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  • Day406

    Vikøy, Hardangerfjord

    August 6, 2017 in Norway ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    Today's journey followed the side of the fjord and took us past a number of apple orchards. As those who follow this blog will know, the weather has been particularly wet in this region and the apples seem to be thriving on it!

    We actually drove past the rest area at Vikøy but decided to go back to it. We parked looking out over a shallow sandy bay with a private pontoon for leisure boats to moor at. There were covered and open air picnic tables and BBQ grills that seemed well used by locals. Behind us rose a tree covered mountain, down which fell a waterfall that looked like a white ribbon of silk rippling over the rocks.

    Much of the time we spent there was rainy but Poppy enjoyed getting out for short stretches and wetting her paws in the gentle waves. We stayed 2 nights and on the first morning the skies held back and we were able to take the canoe for a short trip up the coastline that was dotted with dwellings, possibly holiday homes, sitting in their own spacious plots of land, several with boat houses, a pontoon or some means of making it easier to get in and out of the fjord. Sitting in the canoe, looking around us, the sight was magnificent. The valley was huge, its slopes on a shallow gradient as they left the waterline but curving quickly up to snow capped mountains behind the habitable land. It was when looking at one of these that we spotted a glacier high up in the distance. It was too far away to see details or the beautiful blue ice we knew to be there, but its white mass was unmistakable. Looking at it later on the map we discovered it was the Folgefonna glacier.

    We paddled around a couple of uninhabited islands that looked as if they'd been conserved for wildlife. A few black and white Oyster Catchers with their long orange beaks perched on outlying rocks while Herring Gulls squawked a warning to stay away from their brown speckled chick that kept its head low, blending into the stony surface. Skirting round the far island, we even saw a herd of 5 goats stationed there, keeping the foliage under control.

    Back in our little bay, Will dropped Vicky off before paddling out to fish. She wandered around the shore and took a closer peak at some sturdy old boat houses, built from weathered wooden boards with rooves made of very large slate tiles; a feature we've seen a lot of in this region. Will stayed out for another hour, in which it inevitably began to rain. However, he ended up catching 7 fish! 4 Mackerel, 1 Pollack and the biggest fish he's ever caught, a beautiful Cod measuring 56cm. The 7th fish we needed Vicky's Dad's help in identifying, but we think it was a Grey Gurnard. We ate a couple of the Mackerel that evening and froze the rest which we reckoned would give us meals for 6 more days!
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