Saudafjorden


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Saudafjorden extends 10.5 miles (17km) between the towns of Sand and Sauda through several-thousand-foot mountains with many waterfalls. At the head, the popular Saga Trail extends from Sauda to 3,054ft (931m) Hovlandsnuten. Stone steps newly laid by Nepalese Sherpas lead to the summit, with panoramic views to Saudafjorden and the surrounding mountains.

After a 22-mile run from Kvaloy in Vindafjorden through Sandsfjorden, we anchored in sheltered Nevoyvagen at the mouth of Saudafjorden, then ran the tender up to the head to hike Hovlandsnuten. After, we experienced the exciting turbulence at the Sonna tailrace and made a short run up the Suldalslagen River at Sand to the Sandsfossen waterfall.

Below are highlights from July 25th, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

7/25/2020
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Norvind
The cargo ship Norvind anchored at the mouth of Sandsfjorden. The vessel has a built-in front-end loader that slides fore and aft on rails.
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Norsk Stein Jelsa
The Norsk Stein Jelsa is the largest quarry in Europe, with an annual production of 10 million tons of aggregate used mainly for building materials. The quarry operates a 90-ton excavator, two 100-ton wheel loaders and five 100-ton dump trunks, and the plant’s primary gyrator crusher can produce 3,000 tons per hour.
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Sandsfjordbrua
The striking bridge Sandsfjordbrua was completed in 2015, replacing a ferry connection across Sandsfjorden.
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Sandsfjorden
Reflections in the water in Sandsfjorden just north of the Sandsfjordbrua.
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Fjordfart
The high-speed ferry Fjordfart doing 29 knots en route to Stavanger from Sauda at the head of Saudafjorden.
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Nevoyvagen
Moored at Nevoyvagen to run the tender to Saudo and hike Hovlandsnuten.
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Saudo
A half-hour, 15-mile tender run brought us from the anchorage at Nevoyvagen to mountain-encircled Sauda at the head of Saudafjorden.
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Tender
The tender tied off at the Sauda Motorbatforening marina while we hike to Hovlandsnuten.
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Pre-Hike
The Hovlandsnuten trailhead is about a half-hour walk from the marina at Sauda. The way was mostly through residential areas, but partly on a nice wooded path.
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Trailhead
At 117 ft (35 m), we’ve gained a little elevation in reaching the trailhead for Hovlandsnuten. But we have to climb to an elevation of 3,054ft (931m) over 4.4 miles (7.1km), so we’ve hardly gotten started.
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Stone Table
Lovely stone table with a view a short way along the trail.
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Fairytale Forest
Passing the entrance to the Fairytale Forest, a children’s park filled with carvings of fairytale characters.
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Goal
A view to our goal of Hovlandsnuten, at center, from altitude 1028 ft (313 m). “Only” 2,026ft (618m) to go.
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Highland Cattle
These Highland Cattle stood their ground as we passed, and seemed a bit aggressive. We were reminded of the field of aggressive bulls we’d accidentally crossed in Ireland.
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Boardwalk
Jennifer loves boardwalks. This one on the trail to Hovlandsnuten is through a field at at altitude 1423 ft (433 m).
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Stone Fence
After the boardwalk, the trail passes along a scenic stone fence by a weather-worn traditional hut, with snow still on the hills beyond.
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Getting Closer
At altitude 1671 ft (509 m), we can clearly see the hut atop Hovlandsnuten.
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Runner
We always feel a little silly when we’re tired on a trail and someone runs past on their way up. Hovlandsnuten is one of several major hiking trails in Norway that is the site of an annual run to the top. James at the top looked like he’d run all the way. :)
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Sherpa Steps
A highlight of the trail to Hovlandsnuten is the fabulous steps that Nepalese Sherpas built in 2014. The stone slabs are huge and were all set in place in by hand.
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Snow
We’re slightly above the snow level near the Hovlandsnuten summit, even in late July.
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Summit
Pooped, but happy, at the 3,054ft (931m) summit of Hovlandsnuten. It took us about 3 hours to reach the top from the tender.
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Hut
The modern hut atop Hovlandsnuten was completed in 2016.
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Hut Interior
Fabulous view from the Hovlandsnuten hut.
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Lunch
Lunch with a sweeping view to Saudafjorden from the summit of Hovlandsnuten.
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Hikers
The Hovlandsnuten summit is popular, with dozens on the trail as we ascended and descended.
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Roof Tile
This roofing material is common in Norway and looks quite durable and attractive.
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Sonna Power Station
The original Sonna Power Station, completed in 1913, was the first of several generations of power stations that make up the Sonna hydroelectric system at Sauda.
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Sonna Tailrace
When the Sonna hydropower upgrade project was started in 2006, the 265 MW facility was one of the largest power projects in Norway. The upgrade involved no dam construction. Instead, a system of tunnels was built to channel the flow, including the nearly mile-long tailrace tunnel that empties 100ft below the Saudafjorden. The tailrace outflow generates massive upwellings that are exciting to experience in a small tender: https://youtu.be/su0jtpE6xJ4.
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Sagelva Waterfall
The Sagelva River waterfall flows into Saudafjorden near the Sonna tailrace. Near the bottom left, several people are sunbathing and swimming in the pools (click image for a larger view). That water has to be pretty cold.
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Hovlandsnuten
Looking back to the 3,054ft (931m) summit of Hovlandsnuten, slightly left of center, from the tender. We’re always kind of amazed how much ground can by covered by foot with a bit of time.
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Svandalsfossen
The impressive Svandalsfossen waterfall has a total fall of 590ft (180m). Stairs have been built along the right side to allow visitors to walk from the road up to the base of the upper falls or down to fjord level.
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Hangandvikfossen
The Hangandvikfossen waterfall has a total fall of 1,000ft (305m) and is best seen by boat from the fjord.
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Hustveitelva Waterfall
Waterfall where the Hustveitelva runs into Saudafjorden.
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Sand
The town of Sand on the east side of Saudafjorden, just north of our anchorage at Nevoyvagen.
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Suldalslagen River
The Suldalslagen River empties into Saudafjorden through a scenic gorge.
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Sandsfossen
The Sandsfossen waterfall along the Suldalslagen River.
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Anchorage View
The view to the beautiful anchorage at Nevoyvagen on a calm evening on our forward, aft, starboard and port cameras (clockwise from top left).
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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