It is 9pm and we are all utterly shattered, our bodies ache all over and Mac n Tosh have crashed out and disowned us. Let me rewind…
Today, we are all going hiking to one of Norway’s famous rocks, so a calm breakfast followed by a nice stroll on the fjord before we packed up Vin. We travelled all of 8 kilometres to Preikestolen car park to be greeted by a barrier and a parking fee of NOK150 (£12). After the moths flew out of Craig’s wallet we prepared our little picnic…fresh baked bread, jam and custard creams. Mac n Tosh packed their doggy bag with a fine selection of biscuits, a few doggy chews and collapsable water bowl.
We set off on our 8 kilometre Adventure to Preikestolen which is sometimes referred to Pulpit Rock with a spring in our step and the sun on our face. A nice family stroll to an iconic landmark, how nice…how wrong! How seriously wrong! In fact, I have never been so wrong in all my life! Within minutes of setting off we arrived at our first steep incline, it looked like a landslide of boulders. Jeez, I will never make it up there! But it was early in the walk and everything was still new and adventurous. The
dogs were full of beans and eager to take on the challenge, scurrying up the hill like little fire crackers. Once at the the top we paused, caught our breath and then strolled slowly through a small meadow and over a few wooden bridges. Not too bad after all. Then we hit another wall of boulders. This time the boulders were of the larger variety, the ones fed on protein packs. We picked up the dogs and scrambled up. But little did we know this journey continued for another 2.5 hours. Up steep inclines, over boulders, loose gravel, rock faces and every other uphill terrine you can think of. We struggled at times because we had go carry the dogs and it slowed us down. I constantly found myself placing my hand on my knee and propelling me to the next boulder whilst catching my breath mid flight! Once at the top of the mountain (but not final point) we had a nice long walk across relatively flat boulders with the odd lake and lovely views over the tops. A welcomed break for Craig’s with his glass back, my wonky knee and two dogs with three inch legs. Good job we saw the funny side of it.
Turning the tight corner to pulpits rock and I cant tell you how scared I was. The only saving grace is I didn’t want to pee! We had to walk alongside a narrow ledge with no barriers (bare in mind we had two wriggling puppies) with nothing but fresh air between us and the ground 600 metres below. It was stomach churning and at this point I nearly turned around. A few meters later and we where stood on pulpits rock. Craig went right to the edge and gave me a friggin heart attack whilst I stayed with my back to the wall, clinging on to Mac and Tosh for dear life. Some folk were dangling their legs off the overhanging platform and doing weird stuff that made me feel physically sick. The mammoth cube of rock has a vertical drop of 2,000 feet, which hangs over Lysefjord. Apparently, Jimmy Stewart in the film Vertigo had a tough time of it here and I can understand why. It was nice to see the other end of Lysefjorden, the deep blue waters, sheer cliffs and snow capped peaks but next time, I might take a helicopter ride. The views and panoramic vistas are stunning but was it worth it…ask me in a few days!
Once I settled down we had our picnic on top of the platform. Not the most enjoyable but certainly the most dramatic and…the fastest. The dogs had their biscuits and as an extra treat we let them lick the jam pot. After all we reckon they deserved it. With lunch over we walked back over that awful bloody ledge and then all of a sudden I froze. Craig was walking in front of me with Mac by his side. Without any warning he walked right up to a split in the floor. Mac is not an attentive dog and he is clumsy, constantly tripping up over his own paws. So you can image my reaction when I saw Mac’s paw inches from the edge. My stomach still churns and I get tingles just thinking about it. Craig thought it highly amusing and teased me to go and look down the sheer drop. I could feel myself tilting forward and loosing balance. At this point, I went green and the fear got the best of me. Bleeps and tears flowed.
The walk back down was a lot easier but still heavy going for the dogs. A mixture of letting them walk when we could and picking them up when the going got tough. They did really well considering both the terrain and the duration, as it took us 6 hours.
As soon as we got back we headed off, calling for some water at a service point and a few bits from the supermarket. Craig even treated himself to a few cheeky beers (first in Norway) although he was limited to 4% (max permitted in supermarket) strength. Most were at least £5 a tin but Craig managed to scour the aisles and find some at £2. He was chuffed with his find, bless him. With beers on the chill we shot down to the marina. We tucked ourselves in and joined a line of campers facing out to sea. We were shattered and our bones ached. The dogs, well they were out for the count. We put dinner on, butter chicken, pilau rice and homemade nans and then tap, tap. A young lady collecting the daily parking fee NOK150. Two parking fees in one day, Craig will not be a happy chappie good job he’s chinned his first beer!
Below is the video we did of the day.
Mac n Tosh never even got up for their dinner despite all the encouragement to have a few nibbles. They were utterly pooped the poor things. I picked Mac up and he just flopped in my arms. It was so funny. No matter what I did he just refused to function and he sighed in such a way it made us laugh. We started to chat about our day and could do nothing but belly laugh. It certainly will go down as one of our most memorable dog walks!
Our sleep spot tonight, Jorpeland marina with nice views out to the waters and a small stream behind.
GPS position N059.017071 E006.044037
Route: Forsand to Jorpeland
Weather, low 9 high 27. Another hot day, so hot we ended up with pink cheeks and crispy noses.