Between a Wild Coast rewilding in South Africa and his time spent standing in magnificent rivers for days on end as a salmon guide in Norway, Nic Schwerdtfeger has time to think. Photos. Álvaro G Santillán

I thumb through the pages of the diary/logbook left on the desk of the cabin. The earliest entry is from 1983, a well-documented account of two Norwegians who had walked in here multiple times a day. It describes all the materials and tools to work, live and build a structure in this remote valley. I drift off trying to visualise the changes in the valley over time and what a behemoth task building this cabin in this location would be.

The cabin

You can tell it was built solidly. Stout. Weatherfast. I imagine it reflected the resolve of the builders. The foundations firm beneath a shaggy veil of fluorescent green moss. A small wood-fire stove in the corner feeds its iron pipe through the roof. Two single beds at staggered heights occupy the opposite corner. With barely enough space to fit two weary wanderers for a limited time, today this wooden shelter cabin will host myself and Álvaro. 

There’s a bench and rod rack outside made with upcycled pieces of fallen trees from the steep, thickly-forested bank the cabin is perched on. The small fireplace on the rocky ledge makes for a fine outdoor kitchen. Just a few metres away an absolute pearl of a river that can hold wild, chrome fish runs for a few secluded kilometres through the forest before making its way right past the cabin. I conclude my reading of the Svaerfosshytte (Big Waterfall Cabin) diary and put it back in place. I reach for the roll of fluorocarbon leader in my wader pocket. The river glistens with a golden whiskey colour. It seems like a fairy tale.

Read the rest of Cabin Fever in issue 42. It’s free!

Leave a comment



Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the latest to your inbox!