By: Blonde One

The Two Blondes are very used to all of the activities that go on on Dartmoor and the related kit, routines and habits. I think nothing of driving up to the moors past numerous cars parked on the roadside with neoprene clad people sorting out their brightly coloured kayaks ready for a quick dip, or car parks full of Gore-tex clad people doing up boot laces, adjusting rucksack straps and putting the dog on a leash, or sitting in the position of power at Foxtor Cafe when it gets full of lycra clad bodies splattered with mud after a ride across the moors.

In Norway it was reassuring to see that the folks there had similar routines and systems, but of a different sort entirely. We drove past the cars parked on the side of the road to be told that these cars belonged to skiers or snowboarders who arrived at the foot of the mountain, hiked up to the top and skied or boarded down. This activity could only be done once each day during the daylight hours as the trek up to the top was such a slow job. We saw skiers on their way down; a little spot of light from their head torch gave away their location and we stood transfixed as they made their way gracefully to the bottom. The car parks near to the wooded area and ski jumps saw the skiers kitting themselves up and clipping on their skis ready for a quick workout cross country skiing. We even saw cyclists making their way expertly over the snow and ice. It seemed impossible that they could cycle on this terrain but they were doing it effortlessly.

It was strangely familiar seeing similar types of people going about their activities, and at the same time entirely alien. If I liked the word ‘juxtaposition’ I might be tempted to use it here!