After a late night, we finally crawled out of our pit around 10 am. Mac n Tosh were not impressed with our late rise, especially Tosh who decided to nibble on Craig’s jeans! Thankfully we woke before the nibble turned in to a full blown munch.
As we ate our breakfast in a dazed state, we looked over the water and pondered in to the towering slopes… which peak holds the Trolls Tongue? With so many little peaks and ledges it is hard to say. Trolls tongue is similar to pulpit rock but ‘unfortunately’ the access route is closed for a few more week, so we can’t visit.
We are on Sortfjorden, the longest arm of Hardangerfjorden, which runs along the eastern side of the Folgefonn peninsula. You can drive along either side of the water but we chose the west, so we could admire the pretty village of Lofthus from across the water. With its blooming fruit trees arranged in neat little rows, the vine like apple blossom provided a splash of colour to the dark slopes and rich valleys. With a little bit of haze, the light seemed softer and created a sleepy but eerie feel to the ink blue waters.
With feet on the dash, I was just getting in to the zone when Craig took a quick and unexpected turn. He pulled on to the car park of Aga. We looked up and noticed a complete wall of waterfalls, high up in peaks of the 5000 ft Aganuten. It was difficult to imagine the size of the waterfall from ground level but you could tell it was pretty huge. Mac n Tosh were full of beans and in need of a walk, so off we went. Like two coiled springs they ran round like crazy, chewing anything in sight and in the process tied their leads in knots. I patiently undid the leads and give them a firm talking to but it fell on deaf ears. Eventually they calmed down and we set off on our walk. We stumbled on a small heritage site with medieval timber houses and a cafe, all set in a lovely garden with wild flowers. It was really very pleasant.
The sky was full of dense grey clouds to the east and big fluffy white clouds to the west, will it rain or will it shine? We stacked the odds in our favour and headed west. Around the headland in to a landscape of souring hills, rolling roads and neat fruit farms. We didn’t travel far, as the twisting road over jellybean humps made our journey slow and paced. We passed a sign that said national tourist attraction, we stopped, we got out, we searched for the attraction, we didn’t find it, we go back in and set off. We passed a number of these signs but we did not stop for fear of becoming more confused and bewildered at car parks labelled up as attractions.
Despite the vast slopes, the individual fields were surprisingly small like the size of a large vegetable patch or an allotment. There were more barns and sheds too. Some of which looked dangerously unstable, with sagging roofs and walls that looked as if they had been bashed by an raging reindeer. Soon we were out of the beautiful orchard fields (sigh, I enjoyed the drive) and parked up on the aire at Herend. I say parked but it was only temporary, as the aire was undergoing a foundation refurbishment with a few bulldozers and diggers. Shame because the small fishing village with half a dozen houses, a restaurant, local store and a fuel station looked quite nice. But luck was on our side, we drove a few kilometres down the road and pulled in to a new picnic area with toilets, wash facilities, fresh water and free electric.
A nice walk along the boulders and a play in the rock pools for Mac n Tosh before a sit down on a rock and soak up the evening sun. It was at that perfect temperature, warm and soothing. Looking out across the quiet fjord with deep blue waters, green slopes and a dusting of snow on the peaks. It was heavenly. Even Mac n Tosh sat quietly just watching the birds skim the water and scoop up a sprat or two. Time to just enjoy the moment and empty my head of all the rubbish that slowly but surely builds up.
Later in the evening, we went outside to join our Norwegian neighbours to watch the sunset over the mountains. Tonight, the sun was just a huge glow ball and it was lovely to watch and chat about places to go and see. They also told us about a place where you can get very strong apple cider from a local farm (under the counter), so no doubt we will be checking it out!
Our sleep spot tonight, picnic spot on the edge of Sortfjorden just outside the village of Herend. Glorious view across the fjord and plenty birds
Route: Odda to Herend
Weather, low 9 high 22. Started a little overcast but as the day went on it got warmer and more pleasant.