1968: Norway – Day 5 – Stavanger-Kinsarvik

Weather rather grey and misty as we left Stavanger, and disappointed by poor visibility.  Passed several islands with little light-houses and one island full of oil storage tanks. Gareth went off to sleep much to our relief so we had a bit more freedom to explore.

Had coffee and then watched arrival [of the boat?] at Judasberg. A milk churn filling plant near the quay had a fascinating conveyor belt of churns and several were loaded on the boat.  Weather began to improve after this and soon we were in sunshine.

Sarah befriended by some ladies from Birmingham who plied her with sweets to her great delight – Andrew too. Scenery became more and more impressive – steep wooded slopes, rocky islands and small, brightly painted wooden settlements clustered on available land. Soon saw our first snow patches, and some very impressive waterfalls cascading into the fjords. Had a smorgasbord for lunch, fed Gareth and then arrived Sanda 2.30pm. Quite a big place with an aluminium works – imported bauxite HEP. Clouds of industrial smoke for the first time almost. Weather now hot. Climbed out of Sanda on a road that grew quickly narrow and gravelly, and then began to pass through snowy patches. Soon we were in really wild snow-covered country, the road running through walls cut in snow 8′-12′ thick. Lakes on either side only beginning to thaw and all greeny white. Summer cabins perched in very unlikely spots. I was terrified and children pretty quiet (not Gareth!) but we made good progress.

At Noldal joined a much better road – a toll road with long tunnels and which was much better for the nerves. Emerged in a very steep valley with rushing river and wooded sides and snow on top. Tributary valleys had numerous waterfalls and Latefoss much the most impressive.

Dropped into Odda, squeezed in at the entry to the fjord and David cashed some travellers cheques. Plenty of industry here, and then the road follows the fjord, extremely pretty with snow-capped mountains, steep slopes and apple trees all along the lower slopes wherever there was enough room and enough sun.

Arrived Kinsarvik 6.0ish and managed to get a hut opened for us. Very simple with pine panelling and all natural wood and formica on the table and work surface. Lovely view over fjord and ferry terminal. Only problem with hut is comparative lack of space, so much room being taken up with the bunks. Had a ‘roast beef’ lunch from a tin and put children to bed – no one showed any signs of going to sleep, least of all Gareth down on the floor, so we went to the shop to investigate – wide range of goods available, including bread and milk, very handy. Met a typical Viking young man from Hangesun who had been in the Navy and spoke quite good English. A temperance motoring association – MA – holding a rally at this site this weekend, hundreds expected. Decided to pitch our tent and bag a site anyway. Found a nice, reasonably peaceful spot. Only problem the granite under the soil which made putting tent pegs in a major problem.

Loads of people rolling up and interesting variety of tents appearing. Plenty of children about, so our should have plenty of company. Weather seems set fair, with clear skies and the view of the fjord through the pines and silver birth with snow-capped mountains behind very satisfactory.

Our managed to fall down the slopes from the top of the camp to the road in the first half hour “It wasn’t great”.

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