Monday, July 13, 2015

Norway Post 16

Sunday evening I had a phone interview for a really great job, and since I didn’t know where I’d have access to Skype next, I decided to stay where I was. A robotic lawn mower kept me company.

Day 13

I paddled north along the island Gossa. The sea was a little choppy and there was some headwind. The region was known for sinking ships with a combination of bad weather and shallow waters. At least I didn’t need to worry about the shallow water.

Half way through crossing to the mainland a ship came down the channel towards me, so I changed my course so that it was perpendicular to his to get out of his way.

I cut between a couple of islands and found myself in the harbor of Bud where new boats floated next to old docks.

I came out from between more rocky islands and rounded a corner to head east when the weather began to make itself felt strongly on my port side. A path hinted safety between the the rocks to my right. I followed it around a corner to a dead end, and returned the way that I came.

A hundred meters later another path wound into the rocks. This time it went through. For the rest of the day I paddled in narrow channels between islands and the mainland that were not on my chart. Sometimes they were dead ends, and other times a channel under a bridge or between seawalls would take me to a whole new section of the sinuous inland water way.

I arrived at a small marina in Farstad. Cozy houses populated the thick cluster of islands in the area and their occupants left their cars in the parking lot above to take motorboats the final leg home.

A French couple spent the night in the back of their minivan in the parking lot as well. They were touring the country and complaining about the weather. Last summer is was so much warmer.

I remembered just enough French so that they felt comfortable talking to me at length in their native tongue. I didn’t remember or possibly ever know enough French to understand a word they were saying.

I walked into the village looking for a supermarket, but there were just a few houses. A man washing his car told me that the next village had a supermarket and I could probably walk there in an hour, so I walked. When I was most of the way there, I got a ride.

After my shopping I walked out of the store and realized I didn’t know the way back. I hadn’t paid enough attention as a passenger. I asked a fellow shopper, a tall bicep tattooed fellow, the way to the small marina to the east and he pointed me down one of the roads.

When he drove alongside me and offered a lift I was happy to accept. I told him my story as we cruised along a road that did not look familiar until I recognized enough of the scenery to know that we drove west. The marina he wanted to take me to was a touristy one I passed earlier in the day, which he naturally assumed was the one I was looking for since I was a tourist.

I explained again that I needed to go to the marina to the east. I could show him on a map if he had one. He asked me to hold his open beer while he loaded up a map on his phone.

I mumbled something in surprise that ended with “not that I’m judging.”

“Don’t worry,” he told me, “It’s my first one. I got in a fight with my girlfriend.”

I showed him on his phone where my marina was and he we drove there. He took my picture while he dropped me off so that he could prove to his girlfriend that he had really been doing a good deed and not gallivanting.

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