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Norway 1998

Norway Kayak Log

23rd May - 8th June 1998

Gareth 'Quick-Lead' Ambler

Lee 'BO' Rogers

Mike 'Ripped-Arse' Bateson

Mark 'Ressot' Rigby

Departure | Karting | Teeside | Ferry | Morkridaselva | Jori | Folla | Setninga | Sjoa | Sjoa Canyon

Grovu | Upper Driva | Lora | No paddling | Strondaelva | Ferry | Home | River Table | Quotes

mountain pass


Day One : Brighton - Durham (Frazer's Party), Saturday 23rd May

Well, a pretty cool start to the trip. Collected the car, Garf, and Ressot without much hassle, but then we didn't have Bateson!!! PS. Fraz's party was cool. - Lee

Minimal faff today (no Mike!). Got bike on and were under 5 metres - bonus! Arrived at Frazers and got pissed. That rules.... - Gareth

Being shit faced is cool. Frazer was pissed at 7pm and I was soon afterwards. Ran out of gin too early. Lots of breakages - TV, banister, washing machine, table. Smart!! - Mike

 

Day Two : Durham, Sunday 24th May

Went Karting today. Cool!!! We had a cool curry as well. I like the word cool. Pam wanted to come to Norway, shame she couldn't!! Paul also wanted to come! Whey hey!! - Lee

I was dead nervous about Karting but it was excellent. Bit disappointed that I didn't get the fastest lap in that I knew I had in me. Bloody Sunday driver got in my way. Went to Teeside and watched Frazer get pasted then went for a curry. Cool.... - Gareth

I'm shit at Karting (shouldn't that be 'I'm shit.' Ed.). Curry was best though. Teeside entertaining. Lots of trashing. Ha Ha. - Mike

 

Day Three : Durham - North Shields - North Sea, Monday 25th May Lee on Setninga

Teeside is cool. I got a good trashing in the stopper (2nd one), but got out eventually. We're on the ferry and pissed. Cool. - Lee

Emptied my body of the curry at 7.00 am. My stomach still hurts now (10.00am)! Teeside was fun. Me and Lee had fun in the 2nd drop. Did a nice hand roll on the 3rd drop (which I couldn't do on the Spean!). We're now on the ferry and we're a bit drunk and Lee is checking out the chicks as I speak. - Gareth

Few beers and staring at moderate birds. 4 beers + cabaret + cards as well. A good evening. Lots of canoeing talk, bed soon. Looking forward to breakfast. - Mike

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Day Four : North Sea - Bergen - Morkri, Tuesday 26th May

Driven into the 6th petrol station today looking for camping gas. Looking for gas sucks! - Mark

Ferry trip went quite fast. Then a bit of a drive before dossing at the Morkri. Scenery unbelievable. Massive cliffs, 500 ft high. Great dump site, secluded and great views. 10 out of 10. - Mike

Good ferry trip! Played cards and got slowly pissed on the Monday night, then woke up and threw up on the Tuesday morning (sea-sick honest!). Mark was ill as well. Had a nice breakfast (don't eat the bacon) and played more cards. Ferry journey ended 4 hours earlier than expected, which was nice. Arrived at Bergen and it was pissing it down. Deja vu! Drove for hours and eventually got to the Morkri doss site. Gauge reads 0.8m. - Gareth

I felt a bit ill on the ferry, and so couldn't do justice to the breakfast (eat as much as you like for 5.10. Bargain). Drove for miles, which included a 15 minute ferry crossing to Hella. Why can't Sealink load and unload a ferry that quick? The landscape is cool! We're dossing in a massive canyon with the 'Morkandmindy' through the middle. Do I sound like 'Terry Storrey' or what? OK, not really! All in all we seemed to get here very easily. Perhaps we should have got some gas before we left England!!! - Lee

Just remembered Garf and Mark both vommed on the Ferry. They blame it on sea sickness, I reckon they can't handle four pints of ferry strength lager. Ha Ha. - Mike

