8 July 2018
Cornelia opened the van door and came running into our tent at 05:00 this morning, and just as she’d snuggled under the duvet with us, realised she needed a wee. I got up and retrieved the travel potty from Bluebell and she managed an enormous wee (and actually so then did I!) and she crawled back into our tent and we all managed to fall back to sleep (albeit more of a doze than a full-on sleep!). She slept until shortly after 09:00, although Ian and I had both woken long before then and started the morning camping ritual: loo; contact lenses; water on to boil; cereals and yoghurt out etc etc.
She had a huge bowl of porridge with raspberry jam which should’ve given her tons of energy for the day, but in fact, apart from the first couple of hours of the day (which were spent on her bike, pedalling down to the lake for paddle) she was quite slow and whiny and clingy. We think the late night yesterday and the realisation that she’s back to just Mummy and Daddy again must’ve hit her!!! 😳
Ian and I still can’t quite believe how extraordinarily beautiful this whole area is. We are completely in love! Seeing the lake shimmering in the morning light, with a background of snow-capped mountains, contrasted with dark rock and deep green trees is breathtaking and heartwarming. It is pure nourishment for the soul.
When we left the lake, we decided to have a quick sandwich back at the campsite and then head off for a trek to the local church (Røldal Stave Church – said to be one of the oldest in Norway, dating back to 1250). But Bugsy decided that a quick sandwich was not on her agenda for today, and took well over an hour to chew her way through her quickly-going-stale-in-the-wind-and-sunshine bread, despite being warned it would go stale and that if she wasn’t quick enough, she wouldn’t be having a chocolate ice cream later. (She didn’t get one.)
Anyway, eventually we set off, and I carried her in the “piggy back machine” as she seemed too tired to walk any distance herself. I had hoped she would have a little doze while we walked but instead she just annoyed me by dribbling on my back and elbowing me on my shoulder. 🙄
We made it to the church but didn’t go inside (it was a £5 charge for me and Ian), instead just wandering around the immaculate graveyard, marvelling at the longevity of some of the local families – one family had members who lived to be 102 and 103, with several others living well into their nineties. Must be all the fresh air, lake swimming and mountain walking!
Following our noses (mostly, until Ian couldn’t resist but look at his Google maps) we walked along through the little town and out to the hydro electric station, winding our way back to the campsite.
Ian went off for a solo bike ride, while Cornelia asked to play on her Kindle for a bit. We all needed a bit of time out from each other, so I relaxed in the warm afternoon sunshine while Bugsy sat in the shade at the side of Bluebell and Ian went off on his bike. I just really wished I’d had a cold beer handy!! But no such luck and all the shops are closed today!
When Ian returned, Cornelia and I were doing a wordsearch together, and then while I started preparing supper (spaghetti bolognese that I’d made on the Cobb yesterday), Ian took her off for a game of Uno. Not one to be beaten, he finally agreed to a draw, so that dinner could be eaten before it went cold.
She scoffed the lot immediately, but her continued complaining suggested to us that she was utterly exhausted, and needed to go to bed asap!
The shower facilities here are a bit crap. There are two loos for each of the men and women and two showers in total for everyone. That’s for a campsite with 68 pitches and several little huts. And you have to pay to use the shower! 20Krona for eight minutes… so the three of us shared the shower time and actually managed to finish with a minute to spare! (We weren’t being tight – we just have very little Norwegian cash on us!) She went for her pre-bed wee, and suddenly burst into tears, wrapping her strong little arms around my neck and sobbing how sorry she was for everything she’d got wrong that day. Oh my heart nearly broke! I explained to her that we all had “off days” and it was fine to have them, and that we just needed to work through them together, which I think reassured her.
Happy and clean, the exhausted little toddler went straight to sleep after her bedtime story with Daddy. And we sat in the tent, away from the cooler evening breeze, waiting for bedtime!!