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After a comfortable, clean sleep I was ready for the the typical buffet breakfast lodges like Haukeliseter offer. The huge displays include all the usual items plus many traditional dishes like goats cheese and pickled herrings in various exotic sauces. The breakfast at Haukeliseter was no dissapointment.
After that I was shown the washing machine and then settled down for a comfortable day indoors writing, reading and socializing. Haukeliseter is one of the oldest tourist lodges in Norway. It is also one of the busiest due to its location on the road. As such it is the gateway to Hardangervidda to the north and Setersheiene to the south.
Its original old buildings, now gone, were initially a seter or summer farm which also offered food and lodging for travellers and traders crossing the often inhospitable mountains between Telemark and Setersdal valley inn the east and the west coast. It serverd this purpose in the 17 and 18 centuries. In the 19 century it was expanded and by 1888 the first of the present buildings were built. It as later acquired by the Stavanger Mountain Touring Club
It of couse continued to offer hospitality to travellers, but its focus was more on mountain walkers and skiiers. Its old buildings are seeped in history and tradition. The logs in its halls have seen the likes of Amundsen who trained on Hardangervidda before his Polar exploits. Old wooden skis, wolf and bear skins and hundred year old farming utensils line its timbers.
Now an important arterial road passes its door. This road is often blocked for a day or two at at a time in the winter and frequently at night. On these occasions the lodge returns to its original purpose offering shelter to travellers.
In addition to travellers, mountain walkers and skiiers, it is also a kiters paradise now. Today up to 15 kiters were out in the strong breeze whizzing across the lake on their snowboards performing acrobatics and making 30 metre jumps. Some of kiters seemed to work here and used all their spare time being dragged along at terrific speed. It seems to be a very skillful sport as controlling these massive kites seems no easy job.
The weather forecast seems poor for the next week so I think the 6 days of the next stage, stage 3, from here to Finse, will take longer than that. The Hardangerdda is a huge plateau some 1200 metres high and when the weather is bad and the wind blows it is best to be inside. It seems there are a couple of young Norwegians going that way tomorrow so I might have company, which would be great.