DAY 105 - 108, NPL

Day 105 - Happy ending

To wake up in a bed, is something I hope I will never again take for granted. The same goes for eating breakfast in a warm room, warm showers and dry clothes.

After a fulfilling breakfast, I packed up my stuff and headed out the door. Anne Marit and Asad joined me for a few hours, until they had to go back. On the way, we met a few people, including Anne Marit’s ex-husband. He told me that after seeing my video from when I fell in the river (day 5), he was quite sure I was going to quit. “Well, I’m still going strong”.

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We also met a guy who had done Norge på Langs, with a horse. I thought that was pretty cool! We talked for a while, and he showed me a path I could take to avoid Geilo centre, and save myself a couple of kilometers.

While I was climbing the hill, it started to snow. Soft flakes were falling silently to the ground, making the surroundings quite magical. After a while, however, both the wind and the snow increased rapidly, turning into “oh-the-weather-outside-is-frightful-but-the-fire-is-so-delightful"-weather (meaning I would love to stay inside in weather conditions like that!). After a few hours, it had suddenly turned to winter.

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I walked on and on, only stopping to put on some more clothes. The snow made my clothes wet and after almost 40 km of walking, I was frozen stiff. Right before the darkness settled in, Anne Marit and Asad came driving to deliver my backpack to me (!) and I was able to get into their warm car while trying to call different hotels and camping spots in the vicinity to spend the night.

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Luckily, Torsetlia Fjellstue was open.

“Yes, we are open, you are most welcome”.

I almost cried out of relief, and after saying goodbye to my helpful friends, I could take off all my wet clothes, turn up the heat in the room, and fall asleep.

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In my room, I really did cry. Out of exhaustion, happiness and relief.

Steps: 49 341

 

Day 106 - I said brrrrrr

Torsetlia Fjellstue was a cozy cabin/hotel with the most hospitable personnel. The room I got, was a studio apartment with a small bathroom and kitchen, and the price was approximately €70. I was about to pay, when Guri in the reception said “since you’re walking Norge på Langs, I will give you 50% discount.”

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Guri, another trail angel. Thank you so much.

Before I left, I asked Guri if they sold umbrellas. The weather forecast told me it was going to be a good mix of snow and rain during the day, so I thought that could be a good way to stay dry. They didn’t sell any umbrellas, but she gave me one of her own, the most colorful umbrella, I simply love it!

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“Now you’re visible in traffic too” she said and waved me off with a soft, gentle smile.

I had a tough day, but by the time I wanted to stop and eat lunch, the downpour of snow stopped. That gave me some extra strength and I decided to walk on, up to a lake called Sønstevatn, 1100 meters above sea level. The view was probably nice, but due to thick fog, I couldn’t see much of my surroundings. After an hour, the weather turned quite horrible. Strong wind, fog and snow made it very unappealing to sleep outside, so when I arrived at a cabin, I knocked on the door, hoping for shelter for the night. Nobody was home, so I tried to find a spot behind the house, protected from the wind.

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Too cold, man! Oh! My! God!

What’s the time? Only 2 A.M? Dammit!

Do I have any more clothes to put on? No, I’m wearing everything I have. Dammit!

4 A.M. Dammit!

Steps: 35 102

 

Day 107 - Winter came and went

To start walking again, was a huge relief. During the night, everything had turned wet. Once I got outside the tent, I was momentarily stunned. The fog had cleared and I could now see what I couldn't the previous day. And the sun. The beautiful sun!

The wind was fierce, but after an hour of walking, the descend started, and suddenly, winter was over.

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Down in Tessungdalen (a valley) it was nice and warm and I stopped at the local store to borrow the toilet and charge my phone. They had a small café inside too, so I had quite a long break, just sitting there enjoying the sofa and the sun.

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I continued all the way down to Sandviken camping in Austbygdi, just when it started to get dark. I was praying for it to be open, and it was. The toilet even had a hand-blowdryer, which I used to dry my tent. That took a little while, but man, it was so effective! 30 minutes later, I could pitch up a bone-dry tent. The temperature was much warmer than the night before, so after getting into my sleeping bag, I ate my Real-instant-meal-dinner and read Game of Thrones.

  View from my tent

View from my tent

I woke up drooling on my pillow and with the Kindle in my face (Kodak moment!). I had fallen asleep while reading… I guess I was pretty tired…

Steps: 45018

 

Day 108 – Celebrity in Atrå

What difference it makes to get a good night’s sleep! I woke up feeling light and happy. Looking out, the sun was rising and the air was dry. Just beautiful.

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I ate breakfast and prepared my backpack before heading towards Rjukan. While walking, I first talked to Evelina and Frederic, then Simon, making the road much shorter. Suddenly, I was at a grocery store in Atrå. I needed a break from carrying Mr. Skywalker, so I left him on a bench and went inside. The smell of waffles hit me in the face as I entered the shop, and further in stood several employees, including the manager, making and serving waffles. “Come and get free waffles and coffee” they said. Don’t mind if I do!

  Irene Haugen Gaustad, the friendly manager at Spar Atrå

Irene Haugen Gaustad, the friendly manager at Spar Atrå

I talked with the manager for a while and after telling her about my trip, she wanted to sponsor me with something, and gave me 1kg of chocolate.

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The manager, Irene, posted a picture of me on their facebook page, and because of that, the local radio stopped me along the road for an interview.

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It started to rain before I reached Rjukan, but with my colorful wonder of an umbrella, that was no problem. I went into a gas station to borrow the toilet. Two men sat by the entrance, and I asked them if they knew of a camping site or something similar in the vicinity, and they referred me to Rjukan Gjestegaard, a bed and breakfast in the city centre. I thanked the gentlemen, and continued down the street with Mr. Skywalker.

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I quickly located the B & B, went inside and paid for a room. It was a bit expensive, but much cheaper than a hotel room, which would have been the alternative. After settling in, I went to the shop close by to collect my resupply package (the last one!!). Once I got back to my room, I updated my backpack – added the new stuff and took out what I didn’t need any more, like the solar charger, extra shoes and all the maps.

  Gunnar Sønsteby - Freedom Fighter 1940 - 1945

Gunnar Sønsteby - Freedom Fighter 1940 - 1945

After saying good night to Simon, I quickly fell asleep. I really do know how to appreciate a good pillow now. Mmmmm, zzzzzzzz

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Steps: 42 167