Day started - woke up, threw up, went for a walk on deck - threw up some more - went back to sleep feeling shit - I hate 24 hours on a ferry. - Mark

 

Day Five : Morkridaselva, Wednesday 27th May Gareth on Strondaelva

Paddled the Morkri today. Grade II/III with a big IV on it (that was a monstrous V last time Mark and Garf were here.) I was all for portaging but first Mark and then Lee and Garf shot it, so I felt obliged. Hashed it a bit, but was lucky. PHEW! Weather is tops. Wish we hadn't had to stop 2000 times to look for gas. Doss site and food soon. Cool. PS. Driving over snowy passes at 1400m was very impressive. PPS. Spotted a blonde Norwegian Babe today (Had a kid though). - Mike

Didn't rain last night! - Gareth

The 'Morkandmindy' was an ace warm up. Only grade II/III, but pretty fast. The corner (IV+) was good, but not as hard as it looked. The scenery and weather are cool. Hasn't rained since we left Bergen. - Lee

Bit disappointed when I saw the gauge for the Morkri (0.8m) but it turned out to be OK. Not as fun as last time perhaps, but the corner went when Mark had found (and run) the line. Drove to Otta and found a good doss (picnic) site on the way to Dombas. The Lagen looks fun!!! - Gareth

Norway. A land of water!! - Mike

 

Day Six : Jori, Thursday 28th May

Cool!! What more can I say. The Jori was ace, apart from a 12 mile cycle by Garf up a steep windy track. The river started as a very continuous (but quite small) grade IV. I was enjoying this. About 5 or 6 KM down a large tributary joined the river, doubling the volume. This increased the grade to a chunky IV+. This was still very continuous and now quite hard. We shot the first of the star marked rapids (actually the 2nd) without inspection, followed by the portage which didn't seem to exist, and the next star rapid which reminded me of 'Chateau Queyras' with a steep wall on one side. The last rapid (by the get out) consisted of a large stopper (shot left) followed by a huge slide into a massive haystack. Smart! Took 3.5 hours to shoot despite Garfs quick leading. PS. Mark swam. - Lee

Good day despite a horrendous ferry with the bike - Mark's bike needs 2 lower gears! The river was fun especially when the tributary joined. The gauge reads 1.15m ( 20 cumecs). We've given up looking for gas now (for a couple of days at least) after spending an hour in a shop in Otta. The moral of the story is: "Bring gas with you, Norwegians don't recognise Gaz". PS. Mark swam. - Gareth

Got up and went to look for gas (again), decided not to bother coz very expensive and bought some meths instead for the trangia. Then off to the Jori. Garf cycled a difficult ferry and then we set off. Description as per Lee's entry. I paddled OK, except for trying to get a couple of difficult breakouts in the middle of rapids, missing them and doing the remainder backwards. Garf led and did a top job. They don't call him Garf 'fast-lead' Ambler for nothing. He won the prize for fewest breakouts in 10km of grade IV with ease. Very, very continuous today and mainly in a very impressive gorge. Wouldn't have fancied walking out. An excellent day. We've cooked curry and changed a wheel on the car this evening. Oh and I've lost my fleece. Left it on top of the car when we drove off. Oh well what's 60 of polartec fleece. ARSEBURGER!! Great weather still. PS. Mark swam. - Mike

A few essays so there's not much more to say. Had a swim after the tributary joined and the volume increased. Large rock in the middle of the river and I decided to pin my boat, deck instantly popped due to water pressure. Got all kit back within 150 yards. Good rescue guys. Thanks. PS. I swam - Mark

 

Day Seven : Folla (Upper and Lower Sections, Friday 29th May Mark on Strondaelva

Paddled the upper and lower sections of the Folla today. The upper was a scrape in places, especially the paddle-out. The bit left of the island was cool. The lower section was excellent. Couldn't find the gauge but we reckon there was about 30 cumecs in there. Note that the get on is opposite a "Mr Man" house (Marks description) with a metal gate. On the gate are the words 'Moan Nedre'. PS. We are currently dossing at the get-out. - Gareth

