The Russian-Scandinavian kayak expedition ended abruptly on day 147 as Erling was rolled in to undergo his operation. This is meant to be a short epilogue, a little update about what happened next. And also to say a few words of thanks.
First the operation was a major one and a successful one. It turned out Erling had to remove 50 centimeters of his small intestine which had stopped working. Luckily he will get away with a scar and no lasting damage.
He is recovering well and fast and looks forward to the lifting of a “paddling curfew” in mid September.
Although we both are a bit wistful the trip ended prematurely, Erling’s main feeling is “happy to be here”.
This brings us to the first round of thanks, to those who helped secure a good outcome from a bad situation:
>> The crew on the rescue helicopter, the ambulance plane, and the very professional and competent staff at UNN, Tromsø. Erling couldn’t have been in better hands.
>> Thanks also to the crew at R/S Sir Henry, who took care of our stuff, and also Tone and Ronald who we met at Slettnes, and who visited Erling in the hospital and used their family and network to get Erling’s papers and credit cards from Mehamn to Tromsø. Thanks also to Olav Myrslett and MiniExpressThermo who brought our kayaks down to Oslo free charge, and to Inge and Einar who brought the rest of our stuff back to Oslo as they returned after having successfully reached Grense Jakobselv.
We are now both back in Oslo, and starting to adjust to “normal” life, getting updates from family and friends, “logging on” both literally and figuratively.
….. and we have cut our hair! Which brings the trip to a definite end, and this epilogue to the last round of thanks:
>> First, thanks to all of you who have followed the trip on this blog and on Facebook. For likes, comments, advice and suggestions, it’s been an inspiration and encouragement.
>> Then last and most importantly, thanks to all of you who made this trip such an adventure for us, all of you from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Russia, who welcomed us and helped us along the way. There are hundreds of you who did us favors big and small. You are the core of the core of our adventure! THANKS!
>> And very last but not least, thanks to the home support group, Margaret, Karianne and Morten for logistics, resupplies, blog publishing and helping us feel safe knowing that if help was needed it would be at hand.
>> And then very, very last Stein thanks Erling and Erling thanks Stein for excellent cooperation and solidarity during five eventful months.