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Skarð Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 06/26/2013
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Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

At this cache location you will visit the remains of the village Skarð. An village that has been inhabited for hundreds of years but that now is abandoned and left to go back to mother nature.
There is an rather long walk demanded to get to the remains of Skarð since there are no roads, helicopters or boats going there. More about that at the end of the descreption.

Skarðs history

The history of Skarð is young compared to the rest of the settlement of the Faroes. The first records of people living in Skarð is from 1584. So there has only been people living here for about 450 years. And one the reason of that will you encounter going here.
How Skarð looked like in the 16th century is nothing I know about. But at the beginning of the 20th century there was 5 family’s living here in one house each. Today there is only the stone walls that are left, but according to the pictures the houses was made out of wood and ought to have been strong and comfortable.

The living

To us modern humans, that are depending on electricity and internet connections, it's difficult to imagine how it was to be living at this remote place. The only way to get to and from the village was to walk along the shore from Haraldssund, or over the mountain to Kunoy. Looking up the hill this way do seem impossible to take, but that was the way the adults took on Sundays to get to the church in Kunoy. And there was of course possible to get here by bout. But since there are no good places to land a boat this ought to have been difficult in an high sea.
Besides fishing, there was of course sheep to take care of. Maybe even one or two cows to get milk from. And the people much likely grow potatoes in the summer.


The catastrophe

1913 there was 23 people living in Skarð. The oldest was 82 and the youngest 1. Of these 23 inhabitants 13 was adults in working age, and out them 7 was men. And that was these 7 that stood for all the village incomes by fishing.

The catastrophe that turned out to be end of Skarð occurred on 23 December 1913. As usual the men went out in an small boat to catch fish in the morning, and this did two others boats from Norddeble and Kunoy also. But the weather change rapidly, and soon strong winds was blowing in from north-east. When no boats had returned in the evening an alarm was sent out. But at that time there was of course no radios to make contact with, or any sea rescue to send out.
The night passed and since no boats had returned on Christmas eve it was assumed that all three boats had gone under. And since no survivals was found the following days all the men was considered to be dead. A total of 19 men on three different boats had been taken by the sea that day.
For Skarð this was an catastrophe since all 7 men, adults and youths, in the village had been on the boat. Now the remaining 16 inhabitants, that was children, women and one old bedridden man, was to manage without the men that stood for the income by fishing. At this time that was impossible. And altough relatives from other villages come and helped one by one the remaining people left Skarð and moved to Kunoy or Haraldssund instead.
The last person left Skarð on 26 January 1919. It was 89 year old Anna Kathrina who was carried down to the boat. And since then Skarð has been abandoned.

This was actually the third time that an boat from Skarð was lost at sea. And the tird time that Anna Kathrina had lost an relative.
The first accident occurd 1835, and then all six men in the village died. That time new men moved in and the village live continued. Anna Kathrinas father in law disappeared that day.
The second was in 1872, and then three men died. One was Anna Kathrinas husband.
And at the third and final accident Anna Kathrina lost her son.

Skarð today

Today is only the stone foundations left of all the buildings, together with some bricks and a few smaller iron doors. What happened to all the wood is a mystery, since nothing is seen today. Probably was all the houses dismantled and rebuilt on new places. Otherwise some parts of the wood would still be visible today.

Getting here

There are two ways to get to Skarð. An hard and difficult and an less hard.
The hard and difficult start at the village Kunoy. From there you haft to ascend the 800 meter high mountain, and then descend on the other side. It's strongly recommended to walk this way together with an guide. Talk to the tourist information in Klaksvik about that.
The less hard way is to walk from Haraldssund. The distance from the Harbour is 7 km, and estimate with 2 hours before you reach Skarð. There is an path, more or less visible. The path follows the shoreline all the way, So if you walk close to the shore you will be on the right track. I have added an waypoint where there are an ladder over an fence. From that point the path gets more clear.
There are a number of creeks to cross on the way. Some small and others bigger and much slippery. Use appropriate footwear and take it easy.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Haqre fznyyre fgbarf va na pbeare znqr ol gjb ovttre fgbarf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)