Folgefonna Glacier

Day nine already, we seem to have been away a long time on one hand but then on the other still have so much we want to see and the time seems to be going so quickly. We left our overnight spot in the valley of the gorge and started the slow journey towards Roldal.

The snow poles seem to have got taller, they obviously get serious snow here in the winter. Talking of snow, as we climbed out of the gorge there was snow in small patches on the verges and we could also see it from a distance on the top of the mountains.

The plan today is to find a campsite so we can do some washing. We arrived at Odda around lunchtime after driving through a couple of ski resorts and a stop at another waterfall called Latefossen.

This one is quite spectacular with twin cascades and is where we picked up our third tourist route, the Hardanger route. The ski resorts were all closed still at this level but there was lots of maintenance work going on getting ready for the season. We found a campsite but couldn’t check in until after 3pm. The town itself is quite industrial and nothing to write home about but it is very touristy as it is where most people stay if they are going to hike to Trolls Tongue or the nearby Folgefonna glacier. We have decided to give Trolls Tongue a miss as it is 4 hours each way (23KM) and it is described as a challenging walk. It will be too much for Finns young legs After a quick look at the map it looked like we could probably do a walk to the edge of the glacier, you cannot actually go on the glacier itself unless you have an official guide with you. We drove up to the carpark and got ready for the walk. I am having to use the pooh bag technique in my walking boots to keep my feet dry. This isn’t because they leak just water has gone in over the top so many times over the last few days and they haven’t had chance to dry out. The walk started innocently enough with a nice woodland path. This soon changed with a slatted rope bridge (Andy had to carry Finn across this one), planks over streams and metal planks across the wider rivers. Just as I thought I was doing ok and it couldn’t get any more difficult you had use ropes to pull yourself up the cliffs. I have never had blisters on my hands before doing a walk, no wonder it was quite a quiet walk compared to Pulpits Rock. For the final bit there was a wooden staircase. Luckily we have now found out that Finn is also crossed with a mountain goat so he managed surprisingly well. At the top there is a river between you and the leading edge of the glacier which is the 3rd largest in Norway at 205sq km and the ice is up to 300m thick. Reading the information board at the bottom the glacier apparently use to reach right down to where the carpark is now but has disappeared over time. The good news is that it has started to grow again, 100m in the last 8 years. The photographs cannot do it justice as to just how impressive it was. Going down wasn’t really any easier than getting up there, I found the bottom sliding technique effective as long as I was able to stop before going over the edge into the raging river. Andy usually waited at the bottom to stop that happening.

Now we are in the campsite doing people watching while waiting for a load of washing to finish and planning where tomorrow will take us. To add to the excitement there is a washing stand off about whose washing should go in next.

Overnight – Odda Camping N 60.05404 E 6.54304

Miles Walked – 6.4 very hard miles

Miles Driven – 49

Weather – another sunny day (we are very lucky)

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