Norway Winter - Day 2 : Shooting in the Sauna
I slept pretty well. I woke 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 it would be less cold. They asked all sort of things about my trip and I told them about my plan of going back for matches. They mentioned they were heading to a nearby cabin and a guy there would certainly have a lighter and some matches for me. 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 3 men had a wife in Oslo but came here to drink beer and talk. Soon a former Dutch guy would join us. Apparently it was 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 but the other guys all seemed fine. Inside we took another shot and I was given more beer. One guy had also carried a dried sheep leg which I needed 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 north of us which was nice to visit. I had planned to only stay for a few minutes but it was a lot of fun and warm inside, so it kept getting later. 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 outside on a paper target. The person with the fewest points had to go outside half naked 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. I was wearing all my clothes when I entered the sauna and still felt cold. At first I didn't seem to hit anything, it turned out that was because the gun hadn't been loaded. One of the men said he had forgotten to put bullets in, but I am pretty sure it was on purpose to see how I would handle the gun. It's probably a good thing 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 in, -10 degrees in a t-shirt wasn't for me.
When I woke up this morning I hadn't expected that a few hours later I would be drunk in a sauna while shooting with complete strangers. After 5 hours of fun it was time to go, it would get dark within 2 hours and I felt I needed to at least do some walking today. 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 funniest I have ever hiked. Because of all the alcohol and strange experiences I was continuously falling and laughing out loud.
After walking for a few hours it still only was 5 o'clock, but it had been dark for over an hour. It became difficult to stay on the paths and quickly got colder, in such cases there really wasn't much else to do but camp and cook dinner. This must have been my least productive hike day ever, but also one of the funniest. It again was pretty cold, but I felt fine once in my bivy bag.