Posts Tagged With: fish

Norway Fishing Dramas

It’s so warm! Half asleep I throw down my blanket and turn around one more time, but it is so warm up here in the campervan bed. Then I open my eyes and see sun rays peaking through the small openings of the windows. Sun!!! Finally after days we have sunshine!
We pull out chairs and table and have breakfast outside, overlooking the Listafjord.
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After passing through Flekkefjord, the street gets narrow, sometimes only 3m wide, and very curvy. Going past deep chasms, cliffs, fjords and up to 400m-high and grey weather-beaten mountain scenery.
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I also tried to capture the beautiful and very unique architecture: from houses hidden below an overhanging rock wall (picture above), wooden churches or the typical idyllic Norwegian-style houses surrounded by large bolders, lakes and grazing sheep.
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Arriving in Egersund, we stop at a
sports store to buy some bait that may attract Norwegian fish better than our little neon yellow fish-bait. Logan also suggests we should buy more fishing line, as ours isn’t long enough. We go for the cheapest one which is still about 20€ and some stingsilda 28g bait for 10€. I read that one does the trick here in Norway.

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The landscape after Egersund is less mountainous, but instead a beautiful sandy beach borders onto hilly fields and forests.
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From Sandnes, near Stavanger, we drive east along the fjord, which I believe is still part of the Hillefjord and at the very end of the street we find a small village called Dale. We are basically across the fjord from Stavanger. Here we discover a small grassy spot right at the fjord to park on. As soon as the engine stops, we excitedly jump in the back and unpack the fishing accessories. Logan is first in and within 10 seconds he has a fish on the hook!!! (This is no exaggeration!) I couldn’t believe it! He throws it in a second time and within another 30 seconds he’s got another one but this time the fish is putting up a fight and … The fishing line tears!!!
I already had a feeling that the line was too thin when we reeled it onto the rod. Now this really is a problem. We lost one of the good bait and we don’t really want to loose the second one. Nor do we want the poor fish swimming around with hooks in their mouths.
How very frustrating!
The second problem is, that even the front part of the fishing rod itself broke off too!

Back at the Intersport store in Sandnes, we buy not just fishing line (this time the second strongest they have!) and more bait, we also buy (what we think are) floaties and even a new fishing rod. Over a hundred euros poorer we quickly get back to the same place… We better make up for this now by fishing every day and actually catching some too!

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Back at Dale with two rods, a stronger line and more bait, we keep fishing for an hour but pull nothing out but seagrass.
Also the floaties dont seem to stay afloat and sink with the bait.
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I wonder whether we’ll ever have any luck fishing???
We change location one last time to a spot only just south of Dale and try fishing from a jetty this time.
No fish.. An hour later, still no fish! My fishing rod keeps getting tangled and knotted up. During my last attempt I can’t seem to reel it in anymore as there are knots everywhere. I patiently de-knot what I can, while the hook with the bait is dangling at the bottom of the sea.
Finally I seem to be able to pull it out, obviously with a lot of seaweed on it as it is quite heavy.
I can’t believe my eyes what I then see emerging out of the water while I’m reeling it in: a crab! The first “fish” I ever caught is a CRAB?!?! I’m not all that happy about it, more so shocked! But Logan yells at me: “Pull it out!!!!!!”
Eeeew so we’re having crab for dinner, are we??

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Logan puts up a little fight with the crab, he’s a strong little creature! Then we take him up and throw him in boiling water. Poor thing, threw off one of his claws in stress.
Logan seemingly enjoys his crab dinner, while I only have a few small bites of his fish he caught earlier.

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Funny enough he hooked himself later that evening crying out for help, hahaha!

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Norway, Viking Roadside Assistance (ADAC) and Norwegian Customs asking for drugs

As we still need to wait a few hours for the ferry to take us from Hirtshals in Danmark to Kristiansand in Norway, we both decide to go for a run – individually though, as I could never keep up with Logan’s speed and distance. While Logan is running towards the town of Hirtshals, I’m running along the beach in the other direction. The weather is cool, windy and sometimes rainy; probably quite good for a run! Soon I’m forced to turn around as there is a small river (or creek) separating the beach. It is too wide to jump, so I’m turning around, running back towards the van. Just as I arrive, Logan also returns from his run and decides to go for a refreshing swim in the Baltic Sea. A few people stare, it is probably rather uncommon for a person to go swimming in this kind of weather.

