Storsylan Traverse...to China!
Two days before we were due to leave for Nepal a fairly large earthquake hit more or less precisely the Kanchenjunga area we were heading to meet up with Jamie and Penny. Our first thoughts were concern for their safety in that huge crumbling landscape - luckily they escaped and have lived to tell an amazing tale which you can read about on Jamie and Penny's blog.
For us it spelled the end of our original trip and a rethink given we were so disorganised trying to shift from this continent we have lived on for nearly 3 years back to the other side of the world. How have we accumulated so much stuff?
This has been a familiar site over the last two weeks - brown boxes!
For the time being we had to move from our flat and the opportunity to return to Tømmerholt - Wing's orienteering club house up in the forest - was very tempting. It was quite fitting two, given it is where we began our life in Norway some years ago, although there was a little more snow round then.
This time the trees are showing their autumn colours and the days have either been beautiful crisp and clear, or gray and raining. The hut is so cosy, with the added ability to simultaneously produce 6 waffles at a time!
During the extra two weeks we also did a bit of paddling - and kayaked out to the NTNU Gigaphone in LademoenSomehow between all the organising and reorganising we managed to squeeze in one more final final really final trip. It was Garmin Bear at his best - heading away from Tømmerholt at 5pm on a Saturday, beginning walking at 7 just at it got dark, without a map. We were in Sylan, a high treeless plateau near the Swedish border. It was a place our friend Bård had always told us was great, so we decided we really should visit it before we went.
The landscape was wide and pitch black. After about 1.5 hours walking Chris decided that based on the map in his head this one wasn't going the right way @#$%! So we took off across the countryside to his 'attack point' which was the side of this huge mountain that we could sort of 'feel' looming up beside us.
We found a fence which Chris thought he remembered, so we followed it up a gentle hill until finally our torch beams reflected a tiny hut sitting on the hill top. After dinner and putting on warm clothes we took this shot - it was 12.36 am!
Of course the result of all this lateness results in further lateness the following day. We had a lazy morning, justified equally by the low hanging mist as by our late night. Being mapless made me less than keen to set off up towards some mist clad summit.
The cute little hut by daylightBy midday the sun was starting to peak through, so we headed away from Fiskåhøgda blinking at the visual complexity of our surroundings compared to what we had missed in our blind journey in to the hut. Lemmings popped out squeeking at us everywhere - one lay belly side up squeeking tremendously before flipping back up and scuttling into the nearest hole leaving me chuckling at these most crazy animals.
The first false summit - I was busy writing our names in the 'summit book'
The day was drawing on as we continued down the ridge which had some fairly tricky spots to downclimb, the drop just off the summit involving me using a Garmin Bear-shoulder-foothold to aid my descent.
Big rock clambering on the way down (I know Amber will appreciate these (-: )Just to make things a little more complicated I had a preorganised dinner with my great friend Laila that evening back in Trondheim. She was very amused and tolerant of my frequent texting with our progress off the mountain and ever lengthening eta.
Off the mountain finally, stripey poly-pro man marches along
The late afternoon sun threw golden shadows across the already red and yellow hillsides, and lake Nesjøen was still and dark in the cool air. It really is a beautiful and wild area not to be scorned at (Ally). We jogged down across the last marshes and arrived at our car by 6 - hooned home to a very quick shower and off to Laila's for a lovely evening meal by 9pm! Mission accomplished.
The sun sets on the horizon just before we reached the carNow we are all packed and ready, boxes boxed and bags packed. We are going to China! First we have to visit Stockholm to sort out our visas (and maybe squeeze in a kayak trip in the archipelago) In China we will visit our friends Matt and Lara (and probably Joe the Nomad too) in the town of Dali for a couple of weeks before we go to Tasmania and then finally home.
So bye for now Trondheim! We will miss you so much.