So, after more than 6000 km and after about three and a half years, the Russian Scandinavian Kayak Expedition is at journey’s end.
We set out with four goals
1. Return safe. 2. Return as friends. 3. Enjoy the adventure as it unfolds. 4. Complete the circumnavigation of Scandinavia
So far we have a 100% score on points 1 to 3. And now that we have reached Stavanger Stein and Erling have also paddled the entire planned route together, even if Stavanger to Tønsberg was done in 2015 and 2016 before RSKE got underway.
That will do for point 4!
Stein has summed it up very well on his Facebook page (I am incompetent to copy the link here, but will ask Stein to post it to RSKE’s Facebook page)
The main point: The friendship endured and strengthened.
This also means that RSKE without Stein is not RSKE.
So end of adventure.
Beginning of a new one: Back to Oslo. BTO
“Back to Oslo” is Erling and Karianne bringing their kayaks back to Oslo paddle stroke for paddle stroke.
That is an ambition born in Tromsø back in July/August 2018. As reported on the blog then, RSKE almost failed on Point 1: return safe, when Erling got gravely ill at Kinnarodden.
Efficient evacuation and very competent treatment at the University Hospital Northern Norway in Tromsø saved Erling’s life and secured a full recovery.
In such situations you think about many things. One thing Erling dreamt about was to fully recover and be able to paddle the kayak all the way back to Oslo.
So that is next. With the same focus, safety, friendship, enjoyment and in fourth place: Get to Oslo. Now or later. Safety first.
Safety is also influenced by Stein not being on the team. Karianne and Erling are (relatively experienced) amateurs, but Stein is a professional paddler giving dozens of courses in safe paddling every year. We are still a strong team, but not as strong as we were with Stein.
We’ll take care and see how far we’ll get before about 25 July.
We will continue the blog as “Back to Oslo”