Slept late again, up at 9.30am. Did some shopping after a leisurely breakfast and then on to the Folla. First half of the upper was good, second half scrapey shite. Good photo opportunity halfway down. Lower Folla was smart, I led, first time for everything, found a couple of good play spots. Everyone on good form. Having dinner and a beer at get out. Setninga tomorrow. - Mike

Another excellent day. Started slow and the top Folla was a bit scrapey, bent the top 2 inches of my paddles 90 as they snagged between rocks on a grade II. Now gluing them together with areldite resin, so I hope that works. However section was cool, bouncy but not scary at all. Cool day, weather has been excellent, dossing outside for 3rd night running. - Mark

Good day. The upper section was OK. I led it so that increased the interest. There was a good rapid on the left of the island, which I shot first. Mark was taking pictures. The lower section was good, big bouncy but not too scary. - Lee

 

Day Eight : Setninga, Saturday 30th May

Another excellent day. Drove from Alvdal to the (Setninga) get off and checked out the final rapid at Mogrenda. Seemed to be running OK, so Mark ran a bitch of a ferry - he tried to hitch but only 2 cars passed in quarter of an hour. Ran the river in 4 hours with a nice lunch break below the grade V (which we ran). We were all knackered by the get off and a variety of lines were shot on the final rapid! PS. Tried to phone the girlies but they were all out. - Gareth

Cool day. The Setninga is an ace river, but could do with having 4km less of the grade III at the end. The gorge (V) was good fun, but hard to inspect. A breakout to breakout river, smart, with some big holes you didn't want to be in. The last rapid was cool. I shot it fine, after seeing the nose of Garf's avenger (sorry, hurricane) in the air. Everyone is paddling very well. Cool. - Lee

The Setninga, still the coolest river I've ever paddled.....probably. Lots of continuous GIV with 3 inspection rapids, all went still no portages. Weather has been excellent and dossing out ideal with no dew. Weather a bit hot when cycling the Setninga ferry. First 3.5 miles up a big, bastard hill. Top tip for the day: If you look at a rapid at 11am and run it blind at 5.30, the water level might have increased!! - Mark

Yes, as everyone has already said the Setninga rules. Very, very tiring though. The grade V had some big stoppers in. I got a lovely line (first time for everything - Ed) though, it felt very good. Eating half way down was best, combining my two biggest loves: food and paddling. Paddle out was a bastard. It's a good job there was a last rapid to entertain us. Particularly Gareth who got completely vertical. Rather more water than when we looked at it 7 hours earlier. - Mike

 

Day Nine : Sjoa (Lower Gorge and Slalom Site), Sunday 31st May Mike on Jori

The lower gorge was entertaining, a little harder than I expected. Lee led and found a big stopper on the first rapid, but managed to punch it. Very powerful, some big holes. Saw some fit girlies in rafts. Cool! Since it was our quiet day, Garf decided after the lower gorge we should run the slalom site. 3km of grade IV/V. Scary. Massively powerful, probably the biggest holes I've ever seen. Garf led well, I paddled like a spack. Surfed a couple of relatively small stoppers and had two rolls. C**T. Grade VI get out, but better than the stopper beneath the bridge which Mark assures me "goes no problem on the right". The mighty Sjoa Canyon tomorrow. Oh shit. PS. Got quite pissed last night on beer and Tequila. PPS. Went to Otta this morning. It was deathly quiet. Very weird. - Mike

Lee offered to lead the first section today, because he thought it would be easy - he quickly wished he hadn't. Big volume with lots of waves/stoppers to surf/avoid. Great fun. The female rafters were quite pleasant too (I'm told). The second section was a grade harder and fairly committing. Had to inspect 3 rapids, but still no portages. Currently dossing near Brurusti. PS. I've just run over Mike's pants. - Gareth

