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Nov 10, 2015

“The coldest winter Ive ever had is summer in Norway”- Shane Raw

After wanting to go to Norway for a long time we finally had the opportunity to go. We got a job offer at Opplev Oppdal as adventure guides doing rafting,canyoning and other activities. We were super exited on our way to the airport but also a bit nervous about our luggage being over the limit as we were  taking our kayaks with. Miraculously they took everything without charging extra,shows you it pays to check-in early ,thanks Emirates.


offloaded our boats at the airport.


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Having the last S.A beer while waiting to board.


3.2.1 Take off ,after one stop over in Dubai we arrived in Oslo and had to wait 10 hours for the train ,we had no idea if they would take our kayaks. To our relief they took our kayaks  after some begging and explaining to the conductor. 7 hours later we were in Oppdal a small little town about an hours drive south of Trondheim. It was freezing cold and there was still a lot of snow on the mountains. Our first thought was we “hope this is not summer” and if it is when is the next flight back to South Africa where the winter temperature is warmer then this.

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Dewet feeling drained during the 10 hour wait at Oslo Aiport.


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Tammy waiting for the train to pull up , hoping they take the kayaks.


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The view from the train station in Oppdal.


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stuffed Muskox.



View from our caravan.

Our boss Flemming picked us up at the train station and took us to his place for a Norwegian breakfast ,brown cheese on buns .  Flemming then told us that we need to take a raft down the rafting  section to get to know the river.After traveling for 30 hours with no good sleep we where pretty tired and not in the mood for any of this ,we just wanted to sleep. Nevertheless we met up with the rest of the team that we were going to be working with this season; Andreas and Emily from Canada, Dish from Germany,Henrik from Sweden and Fillip from Norway. Once we had taken the raft down we eventually got some sleep.

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A drive up the mountain on one of the sunnier days.


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Walking in some of the road side snow .

For the first two weeks we stayed in a caravan at the rafting base. We then decided to hire a house with Henrik as living in a caravan was just not working us. We got a really cool house on a farm about 20 km outside Oppdal.



Our first “braai” at our new house.


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Our awesome house and the “blue bus”.

Working as guide in Norway has its pros and cons, yes we were in the country that is know as the ultimate whitewater playground but you don’t always have time to go kayak , on the other had you are earning krone which is the only reason were were able to stay in Norway for as long as we did.Another pro is that unlike in S.A Guiding is actually considered a profession which makes it possible to make a decent living.The section we rafting on was on a river named the Driva .Its a pretty cool section for rafting and varying water levels brings with it  different and exciting challenges for both the guides and the clients. Opplev Oppdal’s only rule “there must be a flip on every trip”. The canyoning was also adrenaline packed so overall our working experience was anything but boring ,which is vital to have happy guides and Opplev Oppdal has nailed that.


Photo of Dewet rafting on the family section.



Tammy also on the family section.



The 12m slide in the canyoning section


In August our friend Phillip came to visit us from S.A so we took 2 weeks off ,rented a car , packed our tents ,loaded our boats ,bought a 6 pack of beer and off we went ( Now before I continue “why only a six pack you ask?” , well its simple alcohol is ridiculously expensive in Norway , a 6 pack of cheap beer works out to about R350.00 so needless to say our time in Norway was also a bit of a detox for us , we are now lightweights). We headed south to the Sjoa region ,on our first night we camped next to the Ula slides where we were completely rained out,lets just say we were not exactly equipped to handle rain. So the next day after a few laps on a pumping Ula , we headed to the closest hardware store and bought some tarps and other camping necessities.We made Sjoa rafting our base camp  for about a week during which we tried to paddle everything in the area including, rivers like the Finna, Sjoa, Lagen, Ula, Skjerva, Ostri. We also went to check out the Smadola waterfall but there was just too much water for it to be runnable.



Ula Waterfall action! -Dewet


The ula slides on super good water level

The ula slides on super good water level- Dewet and Philip




View from the top of Stuttgongfossen- Upper Sjoa river



Dewet and Philip having a look at this monster



Philip running Stuttgongfossen




Dewet dropping into the dragon



Beautiful view.



Dewet and Philip at the put in on the Finna.


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Campsite at the Ostri.


long and intimidating slide on the upper Jori river

Dewet running a long and intimidating slide on the upper Jori river



Dewet on the upper Jori



Dewet on the upper Jori.



Dewet ,Tammy and Philip .

After spending a week in Sjoa we made our way up to the legendary Rauma river,on the way there we stopped and paddled the Valldal river super fun low volume run.We made camp next to the Rauma that night nerves and excitement were running high in anticipation for this classic high volume run. The lower Rauma definitely lives up to its reputation. The next day we did the upper Rauma which is just as fun but not as full on as the lower.With only 2 days left before Philip had to fly back to South Africa we drove back to oppdal.


Tora Bora.



Driving from Sjoa to Ruama



Geiranger Fjord.



Putting on the Valldal.



Dewet on the first drop- Lower Rauma



Dewet on the first drop- Lower Rauma

After Philip left we got back into the working vibe, we would paddle on our off days or after work around the Oppdal area.By this stage our 2 weeks of summer had already come and it was starting to get chilly again , some light snow on the mountain made us very happy we were heading back to sunny S.A. We moved out the house and decided to leave our boats there as we are going back for a second season next year.With that our long journey home began , after numerous hours on trains ,planes and airport benches we were finally home. First thing on the agenda Beer and Steak. See you next year Norway.

Thanks to everybody that made our stay in Norway an unforgettable one,to the people who made it possible and to Fluid kayaks for your support.

Article by Tammy and Dewet.


First Beer back in S.A!


Dewet and Tammy visiting Molde, typical weather.