Gabriel Nivera
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Pictures & Conversations

A collection of images and the stories behind their creation.

Henrik Kølleskov

Norðradalur, Faroe Islands

(grader.definite.amber)

I had one goal on this trip, to see the Faroe Islands through the eyes of the people who live here.  As a tourist its easy to create a bucket list of must see attractions and photo-spots; check them off the list and say "I know this place."  Doing this you miss out on meeting locals and getting pulse of the place. Having been fortunate to work on tourism campaigns in the past where I was given unfettered access to amazing locations and introduced to memorable individuals, I wanted to create that same experience for this trip.  I sought out locals who could show me the real gems of the Faroe Islands and share their stories.

Henrik was the first contact I met.  We had to meet up right after we landed as he was flying to Angola the next day where he works as an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) supervisor.  Although he is not Faroese in descent, Henrik has called the Faroe Islands home since 1994 when he was stationed here as part of his service in the Danish military.  Retiring with the rank of  Sergeant after 17 years of service, Henrik has settled in the Faroe Islands with his wife of 17 years Linda, daughter Rigmor (17) and son Sigmund (15).

Henrik loves living in the Faroe Islands, its "unspoilt nature, varied weather, and easy going pace of life" is perfect for the adventurous outdoor lover that he is.  Henrik participates in many sports, he recently finished a road cycle trip from Faroe Islands to Paris, France with Team Rynkeby Faroe Islands (a charity raising funds for children's cancer research and the affected families).  In February Henrik completed the 50 mile course of the Salomon Hammer Trail Winter Edition, dubbed "Denmark's hardest trail run".  Henrik's philosophy while training is "Go beyond and further. I love pushing the boundaries, stepping out of the box."

We spent a good 4 hours with Henrik, he took us through the lower and upper valleys, crossed waterfalls, over the sheer rock ridges, forded streams and brooks, around small lakes filled with brown trout, and eventually to the edge of the cliffs where we had a spectacular view of Vagar.  Henrik did double duty as a model and a sherpa.   The higher and farther we got he started accumulating and carrying more of our equipment.  My legs and lungs were screaming for mercy, but I kept going, encouraged by Henrik's assurances to just make it past the next marker.  We needed water, but having no time to pick up supplies we had none on hand.  Henrik led us to a swiftly flowing stream, laid on his belly, and brought his mouth to the water.  We quickly followed his example and drank our fill.  It was not too long after that it started to get dark, our signal to get out of the valley and back to the vehicles.  We parted ways, us to our hotel to check-in, unpack, grab dinner, and finally get some sleep, Henrik to his family to enjoy one last dinner before he headed of to Angola for 5 weeks.