still was not dark outside. Everything glowed. It was just the most beautiful place.
In the morning some of us woke at dawn to hike up to Beitelen. From there we had a view down both sides of the Aurlandsfjord and back up the Nærøyfjord. We made it back for breakfast just as it began to rain again.