Went shopping in the village in the morning, in rather gloomy weather. Things seem rather expensive – or rather the things we fancy do, including a large teak polar bear, like our other. Bought Sarah a pair of small Norwegian dolls (12.55k) which she has fancied ever since the boat and piece of Hardanger work for Iris [great aunt] (12k), a pewter bangle for me (16k) and a small seal for Andrew (5k) which gave him very great pleasure and has since been his constant companion. Hope to get David some nice cuff links later on.
After an earlyish lunch, set off for Salfour and had a very nice ride up to Odda, with orchards on either side. They were cutting the grass in some places, it was about 1′ high, and spraying the apple trees with some chemical spray. Cherry blossom is finished, strawberries tucked in everywhere with polythene mulches. Milk churns on cables from the higher farms. At Tyssedal a big HEP station, then various industries and cargo ships at Odda. Granite in cable railway down to the fjord. Did some shopping here, including some delicious looking bacon and pork chops – about 14k altogether. Also some very gaudy socks for A (green, blue, and yellow) and S (pink, blue and white) made in West Germany. Pressed on up the valley waterfalls thundering large volume of water and spray billowing over the road, the river frothing and greeny white in a narrow, rocky gorge. Trees clinging where they can, road narrow and some hairpin bends, but not bad.
Salfour in a high saucer, dotted with several cabins and houses, obviously a winter sports centre. Chair lift operating, so on we got, me holding Babbit and terrified. 50′ drop in places onto bog, rocks and snow. Terrified my shoes would fall off. A and S very cool and assured about it all, wearing our pullovers! At the top I took my shoes off, which made one more thing to hold, but at least they wouldn’t fall off! Put my shoes on again as we neared the bottom and very relieved to get off. Went to the hotel for a reviving cup of coffee and cola. Some depressed looking English people staying there, must be a bit glum to be in a semi-empty place out of season. Sooner have our tent despite the take-off tendencies in last night’s high wind. There was a ski-jump near the chair lift incidentally which looked very frightening – couldn’t see how one reached it, and landing point seemed a bit obscure too.
Set off again and whizzed back down the valley to our almost empty camp and had delicious pork chops and onions for tea. Did quite a lot of preliminary packing and tidying up – we aren’t repeating the clearing up at Mandal! We’ve eaten so much of the food we brought we us that space is much easier now, and with lots of clothes in a dirty linen box, the suit-cases are a bit better too. This camp has been very successful – we’ve been far more organised and of course, the facilities have been good, especially the shop. Toilets very good – enormous toilet rolls about 12″ across and setting perfect, in the pines and silver birches and the roar of the waterfalls in the valley and superb view. Of course, we’ve had good weather here which has helped make it successful, we will undoubtedly come back here when we revisit Norway – as of course we will! [we didn’t].