Norway Winter - Day 2 : Shooting in the Sauna
I slept pretty well. I woke up before 8, but as it was still dark I decided to stay inside until 9. While I was getting ready a cross country skier passed. He thought it was pretty cool I had slept outside and after some talking he continued. When I was almost done packing two more men passed. They said it had been -16 C last night. The next couple nights would be less cold. They asked about my trip and I told them about my plan to go back for matches. They mentioned they were heading to a nearby cabin were there certainly would be a lighter and some matches I could have. Apparently the cabin was owned by the man that had passed earlier. As soon as I stepped inside I was given beer (it was 10:30 after all) and all the heaters went on. All three men had a wife in Oslo and came there to drink and talk. Soon a Norwegian that had lived in the Netherlands would join. Apparently, it was their tradition to drink shots as soon as the inside temperature reached above freezing, so I had to join. Then we went outside to take pictures. My fingers nearly froze off while holding the cold beer without gloves (I had left them inside), but the other guys seemed fine. Inside we took another shot and I was given more beer. One guy had also carried a dried sheep leg which I was told to taste. Someone else had small bags of plum tobacco which you were supposed to put underneath your upper lip. At first I didn't notice any effect but after a while it started to burn. The men told me there was a large hill called Keikut to the north of us which they recommended me to visit. I had planned to only stay for a few minutes but it was a lot of fun and also warm inside. Then the ex-Dutch guy arrived, he could still speak it a little, but was a lot better at drinking.
Then someone spoke the magic words 'when we start to get drunk we also go shooting from the sauna'. At first I thought I misunderstood, but there turned out to be a sauna in the cabin from which they shot a paper target outside. The person with the fewest points had to go outside in their underwear and wasn't allowed to enter before drinking half a liter of beer. Someone drew our names on the targets, I was dubbed Bråm. The gun was an air rifle with small metal bullets. At first I didn't seem to hit anything, it turned out that was because they purposely hadn't loaded the gun. One of the men said he had forgotten to put bullets in, but I am pretty sure it was on purpose to see if I would handle ti safely. It's probably a good they didn't hand those over to drunk strangers right away. I didn't fail completely, but did need to go outside to drink beer. Half way through the can I was allowed to come back inside, -10 degrees in a t-shirt wasn't for me.
When I had woken up that morning I hadn't expected that a few hours later I would be to be drunk in a sauna while shooting with complete strangers. After 5 hours it was time to go, it would get dark within 2 hours and I felt I needed to at least get some walking done that day. They gave me their phone number in case I needed something and we said goodbye. I had drank 1,5 liters of beer and way too many shots. The following section was by far the most enjoyable I had ever hiked. Because of all the alcohol and rediculousness of the morning I was continuously falling and laughing out loud.
After a few hours it still only was 5 o'clock, but it had already been dark for more than an hour. There were only 7 hours of daylight each day. It became difficult to see the paths and quickly got colder, so there really wasn't much else to do but camp and cook dinner. That must have been my least productive hike day ever, but also one of the funniest. It again got pretty cold, but I felt fine inside my bivy bag.