Published: June 27th 2012June 27th 2012
Lets just say that this is not a day I ever want to repeat. My quick calculations before starting led me to the conclusion that I would need to walk 27 km today. A bit of a stretch after yesterday, but still not too big a leap. That just didn't happen.
The difficulty with staying somewhere where there are no cooking facilities is that one cannot whip up a decent breakfast, and so the first thing on a pilgrims mind is where to find sustaining hot food and drink. So rather than bypass Klofta, I detoured into town to find only the railway station kiosk open. A bitter vending machine coffee and soft muffin were my lot, and an extra 2 km on the day.
Time for another kirke
It was a short walk, but complicated one, to get back across the E6 highway, and to Ullensaker kirke. It was the first of two on todays route. The other was Hovin kirke, which is close to the Raknehaugen, and ancient burial mound.
The path did something very similar to yesterdays walk, and left the roads to follow field boundaries and some other ancient paths. Quite tough walking.
At one point it entered a small forest where the guidebook comments that there are elk, but one is unlikely to see these shy creatures. It was right. What it didn't say was that one won't see the nettles either!
I am sure that the author was selective about which bits of the path she travelled, because she described a footbridge along the path, but forgot to mention that the ravine in which it is located drops about 40m, and climbs out a bit more, all in about 250m. I cannot imagine anyone thinking this minor detail unimportant if they had actually been there!
Thus far, the locals had kept pretty much to themselves, but now I was further out of Oslo, there were subtle changes. Coming into Hovin, at Bjorke, I was offered water, not that I needed it then. A little further on another house had a sign offering water for pilgrims 'at the front door', and I decided to refill a bottle that I was carrying.
It was not long after that, near Haug, that a woman painting the front of her house greeted me with 'hello pilgrim' and offered water, coffee
and lemon cake. It was delightful.
How many kilometres?
Shortly after that, I missed a waymark, and followed the guidebook directions for a time before realising this would mean a long hot walk down a fairly busy road. I decided that adding the kilometre or so to get across to the way marked route might we worth doing. It did follow forest paths for much longer, with less busy road. But it brought my extras up to 3 km.
And that was when I also realised that the distance to go didn't seem to be decreasing at the same rate as I been walking, and that it appeared that I was going to be walking much more than 30km to get to my destination. I could bore you with how unpleasant a discovery this is when it is late in the day, water is running low, one's feet are complaining, etc, etc. Its perhaps enough to say that depending on whether one uses the GPS odometer function, or the pedometer calculated distance, it was between 35 and 38 km.
I arrived at Letohallen Hotel just before 6pm, having been walking since 6.30am. Not something that I particular want
to do again on this trip.