Garf alleged that this would be a rest day: Lower Sjoa gorge was cool with much playing and some excellent surf waves. The view wasn't bad either as we passed several rafts full of blonde Norwegians. The slalom site followed after lunch, an interesting section with a few stoppers comparable to the size of a small bungalow. Star rapid took ages to run as the breakout is 400m upstream of the corner we put safety on. Getting out by the bridge involved taking the last eddy on the left above a large hole, then a grade V climb out up a cliff. Dossed at the 'official' camp site at Brurustes. The GV/VI section along the campsite has a clear line down it, may come back and paddle it later on the trip. - Mark

Not much more to say really. An excellent day, perhaps we shouldn't have left it until 5.30 pm to shoot the slalom site. The Grade V/VI upstream definitely goes at this level. Cool. - Lee

 

Day Ten : The 'Mighty' Sjoa Canyon, Monday 1st June

Had a bit of a shock when we woke up today - the sun had gone. Bugger! As a result it was a bit of a cold run down the (mighty) Sjoa Canyon. The 'star' rapid soon warmed us up though - a good bit of leading from Mark saw us through with minimal inspection. Still no portages! Excellent section overall followed by a 100 mile drive to a grade VI doss site by the Driva. Still no sun though.... - Gareth

Cycled another tough ferry today, why do Norwegian wave at you when you are trying to ride up a big bastard hill? River was cool though, no major incidents although the star rapid has the excellent feature of the eddy required to inspect the rapid is on the opposite side (left) to the line (right). Ferry glide involved a surf of a conveniently placed stopper. Also had fun in my low volume boat on a huge boil on a left hand bend, several 360 spins but stayed upright - excellent section, impressive gorge. I'm glad I didn't know I was leading it last night. - Mark

The 'Mighty' Sjoa Canyon was cool, with no major epics. The water was very big volume, with some holes you didn't want to be in. - Lee

 

Day Eleven : Grovu, Tuesday 2nd June Scenic doss site

Well, where can I start! Mike woke me up at 7am by choking on his phlegm. On trying to rouse him, I realised he was having a bad hypo. I woke Garf and we fed him sugar, but after half hour with little improvement, we decided to go to the hospital.

A nurse came out and tried to persuade Mike that the hospital was better than the car, and also to measure his glucose level. Mike wasn't moving!! After a couple of hours and various sugar drinks supplied by the hospital (and doctors fees of 200Nok) Mike was a bit better. We then went to look at the gauge for the Driva and Grovu. Driva was reading 2.50 m and the Grovu 1.90m. The Grovu looked excellent (and short). I led this section. It turned out to be extremely steep and continuous. The section graded V in the book, wasn't (at this level), but not too far off. Not a straightforward IV!! Cool. Took 35 minutes to shoot 4km. - Lee

Woke up at 4 am to the pitter patter of rain, bastard, but I guess it had to happen sometime after 7 nights dossing. Put tent up and then slept till 10am when Lee, Garf and Mike returned from Hospital. The Grovu was an excellent short section, steeper than a steep thing on a steep day. Lots of paddling into stoppers to slow down a bit and very small breakouts. Shopped in a big store in Oppdal to get food and stuff. Everyone now falling asleep at 6pm. Still raining. We'll have to put some tents up. - Mark

Interesting day today. Got woken up at 4am by the rain (Mark kindly put his tent up) then got woken up at 7 am by Lee saying that Mike was having a funny turn. Four hours later Mike was nearly back to 'normal' so we checked out some gauges. The Driva gorge is a good level, but who knows whether we will have time to shoot it. The Grovu seemed like good fun so, after persuading Mike not to shoot it or drive the ferry, we quickly ran it. The river was very steep, although not too difficult at the current level. The grade V bit was running at IV (IV+) and was very entertaining. The grade III bit was rocky in places and seemed determined to destroy my boat. We are now back at the doss site, feeling very tired. - Gareth

Mike has just poured milk into the Trangia stove, for future trips please note this is not a very effective fuel. - Mark

