The sun shone down on my face and the world was bright and beautiful. The sea was glassy calm and the headwind didn't begin until early afternoon.
After the previous day's torrential rains, brown streams gushed over the rocks and waterfalls poured into the sea at every crevice. The rocks up above, slick with water, reflected the sunshine like beacons of happiness.
A young Norwegian lady waved to me from her spot down by the sea almost as if she too were a reflection of the sun on the rocks.
At the top of Aarsetfjorden I paddled into the mild current of a narrow stream for a winding 100 meters before emerging near a neat dock on the other side. The wide low new dock was surrounded by identical fishing motor boats that said to me, "Uh oh, Germans."
Across was a small older wooden dock beneath a boathouse. A single boat rocked against its rope. The nearest house was at the top of a wide field. I decided not to hold these Germans accountable for the sins of others, it is a skill we Jews have worked hard at.
The first German was a friendly six foot tall red headed lady who was, sadly, married. She didn't think her husband would want me using the shower in their rental cottage, but she did direct me to the owner of the cottages.
No, I couldn't sleep in his boat house since he had guests. If he didn't have guests he would have let me. No, I couldn't even sleep on the grassy field next to the cottages. No he didn't know where I could find a shower. I could rent an apartment for 700 kroner a night.
I got back in my boat and paddled for another hour. I found a side fjord with a view of snow capped peaks, wooded islands, and a rushing incoming stream. I parked at a dock near the stream and pulled my boat up. A silver motor boat with a big flat floor sat besides the dock. Fishing gear was neat and organized and the boat did not smell of fish guts as I expected.
Beyond the dock a path wound through a heavily overgrown lawn to a road. Small houses spread out across the grassy base of the mountain. Roads lined with trees weaved between them.
I climbed through the grass to the nearest house and rang the bell. A different door than the one I stood at opened and an older man stick his head out.
"Hi," I called. "Do you speak English?"
"No." He told me.
"Water?" I held up my water bag.
"Okay." He said. He closed his door and went inside. I walked over to that door to wait with my water bag. I assumed he'd gone to get me a bottle or something. He opened the first door I had been waiting at ready to take my water bag. I walked back and handed it to him.
We talked a little about my trip in English. He wished me luck without inviting me in for a shower. I slept on the floor of the big silver motor boat.
For the first time on this trip, the mosquitoes were out and in force. I sprayed a little repellent on my cheeks and some more around the mouth of my bivi sack even though the instructions say "Do not spray on clothing/" Hopefully it won't ruin the Gor-tex.