Day 97 - 100, NPL

Day 97 - The road goes ever on and on

Yesterday’s rain increased and continued. It was not very tempting to go outside, but Simon suggested to bring an umbrella. At first, I laughed, thinking it was a silly idea. I guess I was picturing myself, the hiker with an umbrella, people must think I’m a sissy girl. On second thought, it didn’t seem to be a terrible idea after all. I’m walking on a road, not stumbling through the woods or in the mountains. Yes, I’ll bring an umbrella! And it was so nice. Dry in the rain, say whaaaat?!

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I covered quite some distance, passing Hindsæter and Bessheim before arriving Gjendesheim cabin. As I approached the last cabin, I saw the mountains of Jotunheimen, all covered in snow. I got really insecure, thinking I might not be able to walk there.

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I thought of buying a pair of “truger”, snowshoes,  to have it just in case. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the snow anymore. I asked around and people told me the closest where they might have it, was in Beitostølen, 35 km away. With the van, 35 km is nothing, so we decided to go.

We parked the van 6 km away, thinking we could drive down to the sports shop first thing in the morning. We then made a delicious vegetable soup and, since it was our last evening together, cake.

Steps: 41 114

 

Day 98 - Take a deep breath

I woke up feeling scared and unsure. I didn’t know what to do, I felt unprepared, even with months and months of planning. I wanted to know how to get to Lindesnes, and not until Simon told me that I couldn’t figure that out today, that I had to take it day by day, could I relax enough to stop panicking.

Some time later, we were ready to leave, but the car wouldn’t start. The battery was flat. I stopped three cars asking for a jump start, but non of them had the cables to get the work done. The last person I stopped, a young worker at “Valdres energi” gave us a lift down to Beitostølen and showed us where we would have the best chance of borrowing the cables we needed.

A friendly man in a garage lend us cables, now all we had to do, was get back up to the van. We tried to hitchhike, but not after 4 km, did we get lucky. The guy picking us up, also helped us to start the car by letting us attach the cables to his car battery to jumpstart ours. It worked!

The sports shop didn’t have snowshoes but the worker there said he thought it would be ok to walk in Jotunheimen, just that I had to be careful, because it could be very slippery.

Simon then drove me back to Gjendesheim and I was ready to start hiking. Except that I didn’t want to. I didn’t want Simon to go, I was afraid and tired. I just wanted to go home. Simon asked if I believed in myself, and I said no. I had completely lost confidence in myself.

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After a tearful goodbye, I set off towards Memurubu cabin. It was too much snow and fog up on the mountains, so I played it safe and walked along the lake instead. At first, it was nice to hike in terrain again and the view was really something, but then the wind and the rain tore my mood back down. I felt miserable while walking, so it was a huge relief to arrive the cabin… which was closed… another blow. But the weather cleared up, so I could enjoy the beautiful view while pitching up the tent.

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I then took a deep breath and redirected my focus to enjoy the here and now. Not worrying about the past or the future, but to stay in the moment.  

Steps: 18 066

 

Day 99 - Jotunheimen

After looking at the weather forecast, I was prepared for the worst. But when I got out of the tent, it was a beautiful, clear morning.

The day started with a steep ascend, and turning around, I could see the snow-covered mountains of Besseggen & Co (where I didn’t walk yesterday) and the turquoise lake stretching all the way back to Gjendesheim. What a view. And it was like that every way I turned.

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After a while, the sky turned grey and the mist came rolling in. It was snow in the air and the wind was biting cold. But the worst thing, was the descend. Halfway, my legs were so tired they were trembling. The zigzag path just continued, down, down, down.

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At the bottom, I was exhausted. Luckily, the last two kilometers along the lake was easy enough, but when I arrived the cabin and had lit the fire, I decided to stop there for the night. I knew I would not be able to reach the next cabin while it was still daylight, and I didn’t like the thought of putting up the tent on the mountain.

So I had a nice and cozy evening, laying in front of the fireplace, reading Game of Thrones and enjoying the fact that I was warm.

Steps: 18 971

 

Day 100 – 100 days

It was so quiet. Not a gush of wind, no rustling of leaves, not one sound. It was like the air stood still, everything was so calm. The ground was frozen, too cold for the morning sun to thaw.

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The silence was broken only by my footsteps, crunching the icy dirt and kicking the fallen leaves. A perfect day in the mountains.

Even though it was not a difficult climb, I had to be careful with every step. The ice and the snow made it slippery, so I was very happy for my walking sticks. I also had my first experience with crossing a river where the summer bridge was removed. I could have jumped from stone to stone, had they not been covered with ice. So the only option left, was to wade through the water. COLD! COLD! COLD!

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Before I started this trip, I heard that this year it was going to be “Lemenår” (directly translated: lemming year), a periodic population boom of the Norway Lemming (a small, angry rodent). But I didn’t see a single lemming. Until now, that is.

I heard a lot of squicking noises from the bushes around me while I was walking, and suddenly, a lemming came running towards me on the path. He stopped by my feet, lifted his head to look up at me, baring his teeth and squiked only like an angry lemming can. I just stood there looking down at it, thinking had this been a Disney movie, the lemming would have done a threatening fist gesture and told me off for trampling down his neighborhood. I think it’s a myth that the lemming can explode out of anger, but his blood pressure must have been quite high while he stood there shrieking his tail off. I don’t know what he wanted to achieve with his rude attitude, but he must have come to the conclusion that it didn’t work, so he went silent, ran around my feet and continued down the path.

   © biolib.cz

 © biolib.cz

After that amusing encounter, I saw lemmings everywhere, both alive and dead. So maybe is a very local lemming year...

The rest of my trip through the national park was very pleasant. On the top, it was like a snow-covered moon landscape and when I descended the mountain, the beautiful autumn colors appeared again. What an experience!

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I entered the Fondsbu cabin, located at the foot of the mountain in the west bay of Bygdinvatnet. Here, I ate my lunch and charged my phone before I continued my hike. Along the road, I met Leif Gunnar and his daughter, Selma. They invited me to stay at their cabin near Tyin Filefjell Mountain Resort,  another 23km away. I was so keen on the idea though, I quickened my pace and by 8:30 P.M, I arrived their magnificent cabin.

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After a long, warm shower, I joined the family for Indian food, chocolate and coffee. Leif Gunnar and Trine, Selma and Ludvig, Grandpa Kjell and Salsa the dog celebrated my 100th day on the trail. Thank you for a wonderful evening.

Steps: 55 691