Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
When we arrived at the Pilgrim Hostel in Sondre Vikhammer only the teenage daughter of the owner was in the big house. She said that the hostel is run by her Dad but he was away hunting elg and she didn’t know the price for one night but she was very happy to settle us in. We asked that she send her Mum in to see us when she got home. Later we saw the mother arrive but she didn’t visit us so we were unable to discover the price or how to pay. In the morning we knocked on doors looking for someone to pay but couldn’t find anyone so we decided to email them when we got home.
Through the night our cosy hostel was pummeled by strong winds and driving rain. In the morning everything was calmer. I slept on the floor of the hostel on the hiking mattress and was snug and comfortable. Amazingly the hostel had a heater and although it was not particularly warm in there compared to outside in the strong wind it was splendid. We packed up and after my modified breakfast smoothie and the great indulgence of a hot cup of tea, thanks to the kettle in the hostel, we set off for our final day of walking into Trondheim and home.
My soles of my boots were now only holding onto the uppers at the toe and heel. I fantasized about asking a stranger for Gaffa tape to hold them together but we didn’t really see anyone all day and instead I changed my gait to only walk flat-footed while going up and down hills. The negative of this change of gait was that my boots cut viciously into my heels, I developed blisters on my toes and a black nail. Writing this 2 weeks later my heels are still unhappy but that’s not important. What is important is that I had a wonderful experience hiking for 3 days through beautiful wilderness. I had mental space to think and no distractions or demands from work or home. I can see the great appeal of walking the whole Pilgrim trail and I wish that I could do it but it wouldn’t be fair on my family…
On our 3rd day of walking we were in modified environments the whole time with no wilderness and perhaps because of that Jenny and I did more talking than on the previous days. It also kept my mind off the agony of my feet. We stopped at the beach in Lade for one final meal together and luxuriated in eating as much as we wanted after shopping the afternoon before.
As we walked between Rotvoll and Lade we passed middle aged coupes with their dogs, enjoying a Sunday stroll without rain. One couple asked if we speak Norwegian and then asked if we were pilgrims. They were friendly and told us that they had lived in Colorado, USA for 12 years and had recently returned to Trondheim. I asked if they struggled to settle back into the Tronder lifestyle but they said that they had maintained close ties and made regular trips home so there was no adjustment required.
We walked through Lade then Lademoen and decided to take the route up to Rosenberg to get to the cathedral. More than once I regretted that decision when we could have walked on the flat route instead but it was good to walk along different streets to what I normally walk. It was with joy and relief that we started our final descent to the cathedral, walking beside the bike funicular then crossing the old wooden red bridge over the Nidelven. We walked to the pilgrim centre behind the cathedral. It was closed so we took a short break on the seat outside before saddling up again with our packs and walking back into our normal lives and responsibilities.