We made it to Trondheim

We made it, 29 days after leaving Oslo and 643km later we arrived at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. 

I am not sure who the random person in the white top is… But a lovely place and we got in free as we are proper pilgrims and everything.

This was the description board from our first view point above Trondheim, I can’t say that we “fell down to our knees praying” but it was nice to get there.

The last few days from were a mixture of road, the picture below was pretty much our view for most of one day and lovely lakes and forests. The sun even came out for the last day and a half – where has it been for two weeks?

Along the way we passed some fantastic sights… Like this double toilet by the riverπŸ€” We decided not to use it.

An Elk’s head in this fishing hut πŸ‘πŸŽ£

We also slept in a church village hall on our own and they had an octopus shoe dryer which was welcome after an afternoon in the bogs, not that toilet above… Marshy bogs.

We found lovely places to have lunch and shelter from the rain, more peanut butter, pate and cheese and wraps.

We also managed three more wild camps and I only had to get up twice one night to heard away the cows who surrounded our tent at 12.30 and 6.30, it was only raining a bit though so not too bad. 🌧🌧

We walked past massive ant hills…

And we brewed up many cups of tea along the way when it was a bit cold and damp. 

Norway is a lovely country the trail was quiet and peaceful. That connection with nature and relaxing into a nomadic lifestyle  for just a short period of time is a great tonic for life. πŸ’™

Lastly this is Fred’s shadow in the sun on the last day…. Yeah!

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Dovre Mountain Range

We walked across the mountain range in the Dovre mountains. 90% of the land is over 900m and the sun in Norway has decided to disappear in the last week so it was at times a bit chilly and happy we have our woolies with us.

It took us about four days to cross the range and it was a welcome to change to the ups and downs of the previous weeks walking.

Lots of lovely views and rainy nights in the tent along with boggy terrain meant damp and smelly socks…

Here is Fred in a refuge where we ate a hot lunch to warm us up… Thai Curry with couscous, smashing stuff. We walked a long day to stay in this really cute little hut.

Fancy trail over the bogs!

The high point of the trail at 1339m on top of Hardbakken, it was a side trip so we dumped out bags at the pass and I had a great time running back down.


Places to sleep on The St Olav Trail


It’s always an important part of the walk, eat, sleep routine. We don’t book accomodation ahead usually as we have a tent and things can change pretty quickly on the trail. Sometimes that means putting the tent up in the woods, sometimes that means finding brilliant mountain huts like Eldhuset in the picture above. It just been renovated at an abandoned old moutain farm at Ovre Skar on a shelf 600m up above the Gudbrandsdalen Valley.


We didn’t know anything about it but met a mountain guide for the area earlier in the day and he gave us the padlock code. There wasn’t another person about when we arrived about 8.30 pm, we couldn’t believe how cosy this place was!

It was fully equipped, water from the spring outside, gas cooker, kettle, even proper crockery and cutlery. I resisted the temptation to put the fire on. Cost was about a tenner each which you transfer to their bank, it made us very happy. It even had a bloody toilet on site (yep, with loo roll) so no hole digging for us that night. Not for the faint hearted mind, the drop wasn’t a big one!

Nice view from the dining room table, Spag Bol for dinner.


Then there are other options to huts and a tent. What about a Gapahuk? These are shelters out in the forests, some are mentioned some aren’t. We bumped into a chap called Kai at this one, he was our Norwegian mountain hero, big rucksack, big knife, big woolly  jumper, big beard. We had bumped into him a few times, he was moving on to walk a couple more hours at night… Does it ever get dark here? We decided to stay, it would be rude not too.

It was really comfortable here and another great find.


There are other nights where there isn’t anything so you have to pick a spot to pitch the tent which isn’t perfect, like this one pitched at 10 pm by the train track. Yep, it was noisy!

Or ones in the forests where you have to put your mosquito net on when brewing up. Nice look eh!


… Or just pleasant ones on a campsite.

Is cheese in a tube a good idea?


I guess we will find out.

On Sunday we had a day off, classes as a ‘zero’ in long distance thru-hiker speak. What that means to us is eating a big buffet breakfast (not the fish paste) and then brewing up with our gas stove on the bedroom. (I know that is strange but these foreigners don’t supply kettles in the room, I think that is what Nigel Farage was saying)

We then eat the food Fred stole from breakfast (OK, I stole it) and thankfully watched the torrential rain outside, good timing.We walked over a nice moutain section the next day (after visiting Spar) not a Spar ‘The Spar’ and ate some of our supplies in this lovely shelter at Eina-Fjord.