Well for me the day is to be honest a bit of a blur, until mid afternoon or so. Cheers guys for getting me to hospital and sorry for any embarrassment caused when I decided to piss in the hospital flower bed. Thanks also for not letting me do the Grovu or run the ferry as I insisted I could (I was not all there. No change some might say!). Evening meal was best yet. We bought some 'mincemeat' and the expense wasn't horrific. This together with a bolognese sauce, some veg. and pasta was top quality. The evening ended as usual with some cards (in Garf's tent coz it was raining) at the doss site at the get-off for the Upper Driva. PS. Found some great toilets at the get-off for the Grovu. Picnic tables too. Highly recommended. - Mike

Mike forgot to mention that the toilets had HOT WATER. Amazing! - Gareth

 

Day Twelve : Upper Driva, Wednesday 3rd June

While waiting for Garf to do the ferry, I went for a yogi and it was great. Nice views of the river. Set off downstream in high spirits after yesterdays problems, I thought I'd lead. Ooops bad mistake. A km or two down, I came to a drop with several routes and made the last breakout on the left. Unfortunately it became clear the best line was down the middle. I ballsed the ferryglide and went down the left hand undercut channel upside down. Here come the excuses! Couldn't roll cos in the undercut, so sat it out , felt like I might have some room so rolled (crappy reverse screw) but just pulled myself clean out of my boat. Double Arseburger with cheese!! Swam myself to the side and Garf rescued my kit. Ta chaps! Garf took over the lead. Various other entertainment on the river including shooting the portage. I had a roll on that too (Donkey!). A good III/IV section with some flat bits. Very boily at this level, 40 cumecs? Only 2 hours for the 10km. Cool. - Mike

Had my first (non-playing) roll today. Took an interesting line down one rapid which involved skirting several large stoppers. Unfortunately, I dropped into the last which flipped me. Upon rolling I indicated that the rest of the group should take the more straightforward (boring) line, on the other side of the river. Other firsts today include my first shave since Sutton (11 days ago), and don't include our first portage - that is still to come. - Gareth

Addition: The rest of the group surmised through Gareth's upsidedownness that his line was not the best option. - Mark

Another good day. The river was fairly straightforward, but enjoyable (except for the supposed portage, which we shot left through a big hole IV+). Well, maybe the gorge tomorrow then!?! - Lee

I expected this section to be a bit boring after recent rivers, but was pleasantly surprised. Lots of steep rapids with flat bits in between. A bit like the river Spean, but better and more volume. Enjoyed running another supposed portage - this is getting a bit of a habit, hope our luck doesn't run out.

Still raining, staying at the get-out doss site for the third day running - hope the doss police don't get too upset. Just fixed the first bike puncture of the trip, cycling ferries has not been too much hassle to date. - Mark

All my kit is falling apart at the seams, my paddles have a hole somewhere and so fill up with water, my wetsuit has a tear a foot long in the backside, my deck has two holes in it, one about the size and shape of South America. Additionally, my wet suit boots keep sliding round on my feet, so I can't walk and my red shorts are so smelly as to be nearly unbearable. My cag leaks like a sieve, but hey ho, both my lid and buoyancy seem to be working. They were both tested thoroughly today, so that's lucky. Roll on tomorrow. PS. I've had too much time to write in the log book today. PPS. Dinner by me and Lee was cool again. Off to win some money off the others at poker and brag. Ha. - Mike

 

Day Thirteen : Lora, Thursday 4th June Gareth on Strondaelva

It's 10 am and were about to leave the Driva valley without paddling the canyon. It's been raining for 2 days and the levels have risen. The gauge which was at 2.50m (35 cumecs) is now at 2.65m (50 cumecs) and rising. Discretion being the better part of valour, we decided to bin it after three of us expressed reservations. Lee is keen to paddle it as long as he is nowhere near the lead. Me and Mike aren't feeling too good and Mark is not convinced about the wisdom of shooting a 14km IV/V gorge section when the levels are rising and we're not feeling on form. Off to the Lora then..... - Gareth

