One of the primary reasons we hike is to get a more astonishing view of the surroundings around us. With this objective in mind, we prepared ourselves for yet another activity : the hike to Langfoss waterfalls. Selected by CNN in 2011 as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, Langfoss is located in Akrafjorden in Etne. With a height of 612 meters, making it Norway’s fifth highest waterfalls, its waters fall harshly down to the fjord, under the bridge in E134.
Unfortunately, it was raining already for a few days when we got to Etne. Stubborn as we were, we did not let the bad weather to stop us from hiking up. When we thought that the rain has stopped, we carried on with our plan. But we have miscalculated everything, and even though we were able to reach the top, the result was everything except wonderful! Here is what happenned.
OUR WAY TO LANGFOSS
After our weeklong stay in Karmoy Island, we decided to drive to Odda. It was a great coincidence that Langfoss lies along the route, so we thought we might as well make a stop-over here. It was a good spontaneous action, as we were rewarded with a sight we would never forget! On the way to Langfoss, we had to drive through at least 3 toll ports and passed at least 4 tunnels, the longest of which was 7.8 km. before arriving at Langfoss parking . About 3 kilometers before, we could already see the waterfalls. There was as small kiosk at the parking area. After inquiring, the woman at the kiosk informed us that we could stay the night in Markhus which meant that we had to drive 5 kilometers back.
HIKING ON TOP OF LANGFOSS WATERFALL
The next day, it was a little after 10 o’çlock when we returned to the Langfoss parking area. It was a bit busy with passers by, all of them admiring the majesty of the waterfalls. It was cloudy then. From the parking, we had already a very grand view of the majestic waterfalls, feeling the waters on our faces, feeling the cold it brought with it, and sensing the wonders of it all. But we were not contented. We wanted more, that’s why we were still doing the hike, hoping to get a better understanding and views of the falls. First we followed the path below going down to the fjord. Special stones found on the mountains are displayed on the pathrails. There are also a number of picknick tables in the area, and a long wooden stairs on going down to the fjord. Since we still looked fresh, we took some pictures with the waterfalls, before we begin our hike. We were glad we did that, as four hours later, we were soaking wet because of the rain.
It was beginning to rain, so we decided to wait until it cleared up a bit. Luckily we did not have to wait too long. Otherwise, we would have blasted the hiking trip at all! After drinking coffee, at around 11.30, we left for our waterfall hike. It was supposed to be a one and a half hour hike, going up. We walked under a tunnel which brought us immediately to the other side of E134, and at the beginning of the trail. The trail was good to follow, with visible red painted marks on the trees and at the stones.
The first 200 meters was immediately steep, and after about half hour hike, we were rewarded with a magnificent view of the fjord and its landscape. It was still clear then. We were feeling a bit warm, so we took off our vests at this point; and Hans even his t-shirt. Going up, at 300 meters high and an hour hike, there was a separate way to the viewpoint. There was a warning board to not stay too close on the waterfalls as it is dangerous! It was about 50 meters off the trail walk. From there we had a very close up look of the falls, with its waters cascading violently down on the rocks going down to the fjord. We could feel the drizzles of the waters on our faces. It was a sight to behold! And cold!
AT THE HIKE’S ENDPOINT
After taking some needed pictures, we retraced our steps back to the trail again. We saw two other hikers ahead of us, whom we later passed over. They were also Dutch, who were not so prepared with the hike, because they thought it was only a 1.5 hour hike! Anyway, at this point, the weather was getting worse, there was thick mist and rains began to pour that we had to wear our rainjackets. The path was also getting more difficult. At about 400 meters high, there was a signboard of encouragement : That we are almost there! So we kept on going. Finally, after a 2-hour hike, sometimes crawling, we reached the end of the hike! We were standing 640 meter high above the ground! And our reward for the strenuous hike: very thick fog over the Langfoss waterfalls and the fjord! We couldn’t see anything! AAHHh!!! And it was really raining!!! There were two mailboxes placed on this place, where successful hikers could sign in their names. We did so! A little higher was a heap of stones piled together. I climbed up to that point and had better view of the foggy surrounding. I made pictures of Hans and the waterfalls and the whole surroundings in the fog. The two other Dutch couple also arrived. We had a short chat with each other.
A little while, it began to clear up. But it ended there. We did not pursue our plan to hike 300 meters higher to see the monstrous lake where all the waters from the waterfall come from. We decided to hike down. In normal circumstances is the hike down always easier than hiking up. But not in this case. As it was raining, the path was wet, muddy and slippery. We had to take extra caution in walking, that we would not slip and hurt ourselves. It was like walking on thin ice, or in land mines! We always said, better to be extra careful than not! After 1.5 hour, we finally reached the bottom of the trail, crossed the road again via the tunnel, back to our mobilehome. We were wet! And tired! And hungry! After tidying up, we indulged ourselves with delicious peasoup. After an hour rest, we drove further to our next destination, Odda.
ADDED BONUS – THE LATEFOSS WATERFALLS
We thought our waterfall adventure that day is finished. But after driving just a little over 20 kilometers, we passed by another monstrous waterfalls again – the Latefoss waterfalls. The Latefoss waterfalls are two falls separated by a big body of land mass, making them twin falls. The falls drop 165 meters. One doesn’t need to do a tedious hike to see this wonderful attraction, as it is easily accessible by road, being situated along R 13. Coming from Langfoss, we had to cross a small concrete bridge to go to the small parking area. From there, there is a marvellous view of this spectacular wonder of nature! The waters from the falls flows violently under the concrete bridge, going down to the river. It was a sight to behold! Just like a ferocious monster, a wild beast! The sound of the falls was a bit deafening, the outbursts of the water makes one wet. The river where the water end up to is equally wild too! Though it was raining a bit, that didn’t stop the many people to have a short stop over and wonder the Latefoss!
Our hike up to Langfoss waterfall was quite an experience. After all, one doesn’t have to hike at all anymore, because even along the road, one has already the magnificent view of the falls. But Hans and I had developed the habit of pushing our limits..of wanting to see more…and knowing that a better view is waiting for us up there, it kept us motivated. It was just a pity that the weather was not good. It was not good for the last days. And even that did not stop us from doing what we wanted to do. And again, even if the reward was not so astonishing, we have tested our capabilities once more. On to the next challenge!