And now here we are, following this twisted path marked with the red “T” (“tur” – tour in Norwegian) along the northern wall of Lysefjord, through sparse pine and birch forests. Soon we realize our pace is becoming hindered; wet roots make slipping easy and crossing small streams becomes a frequent task. To our right we see yet another cloud billowing into the fjord… And the rain follows us until we reach the first hut. However hard the day has been, all four of us are smiling as we sit around the carved wooden table, enjoying a warm, rewarding dinner, and thinking about what an adventure we have gotten ourselves into.
The next two days are marked by continuous rain, and the trek does not get easier. Apart from the fact that our clothes are completely soaked, harsh winds blow through our jackets, numbing our bodies with cold. And then there are the river crossings… We are not even halfway to the next hut on the third day when we come to an impasse. The path continues gingerly on the other side of a wide river. To our dismay, the rope which had been strung over the river to ease the passage is torn in two. We are looking for another way to reach the opposite shore where we don’t have to go knee-deep through the dangerously fast flowing water. Unfortunately we don’t find it, which leaves wading through the river our only option.
As we emerge out of the valley, we finally see the entire mysterious appearance of the fjord, with distant waterfalls that plunge hundreds of meters into the abyss and whose greate wisps of vapour combine with the cloud layer above. Eventually the last kilometer comes and we stumble into Lysebotn, the town at the end of the fjord and our destination for this long and hard day.
It took us three days to come this far, one more than initially planned. The extreme weather makes it too dangerous to wander further east, as streams are flooding down the steep paths. We quickly find the alternative solution: We would just keep hiking for another couple of days around the fjord, this time on the southern side, then take a ferry back to Stavanger. And, in addition to that, we would take a rest day to regain our strength, dry our clothes and raise our morale. Three days of continuously hiking through rain have been more than enough, for both our bodies and our minds.