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It is then soon time to drive over to the ferry terminal. We are one of the first to arrive and one of the last to go on the ferry – of course. Once on the Fjordline Express ferry we get comfortable in the “comfort seats” in the top level and soon daze into a shallow sleep as it’s already past 11:30pm.

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The ferry ride only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. There were two children on board who would also cry for those two hours and 15 minutes – non-stop!! How very exhausting for everyone on board, also for the toddler himself to cry for over two hours without a break, wow!
I’m glad once we get back to the van and am looking forward to falling asleep very soon… But of course the appearance of our flower-decorated van, the peace sign hanging from the mirror and Logan’s deadlocks lead to the customs officers stopping us to get our van sniffed through by a dog! I was already highly amused about how the cliché of someone with dreadlocks got us into this situation but the creme dela creme was the the question of the officer: You smoke? Marijuana? Cannabis? Logan laughed and responded: Don’t let the hair fool you, I’m not even smoking cigarettes! The disbelief in the officer’s face expression was priceless!

Finally we are able to pull up in one of Kristiansand’s side streets and get some rest.

In the morning we have our first experience with grocery shopping in Norway. All we need is some water but a 5liter bottle of water is over 7€!!! All we end up buying are 4 bottles of bubbly water and instead of still water in a bottle we use the next opportunity at a shell station to top up water and also refill all our water bottles from a tap/hose supplied.

And there is our next problem: When we want to refill diesel, the petrol cap won’t open! No matter how hard we try, it won’t open but instead just makes a clicking noise. We have to call the German road ride assistance (ADAC) who then send us the Norwegian road side assistance “Viking”. It really pays to be a member! After the nice assistant doesn’t seem to have any luck with our petrol cap either, we are being taken to a mechanic who then breaks the lock in the cap. This service didn’t cost us a cent. The only little problem now is that we can’t lock the cap anymore and it isn’t as tight as it should be, so hopefully there won’t be any dirt or sand falling inside the tank until I can replace the cap.

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Finally, by 2pm we are on the road westwards. It has been raining all day today but our first impression of Norway is still a very good one. There are a lot of lakes and fjords everywhere along the south! First we stop at the south cape and take a few snapshots of the lighthouse, before moving on.

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We make it to a place before Flekkefjord where we try our luck fishing again.
We haven’t caught a single fish during all of our Europe trip, I wonder whether that is going to change today! While we are sitting patienly for 3 hours, trying all sorts of bait like fake fish, bread and sausage, “our fish” like to nibble but never bite; while the guy next to us is pulling one fish out after the other. Within 30min he’s got 4 fish and leaves. We keep on trying for a long time but eventually give up as the rain and especially mosquitos become unbearable. Soup for dinner tonight and we’re still smiling of course. But maybe we should consult a fishing expert before our next fishing adventure!

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Malapacao 23/11/11

“Happy birthday” says Logan. It’s still dark outside and a few minutes later Leeann is calling out for us. We told her yesterday we wanted to do an island hopping trip today. We paid for 5 nights, including two half day island hopping trips, so we thought we better do it soon before we need to leave the island due to hunger.

Logan and I were dearly hoping that the crazy woman wouldn’t come on the trip but for some reason, she decided to join us – in her see-through crochet bathing suit that rather looked like lingerie. We are making our way to the big lagoon. The way through to the lagoon is so shallow, we need to get off the boat and push it. The Philippino captain is maneuvering around big rocks, one of them skimming the outrigger of the banka. We drive in, turn around  and leave the lagoon already. Quick visit! The small lagoon is right next to the big one. This time we have to anchor the boat outside and swim through an entrance into the small lagoon. There is lots of coral and fish in there but unfortunately the water visibility is not the best today. It is still impressing with the steep limestone cliffs surrounding the lagoon and holding it like a treasure. We swim into two caves, one is very narrow and I’m trying my best not to hurt any coral. During our swim, Leeann collects some leaves off the cliff walls and Logan jokingly says: That’s our lunch. Unfortunately we knew it was the truth!!