C**T!! - Mike

Mike, Lee and myself got on to do the Lora. Lee wasn't feeling like it, and didn't enjoy his ride down Lora (no change there then). Lora started cold, but was wet and once warmed up, went like a train. Some parts were quite narrow and tight, so thorough inspection was needed before accurate placement of your equipment. While Garf was videoing the proceedings, there was anxiety of when to pull out as staying in too long could cause an accident. Precautions were taken, finishing with Lora giving a long, hard and continuously good ride from top to bottom. - Mark

A bit of a f**ker today. After psyching myself up for the Driva gorge, I was disappointed not to get on, as it looks an excellent paddle. After this I wasn't feeling much like paddling, but was tempted by the video camera. We started with a 3m drop, which I had my first roll of the trip on, just for the camera of course. The section was actually pretty fruity for the 4km from the bridge down (IV+ ish). The last 3km or so was a bit of a shitty scrape, but then I had had enough by then. Found a crap doss-site, Ressot moaned a lot. Maybe the Visa tomorrow. - Lee

As above, a bit of a f**ker, but with the gauge 5 cm off recommended maximum for the Driva gorge and rising fast, discretion was the better part of valour (does this sound familiar - Ed). So very grumpy, we went off to the Lora. I showed the others how the 3m ledge should be shot i.e. not upside down! Lots of other entertainment including one rapid where both Lee and myself ended up in an undercut. Ouch! Weather miserable and doss site shit. Everyone very grumpy until after dinner, then cheered up a bit. Who knows what for tomorrow. - Mike

I hurt my shoulder in the undercut. - Lee

 

Day Fourteen : No Paddling Today, Friday 5th June

While playing cards last night the doss police arrived and asked for 50 Nok for the road toll and informed us that we weren't meant to camp by the road, but we could stay for one night only - well I would have liked to doss on his sloped, bumpy cow shit filled field for the rest of the trip. - Mark

Today is our first non-paddling day! Hurrah. All our kit is wet and despite looking at several sections nothing is tempting enough to get changed. Visa was low, had interesting bits and probably a good giggle in higher water, but not today. The Bovra was at 1.10m which is about 10 cumecs, the portages looked fairly straightforward and the star rapids were grade III. However the waterfall at Lom did look interesting. A definite line down the right but no one fancied it today. Usually it must be death on a stick. Very impressive. The Skjoli was also very low. Looked at the grade IV bit and it was a rockscrape. NO WATER IN THIS VALLEY. We also road checked the Leira, surprise, surprise, very low. So it's off to Hella for the ferry across the fjord. Hopefully a good doss site with kit drying capabilities and a couple of beers. Driving back over the mountains very impressive. I'm suffering with my tongue which I chewed when I had my hypo a couple of days ago. It's AGONY. I seem to have taken some lumps out of it and they're a bit infected. Elbow and shoulder a bit sore from undercut yesterday too. Oh well, at last the sun is shining, so it's Okay. - Mike

No one was that keen to paddle today. My shoulder hurts, otherwise I might have got on the III/V section on the Bovra which was at least a grade easier today (including some of the portages). - Lee

I wanted to paddle today, but not some grade I/III scrape. The Bovra was at its winter level and I guess the Leira, Visa and Skjoli were the same. Spent the day driving back to Bergen via the Strondaelva. Managed to doss in an amazing U-shaped valley midway between Vangres and Voss. The sun seems to have re-appeared now that we are down south. - Gareth

Dossed in an incredible valley, climbed about 1/2 way up the steep rocky slope of the valley side. Very peaceful with an excellent view. Dossed out again but was very cold. Sleeping bag was warm but breath was condensing around the top of the sleeping bag. - Mark

 

Day Fifteen : Strondaelva, Saturday 6th June Lee on Morkridaselva

Had my first cold(ish) night of the trip. Should have predicted it from the snow line which was at the same level as our car. - Gareth

