Table of Contents
Start: Lindesnes Lighthouse
Section distance: 128,8 km
Hiking days: 7
We are on the way to our NPL adventure! The previous day has been really exhausting for us. Packing the backpack took longer than expected. Then we just wanted to copy the keys “quickly”. But the locksmith had no blank for our mailbox key. So some things just took longer than planned. But in the evening everything was ready and we could even enjoy a short documentary on the couch.
Chaos on the train prolongs our journey
The first setback comes in the morning: a cable fire in Hamburg causes a major disruption of long-distance traffic. Our first transfer point is right here. The IC from Gelsenkirchen to Hamburg is still going, but the connecting train in Hamburg is not. There is an alternative connection that could work for us because we have a scheduled stopover of about 90 minutes in Hamburg. However, the train leaves Hamburg so late that we don’t make our scheduled connections.
Finally, we make it across the border to Denmark, but only to find out that here there is substitute rail traffic as well. But we arrive. With (only) two hours delay at 22:30. In the last light of the day we walk the thirty minutes to the campsite, set up our tent and fall into bed tired.
In the next two days we take the ship to Kristiansand and have a look at the city. We treat ourselves to another night at the hotel and a good breakfast with a juicy muffin and really world-class mocha at the café around the corner.
With the private bus we drive by the lighthouse
Then we take the bus towards our NPL starting point. We have to change buses once and the second bus seems to be a school bus only. At least there are only students in the bus except us. Slowly it gets emptier and emptier and we get closer to the final stop, three kilometers before the lighthouse in Lindesnes. Actually, the plan was to walk the last part, but as we sit alone in the bus, the bus driver suddenly calls from the front “do you want to go to the lighthouse?” and after we answer in the affirmative “shall I drive you?”. How cool is that? Only a few minutes later, we roll in with the bus at the parking lot and thank the bus driver again effusively.
Day 1 – 7: Lindesnes to Evje
16.05. – 22.05.2022 (5,8 km | 17,9 km | 25,3 km | 17,7 km | 20,5 km | 18,1 km | 23,7 km)
We now have a little more time to explore the area around the lighthouse. At the same time it is so windy that it is quite uncomfortable even in the sunny weather. So we climb up to the lighthouse, sign the guestbook, take another start photo and then we’re taking off.
First invitation for coffee and cake after 10 minutes
After about 700 meters we already turn away from the main road. While we are still looking at the map, we are invited by the residents of the corner house for coffee and cookies. Hospitality towards NPL hikers is very important here. That evening we walk another five kilometers and find a quiet and beautifully situated campspot.
The next few days are a rollercoaster of emotions: sometimes we are euphoric, sometimes the mood is depressed. It rains, the sun shines and we walk mainly on roads. These are partly asphalted, partly graveled and mostly little frequented. Nevertheless, one step is like the other. And that leads to pain in Katharina’s left knee and then to two large blisters under both front feet.
Rescheduling and nothing but road for kilometers
Also, we already have to adapt our route after just a few days, as the mountains of Hardangervidda are still too snow-covered. There is no way to think of a crossing of the mountains. We therefore focus on getting further east, delaying our first break day by two days from the planned fifth day. Finally, in Evje, it is time to take a break which is also highly necessary.
Day 8 – 9: Rest days in Evje
23.05. – 24.05.2022
With the last effort I manage to hobble to the campsite. Two huge blisters have formed under my front feet and I can only walk in extreme pain. Manuel has already shouldered my backpack two kilometers before in addition to his. Since we don’t find anybody at the reception anymore, we have to face another night in the tent. With regard to my feet and the announced bad weather, however, we rent a small hut for two days the next morning.
Summary Section 1
So we have completed the first section of the NPL. We notice that our bodies are already starting to adapt to the hike. But the first aches and pains also contribute to the fact that we bite through quite a bit. Well, you have to want to do a long-distance hike. The sections ahead of us will certainly be more and more appealing.
By the way, you can check out where we are on the map in our NPL overview article.
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