Point to Point

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

If there's one thing I love it's a paddle or run or ride from Point A to Point B.  It's a nice feeling of accomplishment and I like the fact that there's usually no convenient alternative except to finish the trip, one way or another..   It's even better when point B is home or nearby, and it's even better-er when the route is generally downhill (or down-wind or down-stream if I am paddling).  It will come as no surprise to Hobart dwellers that my favourite run used to be from the pipeline track all the way home to Sandy Bay, and my favourite ride (now that I have some technical skills) is the downhill North South Track on the mountain.

So today Jon dropped me off to do another classic flat-downhill run - from Nordseter - a mountain village 20 minutes drive from Lillehammer all the way back to the house we are staying in (or pretty close to here anyway). To be fair it's more flat than downhill, but there are certainly no massive hills in the way.   When I lived here I would take the bus to Nordseter, then because the snow wasn't nearly as good that winter, I'd finish at a car-park at the top of the hill.  Then I'd ask the next person to arrive if they could give me a lift home down the hill.  No-one ever said no and it was a nice way to meet some locals. It was my favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning.

Since that winter the trails have improved ten-fold - there are way more of them, and the snow this year ,whilst not a record by any stretch, is a lot better than when I was here.  So it's possible to take any number of routes back to the town. I was going to stick with the classic 'Birkebeinaløpa' which follows some of the route of the famous 54k race from Rena to Lillehammer that I did when I was here.

Anyway - just as Jon dropped me the ski-grooming tractor thing came along and turned right down the trail I was about to head, so my perfect trails became even better. Thank you long-suffering Norwegian tax payer!  There are no trail fees here - it must cost the council a fortune as there is over  200kms of groomed trails in this small area and over 2000kms in this district. A lot of them turn into mountain biking trails and running trails in the summer.

So I set off down the perfect trails.  It was magic.  


Not surprisingly it was a lot quieter than yesterday and the only people I saw looked like they were on a serious training ski, or they were over 70. I can't imagine 70+ year old australians heading out to ski in minus 8 degree weather with no easy way to get help if something goes wrong.  I guess elderly orienteers do it all the time at home (but there are very few of them) and I guess there are always mobile phones and good coverage here. Although speaking of mobile phones it is reassuring to know that mobile phone companies can be just as annoying here as they are in Australia - I originally bought a sim card and credit with NetCom here but I can't re-fill it on the internet using the same credit card I bought it with -it has to be a norwegian credit card. And the message that came up just said 'try again later'. Finally I rang them today and they explained that this was the reason and that there was no problem I could just go to the supermarket and get a much more expensive refill with my australian credit card instead. That was very annoying. So until I mug a Norwegian and steal their credit card to pay for my refill I can only receive texts.


Anyway - back to my trip. It was fantastic of course. Luckily for my navigation on the new trails there were plenty of signboards and arrows along the way. I arrived back at the olympic stadium with 4k to go and watched some serious biathlon training going on - people were finishing and throwing themselves on the ground and rolling about in total exhaustion.  I felt guilty watching them as I snacked comfortably on my chocolate so I continued on down the last hill back to town.

There was a bit of gravel intermixed with the snowy pavements down in town so I had to take off my skis and walk the last 500metres. 


I passed by the school my friend Dorte teaches at, just over the road from home, and to prove my previous story about wacky Norwegian private transport I took these photographs of the sparks locked up at school, and the kids enjoying their short lunch break (they only get 1/2 an hour) on their 'one-foots'..


And then I was home, where Jon was playing with the dog. Well, the dog was playing with Jon, who was trying to get his glove back. You can see here in this sequence of photos  that Jon was in total control of the situation..




Random Photos Friday, 13 February 2015
Goodbye Drammen & Norway Friday, 13 February 2015
Putin the Norwegian Forest Cat Thursday, 12 February 2015
Goodbye Geilo Thursday, 12 February 2015
Ice Fishing - what's not to love.. Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Remains of the day Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Mountain Views Monday, 9 February 2015
uvær Monday, 9 February 2015
Melting.. Monday, 9 February 2015
Lessons Saturday, 7 February 2015
Ice Music Festival Day 2 Saturday, 7 February 2015
Wait for Meeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Saturday, 7 February 2015
Drammen to Geilo Friday, 6 February 2015
I can't believe it's come to this.. Thursday, 5 February 2015
We've come a long way.. Thursday, 5 February 2015
Mesnaelva Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Postcard Perfect Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Free days Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Point to Point Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Norwegian Forest Cat - Update 2 Monday, 2 February 2015
Ski-Every-Day team Monday, 2 February 2015
Kjelke Kjøring and Butt Racers Monday, 2 February 2015
Norwegian Forest Cat - update Sunday, 1 February 2015
Getting through the list.. Sunday, 1 February 2015
Forest Cats and Snow Dogs Sunday, 1 February 2015
Yes. We should all move to Lillehammer. Sunday, 1 February 2015
Lillehammer Day 2 Saturday, 31 January 2015
Hmmph Friday, 30 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 7 & goodbye Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Hearts and minds Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Shiplife Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 6 Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 5 Monday, 26 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 4 - part 2 Sunday, 25 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 4 - part 1 Sunday, 25 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 3 Friday, 23 January 2015
in our hearts and minds Friday, 23 January 2015
Hurtigruten: Day 1 & 2 Friday, 23 January 2015
Goodbye Bergen, hello Hurtigruten Thursday, 22 January 2015
Going Undercover.. Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Beautiful Bergen Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Norwegian Breakfasts Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Over the hills and far away Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Quick Update Monday, 19 January 2015
Ice Hockey! Monday, 19 January 2015
Ski trip #2 Monday, 19 January 2015
Handsome Norwegian Boys Monday, 19 January 2015
This is why.. Sunday, 18 January 2015
Ski Audit Saturday, 17 January 2015
Tourist Day Saturday, 17 January 2015
Snow Day Saturday, 17 January 2015
Thank you Oslo. Saturday, 17 January 2015
Plugged Wednesday, 14 January 2015