Gareth is happy today. Finally all our kit has packed neatly into the boxes and he has packed the boot so that the driver can see out of the rear view mirror. His mission is complete! - Mike

Well, seeing that Paul and Bri aren't on this trip, I figured that someone had to organise and tidy up after the kids. - Gareth

Well, the Strondaelva turned out to be a pretty fruity section. We got on at a picnic site at the side of a lake. From here it was about 2 km to the gorge, which the last trip portaged. The first drop is IV+. We then got out by the bridge and did our first portage of the trip, as the 2nd drop in the gorge didn't go. A seal launch below this into a fast flowing diagonal stopper was required. The following two drops are grade V, at this level. The first goes right and shoots you left just below a huge hole, the 2nd needs shooting middle to hard right. Big hole at the end, which nearly backlooped Mark. The section eased here for 1km or so. The next gorge had 3 rapids. The first was easy (III). The second was a tall shoot into a big stopper (IV+), shot left into middle. Mark was upside down here. The third drop was fairly tricky (V). A line down the middle, just left of the central rocks, seemed best. Mark hit this and was spun out right, Garf was spun out left and sucked back into the large hole. He got a good trashing and swam. Shitting myself, I decided to have a go anyway. Going for the full speed approach, I was about a foot left of the line into the hole, fortunately I punched it OK, as I was paddling flat out. Cool section, not the easy wind down I anticipated. - Lee

Excellent section with a nice swim as a bonus! Thanks to the lower water levels most of the section went and was probably a IV+/V. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed my swim as I now know that Buffalo salopettes float. Cool. PS. Mike is best at rescuing! - Gareth

Great description by Lee, very accurate. Due to falling over and hurting my leg I did a bit of portaging today (also due to being scared obviously!) but good fun. Not the wind down I anticipated though (whoops Lee said that too!). Garf very unlucky swimming on literally the last drop of the trip. Dossing in a supermarket car-park in a town 20 miles outside Bergen. No toilets and I need a shit. Arse. Garf got ferry times wrong, it's not till 4 pm tomorrow. Oh well. - Mike

Strondaelva - cool pool drop section with lots of fun and drama. I never said or even thought I was leading this section until the entrance rapid to the gorge. I ran this to find myself in a psycho eddy, only managing to escape on my 4th attempt accepting being pushed along the wall. The others avoided this by taking the more central line off a large cushion. Seal launch into the gorge was OK. Portage looked even worse from below at water level. A good time to walk our first rapid of the trip. I backlooped on the last of the gorge drops and again on the first of the two big rapids after the bridge. Not the quiet warm down I expected, but hope to get some good photos from it. - Mark

 

Day Sixteen : Bergen - North Sea, Sunday 7th June

It's 2.30 pm and were waiting to board the ferry. The info in Frazer's log, about having to book on before you start to queue saved us an extra wait. Looking forward to a shave and a shower, oh and a beer!! - Mike

The public toilets were charging 5 kronas for a piss, so me and Lee climbed into some bushes (not together) and went there. We're best at pissing anywhere. - Gareth

We're on the ferry now sailing down the Norwegian coast. All in all it's been an excellent trip. My best ever paddling trip, I think. We've done some great sections, with some more still to do (Driva gorge, the rest of the sections on the Sjoa, Visa +++). Hopefully be back in a couple of years. Norway rules. Cool. PS. Looking forward to my 'eat as much as you can' breakfast!! PPS. First shower and shave for over 2 weeks tonight!!! - Lee

It rains all the time in Bergen!! As soon as we approached the city (?) centre it started pissing it down. Spent an hour or two looking for gifts to fob off on our girlies, then joined the ferry queue. Had a good time on the outward part of the journey enjoying some Norwegian stew, a few beers and some dodgy Cabaret. - Gareth

