Åstfjord

mid Norway

Åstfjord, divided into Orkland and Hitra kommune is another of my favourite fjords. A short drive north from Krokstadøra in Snillfjord there is a road tunnel and coming out on the north side is like entering a whole new world. The scenery is out of this world. Åstfjord and Snillfjord are both branched out from Hemne fjord which lies to the west. The inner fjord is a minature playground for the recreational paddler with several small islets to paddle around and Stabur island is my favourite place for coming to land, eat, relax and enjoy the spectacular view west over. When I first paddled their and fell in love with the place, I had returned 13 times within three months. Further in is beautiful as it is further out on the fjord. Almost every time I have spotted eagles, with more than one pair nesting along side the fjord. I have my own little tradition that on the first of January every year I go out paddling, Åstfjord I have paddled several times on the first day of the year. 

There is also a popular climbing wall called Sagøra long in the fjord to the east. My son and his girlfriend, both climbers spent a couple of days in that one area. An area perfect for the paddler and climber combined.

Further out in the fjord towards the island of Hitra there is a small island called Jamtøya, and there I have camped over night with the intentions of setting up my tent in the afternoon, going out paddling and return to make food and sleep before paddling the next morning. As I came to land my tent was surrounded by four cows, and where there is cows, there is insects. I once read that for every person on the planet there is 160 million insects, I know this to be true as that night they all came to visit bringing along their partners, their families, friends and neighbors from all the other nearby islands, with intentions of having a feast. And it was myself that was on the menu. There was as many insects inside my tent as out, a cheap tent with a mosquito net that could have also been used as a fishing net. At five O'clock in the morning, I could take no more, I had to get out of there. I tried to light a fire to keep the ''knot,'' (gnats) away while I ate. No chance. My tent wasn't packed and put in my kayak, it was thrown on the fire and I had to get what else I had back in the kayak whilst swallowing several gnats with every breath. Not the tastiest breakfast I have had. It took several minutes paddling to get away from the insects. But the rest of the day was spent on beautiful shimmering sea while I paddle over to Hitra and back to the starting point, taking a long detour from the Island of insects. For a place with such tremendous beauty, my recommendation is to keep away from Jamtøya.

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