Friday, July 8, 2011


My Grandad recently put aside his dislike of technology and bought a computer. After a few quick crash courses on how to use it he's managed to master email and internet so this is for his viewing pleasure and also anyone else whose wondering what I'm up to in Norway.

My whare, nah jokes, this is next to our house, not sure what its purpose is

For the next two months I'm living up a remote valley located on the Eastern side of the Jostedalsbreen which at roughly 487km2 is the largest glacier in Northern Europe.
The view down the valley from my house

View up the valley

Originally I had though that I was coming to Norway to guide rafts but life doesn't always work out the way you think it will. So I've guided rafts a bit, built a rafting shed from scratch, installed a toilet, painted a house, guided on a glacier, and taken people sea kayaking on a glacier lake winding through sheets of ice.

BBQ at ours

Beer, BBQ and a beautiful backdrop - life is good

Jostedal has a population of around 400 people and the village consists of one dairy, a fuel pump, two hotels, the breheimsenteret and a camping ground. You'd almost think that its a pretty sleepy little Norwegian town, but if you're into live music, dancing, volleyball, kayaking or tramping or anything to do with glaciers or mountains Jostedal is an awesome place to be. Every Friday in the summer the breheimsenteret (glacier museum) hosts a different Norwegian band who might play anything from original Norwegian music to American country or English classic rock.

Andreas shed building, or posing

Andreas and I on our after work run (photo by Mo Kennedy)

Its cold but its still good, me checking out 'fluffy bunny gorge' (photo by Mo Kennedy)

For the length of the working season in Norway the guides are given accommodation and a choice between paying rent or doing 7 hours of 'work on the house' per month they stay. The house I'm currently living in with four other Ice Troll guides hasn't really had any work done on it since around 1960 so we're pretty spoiled for choice. The house is really cosy in an old school kind of way and our water comes straight from a mountain stream so its always icy cold and tastes delicious!

Paying the rent

As beer is super expensive in Norway at 60kr or $15 a bottle we've been trying out other forms of entertainment such as slacklining and volleyball. Norwegians are quite serious about their volleyball and we normally have at least 20 people show up to play at samfunnshus which has two beach volleyball courts.

Matti our slacklining guru
Watching Matti slackline

Slackline set up

Slacklining Canadian styles

The company I'm working for here does glacier kayaking and walking tours (Ice Troll) and whitewater rafting (river pig). You could say that its a fairly relaxed company but that would be a vast understatement. The company is owned and run by a kiwi dude called Andy who is currently off on some two week sea kayaking mission despite it being peak season. Its all good though, she'll be right mate. Actually everything is running sweet. Running a company while sea kayaking in a random fjord, apparently males can multi task.

My pet ice seal

The office

So in summary, I get to live in a beautiful place for winter, work for a cruisy company, and hang out with awesome people. Sweet as.

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