At One with Nature – Kayaking at Dalsfjorden
The fjord laid stock-still as it quietly mirrored the mountains around it. The only sounds I could hear were from the nearby waterfall and the steady rhythm of my paddle breaking the surface. I was at one with nature, at one with the water, the fjord, the sky, and I thought that this, this really is therapy by nature at its best. To just completely unwind from the rest of the world – to not think and instead just be. As the kayak slowly and silently glided through the water, the small waves it stirred were soon absorbed by the fjord and once again it mirrored the mountains.
Before I ever sat foot in a kayak, it had never really struck me how close to nature you feel while paddling. It’s an almost overwhelming experience to be sitting in a small kayak and finding your way across the fjord using only your muscles. It’s a beautiful experience too, especially on a day as sunny as this one. Yesterday’s clouds had been replaced by a bright blue sky, and the sun was warm and gentle as I set out on my first ever kayaking tour with GoKajakk.
As this was in May, Dalsfjorden in Sunnfjord was still filled with meltwater from the nearby mountains, making the temperature in the fjord rather low. To protect me from what could be a rather chilly experience, I got dressed in a drysuit and life jacket before the kayak tour started. Under the guidance of Øyvind J. Korsøen, the owner of GoKajakk, I was given basic instructions on how to sit properly in a kayak, how to decide the angle of the paddle as it breaks the surface, and, perhaps most importantly, how to get in and out of a kayak. Besides this, I also received some basic tips to ensure that my kayaking experience would be as good as possible. I have to admit that I was quite nervous at the start, the idea of tumbling around struck me as rather terrifying. My worries, however, were quickly revealed to be unreasoned. The kayak felt safe and steady, and Øyvind never left my side.
If you have ever been to the Norwegian fjords, you will know that the combination of steep mountains and narrow fjords can be both majestic and breathtakingly beautiful. In Dalsfjorden you will also discover a few elements that certainly enhance the dramatic effect of the unique scenery: there is a twin waterfall, Laukelandsfossen, which has a fall of 135 meters!
We paddled all the way over to where the mighty Laukelandsfossen meets the fjord, and we certainly got to feel the powers of the waterfall. It felt as if rain was coming from all directions above our heads, and the wind was so strong that I could feel its effects on the water. Above the fjord, the waterfall created the most magnificent rainbow.
Øyvind explained that sometimes, when the waterfall is not as strong as it was during my visit, it is actually possible to go swimming behind it. From there, you can also swim directly into the fjord itself.
As we were paddling across the fjord, I slowly started feeling more safe in both the kayak and my own abilities. No longer as worried, I could finally relax and simply just enjoy the entire experience. «Do you see the little head peaking up from the water?» Øystein suddenly says. Only a few metres away, a small seal was looking curiously up at our two kayaks as we were gliding through the water. It made me think of all the things that exist around us – and also below us, of course. There is a saying in Norway that the fjords are as deep as the mountains around it are high, and this is also true for Dalsfjorden. The fjord is also filled to the brim with fish, crabs and other Norwegian delicacies, and the area is very popular with both local fishermen and international fishing tourists.
Time goes by when you are having fun, and my time in the kayak was almost at its end. We headed back towards Fosseviken, and we paddled across the stock-still water as it was once again mirroring the mountains.
After an amazing kayaking experience in the fjord, we stepped ashore in Fosseviken and met up with the rest of our group. Our host Steinar, from Villa Åmot, brought a well-deserved lunch, and we had a picnic on the shores of Dalsfjorden. Freshly baked bread, fresh fruit, local cheese and sausages, and even fresh apple juice and beer from the local microbrewery in Kvernfossen provided the perfect ending to a perfect day out on the fjord. It was indeed my first kayaking experience, but it will not be my last!
If you are a guest at Villa Åmot, you will find that they offer a wide selection of quality experiences. You can find more information on the experiences and how to book them here.
My stay at Villa Åmot and the activity with GoKajakk was a part of the #FjordSecrets campaign collaboration between NordicTB and a selection of companies in Sunnfjord and Gaular region in Norway. All opinions and statements are as always my own.
This post is also available in: Norsk bokmål