Day 14: Back to Civilization

( If you missed part 1 and part 2 of the kayaking trip, they are here and here ).

Sleep last night was fitful. My forearm hurt badly and I just couldn’t get rest. I woke earlier than everyone else in camp and got my gear packed away for our journey back. When our guide — Colin — woke, I showed him both of my arms to give a good contrast between my swollen arm and my normal one. His response was “There is no way you’re rowing back today”, and that was that. He was right. There was no way I could have rowed at all.

While preparing a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, and Swedish pancakes, our guide called Gudvangen and arranged for a motorboat to come pick up my mother, my brother, and I. We would have to say our goodbyes to the group here.

Bacon cooking on the campfire for breakfast.

While I was frustrated with my situation, and especially frustrated with how limited my capabilities were with essentially only one operating arm, we decided to make the best of our situation.

The motorboat picking us up at the campsite just after the other kayakers left.

I’ll take a moment to mention that the people at Nordic Ventures ( especially Colin, Nick, and Jan — the owner ) were great at handling the situation with my injury and went out of their way to make sure we were as well taken-care-of as possible.

After returning via motorboat to Gudvangen and then via van to Voss, we stopped off to rent a car for the next several days. Our plans to visit the Borgund Stave Church were thwarted by a tunnel closed due to a truck fire, so we decided to just travel south toward Oslo.

Check out the slate roof on this stave church.

We did find a stave church though, pictured above. The find was purely luck. There was a sign on the side of the road saying “stavekirke” and pointing left. So we went left. And there it was. Not the fanciest of stave churches, but it was still worth a look and had some amazing carvings around the doors.

The front door to the stave church.
A close up of the carvings on the church.

The drive from Voss to Oslo is gorgeous ( the train ride between Oslo and Bergen is actually considered a tourist attraction in itself and Voss is a stop on that line, so we pretty much drove the same line ). Unfortunately, I was driving so I was unable to take any pictures.

We stopped before getting all the way in to Oslo because it was getting a bit late and all of us were tired, dirty, and smelling like campfire. So, obviously, the right place to stop is a super swanky ski resort hotel and spa.

Norefjell is the name of the ski resort we stopped at. Here’s the entry to the hotel.

Swanky enough for a rock-climbing wall inside.

Unfortunately, my arm was still hurting really bad, so I didn’t climb it.

Our “room” was more like a full-on apartment.

Living, dining, kitchen. Down the hall to the left are two separate bedrooms and a bathroom.

From camping in a tent to a luxury hotel is quite the difference. I took two showers. It was necessary.

Absolutely everything about this hotel was fancy. Even the bathroom sink.

Tomorrow we’ll drive into Oslo and visit several museums ( including the Viking Ship Museum ). Kayaking was amazing, but seeing some history will be a lot of fun as well.

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