We are swimming back to the banka but I feel there is a strange mood in the air. I’m asking Leeann where we are going next and she says: “Home!” Home? I thought this was supposed to be a half-day trip, not a 1hr trip? I’m totally disappointed and tell Logan that I want to leave the island today. I’m hungry, not happy and this is my birthday. All I have been thinking off the last two and a half days was normal food.

On the way back, we drop Logan off at Inabuyatan island, so he can swim back. It’s a 1.7km swim and takes about 45 minutes. (on the map you can find Malapacao and Inabuyatan in Tour B) While Logan is swimming, I’m washing some clothes in a bucket with soap, so they can dry before we are leaving.

Back at the hut, Logan and I discuss how we are going to tell Leeann about our decision to leave. We walk over to her hut and tell her that we decided to leave today as we would like to go exploring a bit more around El Nido. She asks where we’d like to go, so Logan says, we’d like to hire a motorbike and go for a ride. She responds: The roads are too bad, I hurt myself once falling off a bike. So I say: and we’d like to see the waterfalls. “The waterfalls are not good at all, they don’t carry water this time of the year.” She also says: “Is it the food? Do you want some rice?” I’m thinking, oh yes and I want a lot more than that. She says: “Well we can take you to El Nido and pick you up again!?” Logan and I don’t know what else to say. We really would just like to leave and not be impolite or make this a big drama. So Logan says: “We don’t really know where we will go, so we’ll leave this afternoon please.” She finally accepts. Thank god!

We are impatiently awaiting the afternoon with a very hungry tummy. Finally back on the banka I feed relieved. We go straight back to the Sands Inn, throw our bags in the room and quickly walk to the Art Cafe. I order Spaghetti Carbonara and Logan has a large pizza. FINALLY! I’m happy and can enjoy my birthday.

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Malapacao 22/11/11

Attention everyone planning on going to Malapacao Health Retreat. Do NOT go. Read this: http://restlessenergy.org/

To summarize in short: Leann Cruz was shut down by the government but is now operating under a fake name, a new business name but with the same poor sanitary conditions and unhealthy diet. You’ll find reports of people getting seriously ill from malnutrition and infections. People have been sexually harassed and there are bad disputes with the locals. Please read the link.

Hungry! While waiting for breakfast we are watching Leeann and another woman doing nude yoga on a large rock over the sea. It is a disturbing view but we can still laugh.

Unfortunately breakfast only consists of some weird tasting green cocktail, watermelon, coconut and banana.

Our plan is definite. We need to get food! The ocean is right out front, so it can’t be too hard to catch some fish!? Logan and I are searching for some line, a hook and bait. Watching Logan catching crabs was the funniest thing! He ran after them, back and forth, sideward’s, backwards, grabbed them and smashed them onto the ground. Poor bugger, but we really are hungry! I have second thoughts about eating the crab but they are too small to satisfy the hunger.

With our utensils packed up, we are jumping into the kayak and paddle around to the western side, dragging our self-made fishing rod behind us. We try our luck for about half an hour, nothing happens.

We paddle around the southern side and find a beach and it looks like there is a reef in front of it. The kayak on the shore, we are trying our luck, standing in the water with the rod over the reef. No fish. Logan grabs the snorkeling gear, to find out, if there is any fish around at all.

“Heaps of fish here” he shouts over. I watch him from the beach trying to catch fish for another hour or longer. He comes back and says, the fish is happily munching from the crab but won’t swallow the hook. “I have to make a spear!” I have doubts but hope never dies when you are fighting for survival. Yes survival! Being hungry is a very painful feeling!

So Logan is out there spear fishing, an hour later he walks back out of the water, no fish. Our chances are slowly dying and I realize we may not be able to stay on Malapacao for 5 nights.

We kayak back and are asking for some rice in the kitchen. The staff is smiling and says: “No rice here, only raw food. Want some Salad?” “Okay, yes please!” On the way back to our hut, we run into Leeann. She is laughing about us wanting rice. It feels like an eternity until we finally get our salad, it is just disgusting.

After dinner, we join Leeann and two other ladies for a fire and tarot on the beach. We don’t feel comfortable and leave soon, just after the other two did.

Still hungry we are going to bed.
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