August 2022 Update – The Month of Pushing Past Obstacles & Fears

August 2022 Update – The Month of Pushing Past Obstacles & Fears

August 2022 Recap

If you’ve been following our adventures in Norway, you know that the weather has been terrible this summer. The storms were making it hard to take the sailboat to locations in the north that we wanted to visit. Living in sailboats and vans, the weather can be a big obstacle that prevents us from being able to push forward.

A typical day of sailing in Norway with storm clouds and wearing winter clothes.

Instead of letting the weather stop us, we decided to rent a car or campervan so we could travel farther north. The next obstacle was finding a car because all the local rental companies were sold out and campervan rentals were way too expensive (over $100 a day minimum).

Speaking of expensive, let’s quickly recap on our biggest obstacle: MONEY! we had to start thinking out of the box to stick to our $2000 per month budget. The local speedflyers told us about the cheapest grocery stores (called Kiwi and Rema 1000) Also,a staple and affordable meal here is hot dogs! And trust me, many hot dogs have been eaten lately.

Eating hot dogs by a Norwegian river

Also, a loaf of bread is on average around $3-$4! After paying $.10 per loaf in Turkey, we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend this much on bread! So we started to make our own dough and bread for the first time since for the first time in years, we have an oven! (Our campervans did not have ovens).

It was a bit of a disaster, but we’re getting the hang of it. To be honest, we were a bit intimidated about making bread ourselves. Seems like such an ‘adult’ thing to do, but that fear was squashed when we realized that it wasn’t that hard. But, it is quite messy.

First time making dough. is it supposed to look like that? lol.
And is it supposed to be this messy?
First ever bread loaf! I think we used too much yeast (it had a strange after taste) but the biggest challenge of doing it for the first time has been overcome!

Also, Jamie finally overcame his obstacle of catching a fish. After 3 years of trying to catch a fish while traveling, he finally caught one that we enjoyed for dinner, which means less money spent on groceries. Just goes to show, never give up!

Jamie's first official fish caught on our voyage! A Norwegian Pollock.

Anyhow, back to the car situation: One of our Norwegian friends told us about an app called Getaround where you can rent people’s personal cars. We found an empty cargo van ford transit that was only $250 per week, an amazing deal!

This is what the van we found looked like when we picked it up

Jamie took the train to go get it since it was located in Bergen (about 6 hours from the boat). He took Journey with him. She doesn’t look very amused, but we promise she loved it.

Journey's First Train Ride
She even got the window seat

We realized we could put our Disc-O-Bed bunk beds in the van and turn it into a temporary campervan!

How the van looked when we first put all of our stuff in it (disaster)
How the van looked after we set up our Disc-O-Bed bunk bed

We left our boat for the first time and tied it to a dock in the city of Flam. It is a large town, with cruise ships that come into port. We were a little sketched out leaving our boat for so long. But it’s important to remember that we own the boat, the boat doesn’t own us and shouldn’t stop us from adventuring.

Big cruise ships docking in Flam as we take the dogs potty in our dinghy

We traveled to many different fly site locations, joining some local pilots and our Norwegian friend Lehart Eriksen who showed us around. In addition to flying adventures, he also introduced us to local Norwegian dishes like fish soup and Sodd (pictured below)

Sodd is Norway's national dish, usually consists of meatballs (made with beef, lamb or mutton), carrots, and potatoes served in a clear, fragrant broth.
Doing some speedflying barrel rolls

Jamie had some places that were on his bucket list to jump, and was able to jump some of them, such as the famous Troll Wall, seen in the photos below. Thanks to Hans for helping make my dream of jumping troll a reality, even if you did try to kill me me the hike up.

Crossing the famous troll bridge. You can see the exit point in the shadow behind Jamie
Standing on the cliff's edge about to jump

However, there were some days when the weather or wind prevented him from jumping, and he had to hike down from the cliff he had just spent hours climbing up.

