Some of the rafting carnage so far this season
Who knew rafts turn so quickly when they leave eddys!!!
This hole is my nemesis
You can see why
Bit of safety kayaking on the side
Boss hog trip
..and Mo was wondering why they didn't want to go for a second round...
Check out the raft shed me and Andreas made in the background... So authentic looking and still standing!!!
Fairly standard trip for me right here.
Mo showing me the line
Me trying to follow his line
Andreas on the last hole
Wow, all my people are in the boat at once, thats unusual!
Someone getting artsy with the camera
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Watching Matti slackline
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.
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.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Ekstremsportveko is a week long sport and music festival centered in Voss, Norway. What an wicked concept, a week long party showcasing extreme sports and awesome music! See www.ekstremsportveko.com
Luckily our boss at Ice Troll was kind enough to cancel rafting for the week so our entire raft crew could party it up in Voss!
The first night in Voss was pretty wet and we were woken up by a crazy Aussie throwing a stand up paddleboard into the middle of out tent, then jumping up and down on it yelling 'surfs up kiwis' while Mo complained that the waves were getting his sleeping bag wet...
The first few days were a bit rainy...
Luckily the lake stopped rising before our tent was completely submerged and eventually the sun came out to dry out our stuff and let the
river levels come down so we could go paddling.
Andreas on the first race slide (photo by Karine Blikra)
The course for the downhill sprint race on the Brandseth is super sick, it starts with a bouncy slide, has a mint waterfall half way down, and ends with a sweet boof drop which saw quite a few people get pinned in both in practice and in the race.
Our awesome Norwegian support crew!!!
Team kiwi repped hard, both me and Sam placing 3rd in the Brandseth Downhill and 1st in the Head to Head, Josh won Best Film for the 'todays video' contest and to top all the awesomeness off Fat Freddy's Drop played on Saturday night! It was a bit disappointing that they didn't do an encore even after all the kiwis did a pretty primo haka but apparently it was something to do with some hardcore Norwegian rules about partying having to stop on Sunday, you can't even buy alcohol on Saturday after 6pm! Anyways, it is the most awesome event I've ever been to! Shot everyone involved for hanging out and making it good times!!!!