We parked at the end of a snow covered road, slung our rucksacks on our backs, grabbed plastic sacks filled with duvets and set off on an extremely snowy trail. We had a 700m walk through deep snow to the Guvåghytta, a remote wilderness cabin in Vesterålen. Our hosts were holidaying abroad so without any work to do we escaped to this tranquil spot for a few nights.
I was expecting really basic conditions; a dormitory style room with no privacy, dirty beds and possibly other visitors. So it was a pleasant surprise when we unlocked the padlock and stepped into a beautiful rustic hut with natural wood walls and a log burner in the centre of the open plan living room. There were three bedrooms with bunk beds and an open attic with more beds so we all had our own space, and the hut even had duvets and pillows! We ran back outside to check out the other huts, one of which contained canoes, row boats and extra accommodation while the other had a compost loo and a sauna. A rocky beach was right out front and we had mountain views across the fjord, it was just perfect!
There wasn’t any running water or sink so we grabbed two buckets and walked through the snow to a sort of waterhole. It was in a hexagonal shaped structure and the wooden door had a plank across it which we opened to reveal a spooky, dark area with rocks and clear water. A sign hung down from the ceiling to say the water was tested regularly and safe to drink so we filled our buckets and headed back to make dinner.
Snowstorms swooped around our hut all day and night, occasionally drifting away and leaving a sky filled with stars. Luckily when we looked outside it was clear and the aurora was starting up so we all ran out without grabbing hats or gloves. We didn’t have time to mess about so we just climbed up a hill trying to gain height and get a view. Snow was spilling into my boots and my torch was absolutely pathetic but we made it up to the top only to find that the fish farm in the fjord was lit up at night with horrible neon lights. It was such an eyesore but we managed to take some photos in the opposite direction. It was a nice aurora but it was quickly covered by another incoming snowstorm so we headed back down to play cards by the fire.
Halfway through our card game we noticed the sky was clear again and the aurora was dancing. This time we just stayed on our decking and the show got better and better. It was moving really fast and totally filling the sky so we were all shouting random directions where it was going crazy “On the right!! No wait, look to the left!!”. Green lines were darting across the sky with purple edges and then the sky completely erupted above us. It was like a cauldron with green and pink raining down towards us and swirling in such an unreal way. It’s almost impossible to explain what it was like but the 6 of us were going mad screaming and cheering at the unbelievable show. I tried to photograph it but it was moving so fast that I couldn’t focus my camera and I was in a panic about trying to witness it with my own eyes too, so there’s some quite blurry photos below to give you a slight idea of what it looked like. Clouds soon rolled in again so we headed back into our cozy cabin to warm up.