The face you make when you have to hike down becuase the wind is bad, as you can tell by the frazzled hair. Sometimes staying alive in Wingsuit Base Jumping requires hard decisions

Yet another dream was reached when Jamie did first solo hike and base jump mission, relying solely on himself. Fears were overcome and he was scared and nervous having to rely on himself, but he came out of it a more confident person, having pushed past his fears into accomplishing a goal.

Sandra also overcame some fears of her own. After a 6 month break from flying during the process of learning how to sail, she started speedflying again and is seen below celebrating her first officially hike and fly in Norway. (More about this break in next month’s update)

Sandra celebrating her first hike & Fly in Norway below the mountain of Keipen

We learned that van camping in Norway is not what it used to be. Although we found some beautiful remote spots, many places had no camping signs. This is because during the pandemic when borders closed, many Norwegians turned to van life as a fun and creative way to travel. It is great that van life is so popular, but it makes it difficult to find places to sleep sometimes. We were even kicked out of graveyard parking lot, of all places. lol

Remote camping spot deep in Norwegian valleys
Camping at the base of the famous Troll Wall
The church parking lot that we were kicked out of

We were able to find some locations to set up our tent, and take our camping to the next level. With rain almost every day, it was nice to hang out in our big tent instead of the van.

This is what happens when photos are taken before coffee, lol.

We did have a hard time when it came to showers, because we couldn’t find any. Many of the campgrounds were already closed for the season, but we found one campground with a a shower, but we didn’t have the correct coins and couldn’t find anywhere nearby to exchange the cash we did have. So we got creative and filled up our pot with hot water from the sink and used that to shower.

Creative solutions for showering

Because there are so many glaciers in Norway, the fjords that are right below them are a beautiful shade of turquoise, which made for our favorite camping spots. The water is also so cold, that we could soak our feet, which is always great since both of us have broken our feet speedflying. After big hikes, the cold water was a way to soothe the achy pain.

Water so blue, it looks photoshopped in real life
The blue glacier water is even more beautiful flying over it
The water is well below freezing, but it's amazing for those of us with injuries

And of course, the #1 activity in Norway: We did lots and lots of hiking! Sometimes with the plan to fly down, and sometimes just to explore and take the dogs on hikes.

Beautiful views as we traverse the ridge of a mountain while the cloud roll in
Can you spot the glacier and waterfall behind us?
I told Guzel that everything the light touches is her kingdom
Views from the top of a mountain with low clouds below the peaks

After 3 weeks of traveling in the campervan, we returned to the boat and headed towards our next adventure

Time to leave Flam and head back out towards the entrance of the fjord to our next adventure

Our friend, Lehart, organized a helicopter ride to the top of a mountain where 35 speedflyers could ride up and then fly down! It was followed by a local festival that we were able to anchor our boat in front.

Docking at the local marina the night before the helicopter rides
3 minute helicopter ride was so much easier than a 4 hour hike
Anchoring our boat in front of the sold out festival was a cool experience.

After the festival, we decided to take the boat to the next northern fjord back to a location called Loen. We had already been there in the campervan and talked to the mountain Marketing director who loved our project and offered us season passes so we could help share how amazing their location is. (more coming on this next month). We headed out back towards the open sea for a 36 hour passage.

We overcame more fears along the way as we started to get more comfortable anchoring our boat. (throwing an anchor overboat instead of going to marina’s). We even started to find anchoring locations on our own that weren’t clearly marked as anchor spots on our maps. A big step for us out of our comfort zone.

Anchoring in a beautiful bay below a fly site
This spot wasn't marked as an anchor spot, but it looked like a good place sheltered out of the wind and waves
This is how we take the dogs potty on our dinghy

We ended the month making it to Loen, which will be our home over the next few weeks. Stay tuned to see what happens next month. We promise it will be a doozie.

Norway has the most amazing soft-serve ice cream and sprinkles!

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