Elvepadling: Water Water Water

What do you get when you sleep inside of a tent right next to a rushing river while it’s raining? An ultimate all-natural noise machine that lulls you right to sleep. Or maybe it was simply our exhaustion that knocked us out.

Meet Colin and Mette– two very lovely people that did all of the instructing on this river kayaking trip. Colin, being from Tasmania Australia, spoiled me with english.

Colin and Mette!

The first day was dedicated to basic kayaking skills and safety… what a snore. Good thing we had Colin’s oh-so-funny Australian humor to keep me entertained.

If you think making pizza on the grill is a process, try making pizzas on a fire. Although it’s lengthy,  it was worth it.

Day two consisted of a little more current action. We worked on S-turns in and out of the current, and then traversing or ferry-glideing across the river. When I asked Mette what temperature the water was she replied: “Eh, maybe 11 degrees… I reckon it’s quite warm.” If thats warm… I’m terrified for cold.

After a long session of kayaking Group A (my group) returned to base camp to an almost completed dinner. We called them kabobs but they were in no way kabobs (…at least not the meat-on-a-stick definition I am familiar with.) Despite what they were called they were delicious. Plate-licking delicious according to Frida.

After dinner we broke into teams and played a competition game involving rope-throwing. My team won. Woo.

In my opinion, day three was the best day. We woke up to a morning of rain, after a night of rain. Rain rain rain. After struggling to get that cold wet suit on one last time we hit the river. We ended the session with a pretty long class 2 rapid (with some class 3 elements.) Øyvind and I volunteered to go first while the others watched from down river. I followed Colin down, managing to avoid hitting any rocks or flipping over. At the end of the rapid we were faced by a huge wave. Instead of trying to fight it, I simply bent down, paddled hard, and embraced the cold crashing water as it hit my face. It was great fun. Unfortunately Øyvind didn’t make it all the way through the rapid. He flipped, and before breaking surface hit his head on a rock. Good thing we wore helmets right? He was then airlifted out by a helicopter and… (only kidding.) Øyvind was fine. I have the least amount of pictures from day three… none of me to be exact. You’ll just have to imagine.

And after we packed up camp in the rain, we all ended up smelling like wet dog. That didn’t stop me from falling dead-asleep on the car ride back to school.

3 comments

  1. Hey Alex, It’s Jenn Phillips from Trinity. I’d heard you were going to Norway for a year, but I had no idea you were going to be having awesome adventures every week! I can tell you everyone back home is jealous!! (yea, including me 🙂 Just out of curiosity, what type of program/school are you at where you do these crazy adventures? I hope all is well (and I hope you have a REALLY big parka for winter!)

    1. It’s called a folkehogskule! It’s basically like an outdoor life school. Hah… I am not sure I have a big enough parka… But I’ll definitely need one! Thanks and I hope you’re enjoying college too!

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