Hardangervidda 1997

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Walks in the mountains are popular in the Norwegian Association for the Blind and Partially sighted, but it was a long time since the last walk aimed at young people. This trip showed that there are many young people who like to walk in the mountains, me included!

Saturday July 26: Dyranut - Bjoreidalshytta

Originally I had planned to jump on the train in Asker in stead of first going into Oslo to afterwards whiz past Asker again half an hour later. I also had to get up pretty early in the morning too.

Photo of Far to walk Nils, Oddvar and Marie walking happy off.

But then I was persuaded to stay over night at Terje Andre and Torø, so I went with them to Oslo central station anyway. On our way down we bumped into Marit on the tram and found the rest of the group outside the station. Oh, Elin ended up on the train before us...

To travel by rail is fun. This was absolutely no exception. We realized we hadn't eaten much, so we strolled over to the restaurant wagon and treated ourselves to a train breakfast. The breakfast table was not the largest I have encountered, but it was large enough even though it was a bit tight.

When we arrived at Geilo, we continued on a bus along the railway for some distance before we turned south and ended up at Dyranut. There it was just to get out the walking boots and lump along! But before we did that, someone magically produced some neat sticks we used, either for support, guiding or to poke in the bog with in front of you to check how deep it was before we went swimming.

Photo of Follow me Randi, Kristine and Torø allegedly had quite a good time walking together...

The first leg was not much to make your muscles stiff. It was probably the shortest walk during the whole trip, and was done in a couple of hours. Just before we arrived at Bjoriedalshytta, we found a nice patch where we sat down and took it easy while we discussed everything between heaven and earth.

Bjoreidalshytta was a cosy little cabin were we were allocated to large rooms. After a lovely dinner, we all introduced ourselves so everyone could get to know each other. There were many people who knew each other from before, but there were also some unknown faces there.

Sunday July 27: Bjoreidalshytta - Stigstuv

Normally Sunday is a day when I can sleep in but this is unfortunately not the case when you are out walking in the mountains. If you want breakfast, you have to get up! In addition to breakfast and packed lunch, we got our thermoses refilled either with coffee, tea, hot chocolate or juice. I didn't find my thermos before I left and it is also quite a lot more heavy than the bottle I took with me. It wasn't just any ordinary bottle I had chosen, but an empty bottle with the print Rectified Spirit. Throughout the trip people working at the various cabins thought this was quite amusing...

Photo of Water is no obstacle Well, this is Ingrid and Elin

On the walk to Stigstuv I mostly walked together with Hege. The terrain was quite easy to walk in, but there were some stones here and there making it necessary to watch your step. The walking time on the map was pretty optimistic, we used about twice that time. We soon found out that this was perfectly normal.

Stigstuv was maybe even more cosy than the cabin we had just come from. Particularly the dinner was unforgettable and possibly the best we got throughout the week. If my Sunday dinner had always been as good, I would never have had any reason to complain...

Photo of If it wasn't white before we came... Terje Andre and Andreas

Most of us shared a large room in a separate building just beside the cabin. As usual on a mountain trip like this there was plenty of wet clothes and the room became quite damp...

Monday July 28: Stigstuv - Rauhelleren

The day before Torø started to get pains in her knee, and after a bit back and forth, Terje Andre and Torø decided to not come along all the way to Rauhelleren, but rather take an extra day of rest at Geilo.

Photo of Parting This was the place were we parted from Terje Andre, Torø and Randi for a while.

To follow them some of the way, we took a different route than first planned. This was already one of the longest walks throughout the week, and with this "little" lengthening it became even longer.

Photo of We're only going over there, Andreas! - There's the cabin Andreas, said Kristine. Okay, she could maybe see the cabin we were going to, but it took about five hours to get there! Good we had a cheerful leader!

After some hours walking and a little drissle, we came to a large lake called something like the Big Ocean. It looked quite big too, but it was not as big as I would experience later that day...

After some time it became quite tiresome and there came a point were I just decided that I needed a rest here... The others also found out that maybe it was a good idea with a little rest, so we sat down and relaxed. I would have liked to sit there for several hours, but then I would probably finished the walk before dusk.

Photo of Nice to walk Hege, Marianne and Elin

Rauhelleren was the largest of the cabins we stayed at. There had been little problems with the guide dogs at the cabins, but at Rauhelleren they put their hind legs down and first refused to let the dogs come inside the bedrooms. Then they changed their minds to be a bit more "kind" and let the dogs be in the bedrooms, provided they stayed in cages... This was completely unacceptable to the guide dog users and there was a bit of fuss... The cages were put in the rooms but never used.

Photo of Got there! Hege, Oddvar, Svinty and Tin-Tin outside Rauhelleren.

We also had great plans of having a shower at this cabin after all the walking. But they were busy building at Rauhelleren so there wasn't any shower... If you are in the mountains, you are in the mountains and some people even when to the drastic step of jumping in the ice could lake.

At other places we were told to go to bed, but at Rauhelleren we sat up a while after everyone else had gone to bed, knowing tomorrow would not be such a strenuous day.

Tuesday July 29: Day of rest at Rauhelleren

Photo of On the roof of the world I first took this picture of the three people who I had walked up with.

Even though this was meant to be a day for not running on to the next cabin, we couldn't just sit inside and stare at the walls all day! A large mountain top was not to far away, so we climbed it.

