Did you know you can go rafting with children in Southern Norway? With daughter Roos by her side, Dutch blogger Fieke documented the thrilling journey down the Otra River. We loved her story so much that we have translated the blog that she wrote (in Dutch) about their experience.
– My enthusiastic but nervous daughter stays by my side all morning. She keeps asking how much longer we have to wait. This afternoon has finally arrived for Roos and I to go rafting in Southern Norway. Our first time rafting was just two months ago in the Czech Republic and looking at the Otra River we can already see the difference. “Are we going down here?”, shouts Roos over the gushing water. I nod yes. It’s hard to imagine what we’re about to do.
Read the original blog in Dutch: Zuid-Noorwegen: Raften met kinderen op de Otra rivier.
We arrive at TrollAktiv, an outdoor sports center offering a range of fun activities. There’s rock climbing, mountain biking and trail walks plus kayaks and canoes to take down to the water. Of course it’s the rafting which is the real highlight and exactly what we’re trying out today. Gathering on the terrace, we meet our guide and friendly rafting buddies, two Norwegians and one German family. That makes nine for today’s adventure!
Loaded up with all the gear we need, I can’t help but notice the tension rising in Roos. Putting on the wetsuit is tricky and she’s afraid we’ll miss the bus to the water. I reassure her that no one is leaving without us and we manage to get ready quickly. We grab a paddle and board the bus, arriving a short time later south of the Byglandsfjord. Our team of nine carries the boat to the water and one by one we get in. It seems we won’t be rafting alone, there is always a kayak with a second guide accompanying us for out safety. A comforting thought.
Short interview with Roos and her mother on their experience in Southern Norway.
Starting on the open and calm water, we’re taught the basics of rafting. This includes where to sit in the boat, how to row and the important commands of the guide. We practice how to ‘get down’ and ‘get up’ in preparation for the rapids and what do if you fall in the water. Even as I translate, I can tell that Roos does not understand everything that is explained in English. Given her already nervous state you can understand why she got a little teary. The guide reassures Rose, giving her the confidence boost she needs.
After practicing, it’s time for the real thing. We paddle hard and fast to the first descent. Just before we reach the rapids our guide yells “get down!” Moments later we’re all soaking wet and I see a great big smile on my daughters face. The stress has turned into pure joy. Our guide leads us down the river past beautiful scenery and thrilling rapids. The further we go, the more we feel like we’ve accomplished something very special. With the end of the trail in sight, Roos is given the chance to guide our raft to shore. She really made the terms “forward” “backwards” and “get down” her own! It’s hard to wipe the smiles off our faces as we finish our amazing rafting adventure.
What to know about rafting with children at TrollAktiv
Children from 6 years can take part in family rafting at TrollAktiv. The materials and amenities at TrollAktiv are great and the guides are helpful and friendly. The entire rafting trip takes about 3 hours and costs 37 euros per person (price level 2016).
TrollAktiv is open from April to October and is located an hour’s drive from Kristiansand. In addition to all the outdoor activities, they offer overnight accommodation on the terrain.
More information about TrollAktiv can be found on their website.
Read more blogs from Fieke at KidsErOpUit (in Dutch).