Monday, June 29, 2009

Rafting the Sjoa River, Norway

Here's some pictures from our rafting trip. They had a guy in a kayak racing up ahead of us and taking facst action shots as we came down various parts of the river. He was a really good kayaker and his pictures don't suck either. You can find me in the pictures below by looking for the blue vest and red helmet.

It's all fun and games right now, isn't it?

Aw shit, Karla overboard! The water, by the way, is glacier water and is about 7 degrees centigrade. Look that up in fahrenheit and then shiver. However, we are having a heat wave and it was close to 90F (30C) so it actually felt kind of good to get doused in ice cold water. For about 45 seconds, then I wanted OUT!

Back in the boat....we made it under the bridge. Whew!

The river wild. The Sjoa has rapids up to level 4, 5 being the highest. Eek! It's also extraordinairily gorgeous around it, with very old farms and houses all around. A kilometer from the drop off point for the rafting is the Heidal Stave church, some parts of it date back 1000 years. It's all wooden. The farm it's on has been owned by the same family since the 13th century.

And now for the 'disaster' sequence... here we go into a really big wave.

I think you know where this is headed.

There goes my little red helmet into the drink.

Uh oh.

The feet waving in the air are not my own. I was long gone and down the river by now. It's amazing how fast it all happens. You're in the boat and're out.

We went rafting twice....the first time I was really REALLY scared, the second time it was spur of the moment, on Sunday, and I was all "WOOHOO! Bring it on bitches!" I have to thank our guide for my new found rafting confidence. His name was Tozi, he's from Zimbabwe and he is one freaking awesome rafting guide. Here's the link to the place we stayed and that ran the trips. It's all på Norsk. (Note: The accommodations are decidedly minimal, so if you go, think like you are camping and go from there. I wasn't entirely prepared for that, by the way, but I muddled through.)

What a great time!!!!!! I tested myself on every level....with the camping, the bathroom way far away from the giant tent (called a lavvo, basically a Norwegian Sami version of a teepee) and facing the cold wet wild rapids of the Sjoa river. Go me! (I am so sore today I could hardly move, by the way....)

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