Shaving after over two weeks not doing so was entertaining. Only took two big slices out of my face. Not a bad effort. Showering was also like a new experience only took half an hour to get down to my skin and 3 hair washes to get a lather. Smart. I drank lots of beer. Some guy played the piano and was quite cool. He was very cool until he refused to play 'American Pie' for us. MISERABLE BASTARD!! Finally crashed at about 2 am. PS. Forgot to mention the presence of army types with 3 women, 'Mad', 'Red' and 'Tit', horrible selection. Lee rated 'Mad' at about 8, everyone else knew she only scored 2. - Mike

Juggling on ferries is cool - although the floor keeps moving. - Mark

 

Day Seventeen : North Sea - Newcastle - Brighton, Monday 8th June Mark at Morkri get-on

The only eventful thing that's happened today is Mike falling asleep on the toilet. Nice, calm crossing though. - Gareth

I fell asleep on the bog. COOL! PS. Breakfast was large. BACK IN ENGLAND!! Although the customs people seemed to be stopping everyone they took one look at us and waved us through. Surprise, surprise!! - Mike

Calm crossing this time - no chundering and a pig out on lard at the buffet. - Mark

Since leaving the ferry it has rained and we have been in a traffic jam for half hour and seen more cars than the last two weeks - ENGLAND SUCKS - Wales of course is best, closely followed by Norway. - Mark

Traffic sucks! Only estates carrying 4 canoes should be allowed on the roads during the hours of 14.30 - 23.30 on rainy days. - Gareth

A good crossing, we all made the most of our breakfast, with most of us making sandwiches (for lunch) and putting them in our pockets. A good effort, a breakfast from 8.15 - 10.30 is cool!! Here's to the next trip. - Lee

So the story draws to a close, we're on the M4 10 minutes short of dropping Mark home, then it's off to London for Garf and myself before Lee completes the final leg to Brighton. 17 days and 2400 miles a trip of epic proportions (fortunately fairly epic free!!). A great trip, certainly something new for me an excellent experience. Norway is a country with seemingly almost endless possibilities and when the sun is shining, with 24 hours daylight and outstanding countryside it's hard to imagine anywhere better. Certainly there is plenty left for another trip, not least the 'Graura' (Driva gorge). Thanks guys and here's to the next one. Signing off. - Mike

Excellent trip - thanks dudes. - Mark

River Table

River Garf Lee Mike Mark Distance Grade
Morkri 8 km II/III (IV+)
Jori 1 10 km IV (IV+)
Upper Folla 6 km III+ (IV)
Lower Folla 6 km IV
Setninga 14 km IV (V)
Sjoa - Lower Gorge 5 km III+ (IV-)
Sjoa - Slalom Site 3 km IV/V
Sjoa - Mighty Canyon 9 km IV (IV+)
Grovu ill 4 km IV
Upper Driva 1 10 km III/IV(IV+)
Lora video 7 km IV+
Strondaelva 1 portages 8 km IV/V

Quotes Mike on Setninga

'For gas go to the Esso garage down the road' - Petrol Attendant

'No, we don't sell gas' - Petrol Attendant

'Go to Bergen for gas' - Petrol Attendant

'I'm going to kill the next person who tells me to go to Bergen or an Esso Garage for gas' - Mike

'For gas, go to Statoil down the road' - Petrol Attendant

'That sort of gas is not sold in Norway' - Petrol Attendant

'Bugger' - Us

'Is that a club?' - Mark looking at a Diamond

'What about the back seat, Mike?' - Lee offering an invitation to Mike

'I used to be able to run the 100 metres in 10 or 11 seconds' - Lee

'I used to be able to do something in 10 or 11 seconds' - Lee

'Van der Graf generators, we used to do that in science club' - Lee

'What?', 'Why?', 'I don't understand?' - Mike at the hospital

'I'm talking Bollocks' - Lee (all the time)

'I don't like sitting in hot sunny places, particularly not with my bird' - Mike

'I'm sure I've used it once' - Mike looking for deodorant on day 14

'Lee it's all black' - Gareth wondering why the video camera is not showing a picture, when he's put the lens cap back on.

'I'm a woman' - Lee (Lisa?)