Olav and me. Refelections on a 580 km hike across #Sweden and #Norway

Most people who follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve made it to the Cathedral in Trondheim. My mate Olav’s final resting place

I felt that I got to know the guy as I followed in his footsteps.  And I never liked him if truth be told

Time for reflection

This has been quite an adventure
Unlike the Camino in Spain there were days – weeks – when I saw no one on the trail.

Indeed I met just three fellow pilgrims in the month I was out there

So there was an awful lot of time alone. And I think I’ve sorted out a few “issues”

Once again this had taught me that you really have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs. A cliche but nevertheless true for all that

Stumping into Are with a painful blister after 28km. Finding the hotel closed but being given the most comfortable bed on the trail in the house of such a kind woman

Turning up in pilgrimstad with the hostel shut and a local family offering me a room for nothing

Another family celebrating a high school graduation and inviting me into their home for late night wine and cheese

Two retired couples offering me shelter and food.

A fairy in the woods (she certainly seemed like one) giving me water and chocolate.

So many other examples.  Reinforcing my oft stated view that people, generally, are just good and kind.  The world is not filled with hate but with ordinary human beings who just want to help.

This walk has taught me that , yes,  of course individuals are capable of doing more than they believed was possible.

But – and here I have changed – doing everything alone is not possible nor desirable.  Friendship and companionship brings inner satisfaction. Beyond the everyday practicalities of food and shelter , friendship are nourishing

You can kid yourself for a while that you dont need anyone else.  But in the end – we all do.

Messages from home and friends meant an awful lot.  People I didn’t expect to hear from have wished me well.

And  there have been people on this trek I will never ever forget.  Whether I spent an hour with them or 7 days on the trail.

Once again its been life-affirming.

And one other thing I learned:
Moose dont exist.  They’re mythical beasts

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The picture above shows the last of thousands of signs from sundsvall to Trondheim

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Linette from Denmark who walked with me for a week (actually once her blisters healed she left me trailing.

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The certificate that proves I made it

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6 thoughts on “Olav and me. Refelections on a 580 km hike across #Sweden and #Norway

  1. Christer Källstrand

    It has been a pleasure to follow you. That´s what i call a hike. And I beleive in elks. I´v seen many. Promise. Best to you in future!

  2. What a wonderful finale and so good to read. Been great sharing this walk with you. You’ve had me laughing, thinking/ruminating (how could Olav be a saint? Are moose fictitious? How come signs are better in other countries? Does barbed wire constitute body piercing?) and celebrating the fact that good does triumph over bad. Oh yeah and so pleased I don’t drink alcohol!! 😉

    Each walk you’ve done has had a purpose by the sounds of it. So what next?…

    1. Thanks again. My body was most definitely pierced. And moose don’t exist. It’s a tourist myth. I’m sure another challenge will crop up…..though all I want to do is sleep….and drink cheap beer

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