Photo of Above Rauhelleren And the Sissel had to take this picture too! Here you see Liv-Åse, Elin, Andreas and Marie on the top of the mountain above Rauhelleren with a view over most of Hardangervidda. It at least seemed that way...

On the top there was a magnificent view for miles and miles. There was also quite a fresh wind up there! We found a sheltered place a bit below the top and ate our packed lunches there. A falcon flew around and made some noise.

Photo of Lunch with a view It was very pleasant eating lunch with such a view.

In the afternoon we got out some cards and played cards for a while. It was a bit nice to just sit inside and not be outside in all the terrifically beautiful scenery and breathe all the horribly fresh air...

Wednesday July 30: Rauhelleren - Heinsetra

Photo of Goodbye Rauhelleren! It was a beautiful day when we left Rauhelleren.

A splendid day met us when we got up and there was no problem being a early riser after a days rest. The energy bubbled and we were anxious to get on our way!

Photo of Stumbling Hege decided she didn't mind tripping once more. This time she thought it was hilarious, and I just had to take a picture of her.

There were quite a lot of stones in some places, and Hege who I was walking together with found a special stone in her way and did a swallow dive straight on her head. Even if it looked quite dramatical, she survived without serious injury, but I think some people watching didn't believe that at first.

Photo of Trendy Hege in correct mountain gear. Here she can bee seen with her bright mountain costume. She even has the famous red headband!

While all the others had coffee in their thermoses, I also had along two empty plastic coke bottles which I filled with water from streams. It was really nice to be able to drink proper water after walking up a hill, even though no streams were in sight.

Photo of Yellow is cool! Marianne and Hege

Just before we got to Heinsetra, there was a stretch with a lot of stones. The cabin was in sight at the bottom, but it took tremendous long time to get there. I felt that I walked and walked without getting much closer.

Photo of Food Kathrine dropped her backpack and flopped down beside the rest of us to enjoy a packed lunch.

They were also building at Heinsetra, so Elin and I messed a bit around before we found the entrance. We tried climbing over a fence but that didn't help much... I didn't realise that the entrance was around on the other side.

The new dining room at the cabin was just completed and we were the first to eat dinner in it. While we stood waiting for our food, Marianne recited the most of Terje Vigen (a very long old Norwegian poem) for us, which she had learned by heart once she didn't have very much to do. I assume she didn't have much to do, anyway... Well done!

Thursday July 31: Heinsetra - Tuva

On Thursday the weather was horrible! It rained. And it rained. And it rained. It poured down from above, literally speaking. But we had to continue, there as no mercy. So it was just to get out the rain gear we had carried around and wrap oneself in as best possible.

The packed lunch was eaten hastily halfway through the walk. We had to try to eat up the food before it became soaked.

Photo of Mountain fog The fog is dangerous in the mountain, you see. Here is Elin, Hege and Marie not too far away from some fog swallowing the mountain in the background.

But before we got to Tuva, the weather got a bit better and during the last part of the walk, the sun was actually shining as we swam through the last bog. It was really nice to get there, and it wasn't strange we were exhausted.

When we got there, we met Terje Andre and Torø who had had some days rest. Torø talked a lot and didn't seemingly understand why she got such a poor response. I think she thought we were a bit boring not wanting to answer all her questions about the last few days' events. But then she hadn't trudged many kilometres through pouring rain either.

Photo of Elin drinking real water It is actually mountain water Elin is drinking here, even if Torø would like to believe it was something completely different...

Tuva was a very nice place with extremely good waffles. It also was very good to pull of all my wet clothes and rumble through my sack for some clothes that maybe could be dry... or approximately dry.

Friday August 1: Tuva - Åan

We were all a bit sad because this was to be our last leg of the walk. It was supposedly not meant to be that long, but I thought it took quite a long time before we reached Åan even so.

All the time during the walk we had followed marked tracks, but suddenly the Ts that marked the track disappeared. We got an unintentionally long break while someone went to find back to the track. After a bit of back and forth we found the right way and continued down the mountain side.

Photo of Marie and Liv-Åse

It went downwards all the time. We passed the timber line and thought we really had come down from the hills, even though we were at a considerable height above the sea.

This was the last evening and we all had got to know each other well and we were all sad because we had to go separate ways the next day. We had been getting on very well, even though many people didn't know each other in advance. Someone made a song about our trip which wasn't completely finished before it was performed.

Saturday August 2: Going home

Photo of Group picture We had to have a group photo of everybody! In front from the left is: Janka, Svinty, Tin-Tin and Fiffi (guide dogs!). Behind them are: Torø, Hege, Oddvar and Kathrine. In the second row is Marianne, Kristine, Liv-Åse, Terje Andre, Elin, Nils and Marie. At the back is Andreas, Randi, Ingrid and Marit. Sissel who also was along had already left because she was going back to the west coast.

It's always a bit sad to have to travel home from such a fantastic trip in the mountains like this had been. A bus came and fetched us and drove us up to Geilo were there was unusually amounts of activity. It was famous Geilodagene! (=annual market days). Even if we managed to fork in a hamburger and a sausage and listened to the local band playing, we didn't catch the potato sprint or the traditional wedding procession the following day. We had to take the train back to Oslo...

Photo of Svinty and Janka If we aren't cute guide dogs...

The central station in Oslo has never been so noisy as when we got back. Everybody agreed that this was horrible and the headache was on its way. The fresh mountain air from Hardangervidda had been reduced to a only a memory.

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This page was first made on October 24, 1997.
Last updated July 31, 1998.