We then watched England lose to Iceland, a holiday highlight so far. We were even offered free beer 🍻which we refused… πŸ€”

Nice section through forestWildlife watch, we have seen Moose, deer, badger, red squirrels and snakes so far. We will try and get photos for future blogs. Something to look forward to eh!

It has rained lots in the last few days which means sheltering lots, this time with eggs in a shelter which I think was a bin store. We liked it and will take anything for butties in the relative dry.


We have walked mainly on the western side of Lake Mjosa on our way to Lillehammer but crossed over on the paddle steamer Skibladner to Hamer where we had a parcel waiting with food which I then had to run about finding as it was still at the post office but not the one I was told it was at originally. πŸ˜‘πŸ‘Ž Oh well it was nice to have a run for a change.

The eastern side of the lake is much like the western, as Fred says nice enough but a bit too much road, we think there will be less coming up.

There are some beautiful pine forests, much lighter and greener than the commercial dark plantations you find in places like Scotland. This was just after a kind of motorway junction with a coop mega store which we spent too much time in. (Nice toilets) It was raining and they did have kebab freeze dried ready meals. πŸ‘πŸ’™

We have a pilgrim passport which we get stamped at various places and we are doing pretty well there, nice to have a focus eh! πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

We are now in Lillehammer, it’s pretty small seeing as the Olympics were here, the ski jumps look cool. We are stopping in the train stain which sounds strange but is brilliant and is a kind of Hotel/Hostel. It also means I can look at trains and buses which rocks my boat. πŸ‘€πŸ‘“πŸšˆπŸš‡πŸšŒ

Today has been more sitting about, the world of sport has gone a bit mad, this guy my ultimate hero won his 27th Tour de France stage today so I am happy. 

We have shopped for the next few days, Fred now knows the car number plate system for Norway, she did keep asking people and frankly I think they were worried about her and couldn’t answer her question, so we looked if up on Wikipedia.. Problem solved, happy Fred = happy me. πŸš—πŸš™

This is a normal one, green background means commercial vehicles. Got it? Right…

Frozen Pizza tonight, from the shop. πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ• 

Oslo to Lillehammer

There has been a lot of road walking and churches so far on this walk. Food and drink is super expensive, a cup a soup costs about Β£1.50 and a glass of beer about Β£8. We keep being told that about 4 people each day set off to complete this pilgrimage but we have only met one person so far.
Norway has a lot of farms, the land is very green and lush and there are beautiful lakes. Farms are everywhere and generations live on them, each in their own building.

The Pilgrim Road to TrondheimΒ 


πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄ We have started our walk to Trondheim from Oslo. It’s 643 km and we have about a month to complete it. It’s always a test of endurance and mind the first few days of a long walk, getting back into carrying everything you need for a month, relaxing into the routine of walk, eat, sleep. It sounds simple but takes a bit of adjustment from city life. 


First impressions. Oslo is a very cool city with prices to match. πŸΊπŸ˜©πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’΅ Β£8 a pint so we have made a sensible decision to have a dry walk. Food and accommodation is also very expensive, we do have our tent which we have used and Airbnb is a great option at other times. There is also pilgrim accommodation on the massive farms they have in Norway which we hope to use. 

We visited the Fram Polor Museum in Oslo. Here is me ‘all done up’ with Roald Amundsen…

There are LOTS of mosquitos! I have as usual been bitten to an inch of sanity… That is my excuse. Here is what they look like, big ones they are.

We haven’t seen any other walkers, just one cyclist. 🚴 The trail is very well marked and we have a decent guide book and maps so route finding is pretty simple so far. The trail it self is pretty varied but a bit too much road for our liking, hopefully this will change as we make ourselves north.

Being a prilgrimage there are loads of churches to rest at and eat Nutella with a spoon from the jar. Food as always is a big thing for us and so far it is only the brown sweet cheese that had disturbed us. πŸ€”


There are some nice shelters called  Gapahuks in the forests which we hope to use to sleep in from time to time and also to shelter from the weather which is pretty changeable. Today we are resting, it is raining pretty hard, no shops are open on Sunday and we were going to run out of food before the next two day section, so simple decision made.
Great wild camp with a ready made platform for cooking. We had a decent night with only the sheep disturbing us.


 

The next two days take us to Lake Mjosa which I think is Norway’s biggest lake. We then take a paddle steamer over to Hamar and join up with the eastern section of the walk and two more days to Lillehammer.