Table of Contents
Section distance: 196,3 km
Hiking days: 9
Total distance: 738,9 km
Day 44: Rest day in Tynset
Now that the plan has been made to follow the Østerdalsleden pilgrim trail to Røros for two days, we spend a little more time analysing the route ahead and the pilgrim trails in general.
Our original plan was to head east from Røros and then walk without tracks through the Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella National Park and again without tracks through Børgefjell. A vast and deserted landscape awaited us. But also days of marching through swamps with difficult navigation. And that’s exactly what we don’t feel like doing right now. We therefore decide to take the pilgrim’s path. The Østerdalsleden takes us to Trondheim, from there we can follow the Olavsleden for a while, then the Nordleden and then another 180 kilometres or so of self-made route, about half of which follows the E6. The E6 is a really big road and it’s certainly not going to be fun to walk along. Well, we can’t have everything.
Day 45 – 46: Tynset – Os
29.06. – 30.06.2022 | 26,5 km | 17,6 km
But first back to Østerdalsleden. From Tynset we walk along Gammel Allmanvegen towards Os. We make very good progress here, but the mosquitoes contribute a great deal to this. Even as we walk we are swarmed by them, as well as horseflies and thousands of flies. Stopping is becoming a real test of stamina. Well, no break then…
Day 47 – 48: Røros
01.07. – 02.07.2022
From Os we take the train to Røros, as the town is no longer on our route, but we still want to see it. And it’s worth it: the old mining town has a lot to offer. We decide to go on a guided tour of the town, and luckily no one else takes part. Although it is the beginning of July, we are still in the low season. The high season here seems to last only a few weeks from mid-July to mid-August. We take advantage of the private tour to ask lots of questions and treat ourselves to a slice of cake in a café afterwards.
As the weather forecast for the next day is really bad, we decide to stay an extra day. Sophie and Markus, who share the AirBnB with us, also want to wait out the rainy day. And so we have a really good time together in our “NPL apartment”!
The extra rest day feels really good. Although the break in Tynset was not so long ago, we feel tired. So we dive back into the history of Røros and visit the Copper Mine Museum. There is even an audio guide, which saves us having to read and translate. To round off the day, we take a look at the weather. And it doesn’t look any good. Rain as far as the forecast goes. And not just a few showers, but really heavy rain. This could be something, a pilgrimage on the Østerdalsleden in the rain.
Day 49: Røros – Movollen
03.07.2022 | 15,4 km
We dawdle in the morning, and although our train back to Os doesn’t leave until after twelve, we end up sprinting to the station. From Os we follow a gravel road. A girl from a farm runs up to us and asks if we are pilgrims. Her sister follows her. They use all their English to find out where we are going and look quite impressed when we tell them of our plans.
We continue along small side roads and take a short break at a closed supermarket. A thunderstorm hits us and we duck into the covered entrance to avoid getting wet. The rest of the route is lined with fenced fields and towards evening it is not easy to find a suitable campsite. We end up pitching our tent next to a small stream.
Day 50: Movollen – Cabin at Forollsjøen
04.07.2022 | 22,6 km
The next morning, as we were having breakfast, the farmer’s wife led a group of cows onto the meadow. No fencing does not mean that the meadow is not being used. We have to do a lot to keep the curious cows away from our tent and from Lando. He finds these big animals a bit scary.
Today we continue along the gravel road and then turn into the mountains. While we were able to keep up the speed on the road, the muddy section in the mountains slows us down. Especially at the beginning, the path is not so easy to find and we swear, as the constant navigation is costing us nerves and time. Eventually, however, we find our way back to the main trail and as we approach the beautiful Forollhøgna National Park, the trail widens. Along the way we see a large number of golden plovers, which we immediately add to our list of animals. We also cross our last (?) snowfield until autumn.
In the evening the weather turns really bad and heavy rain sets in. We seek shelter in the open cabin at Forollsjøen and find one bed. The main room is locked, but it’s already late and we don’t want to call the warden at that time. Instead, we blow up a mat and Manuel lies down on the floor. Things only get tight when two Norwegians arrive after 10pm, also soaked to the bone. Desperate, they call the warden and are given the code to the dormitory a little later.
Day 51: Cabin at Forollsjøen – Klettheim Forsammlingshus
05.07.2022 | 24 km
Over the next few days, we will enjoy a different pilgrims’ hostel each night as we walk along Østerdalsleden to Trondheim. Unlike the DNT cabins, these are very individual and we never know what to expect. Sometimes there is a shower, sometimes just a mountain hut with no electricity.
After a long day in the mountains, where we end up in the valley quite wet and chilled from a hailstorm, we find shelter in a community centre. There is just one bunk bed in a huge room upstairs. While we boil our water for dinner in the industrial kitchen on the ground floor, half the town arrives as the fence around the meeting house is to be repaired that evening. They also take the opportunity to prune and tidy up all the bushes. After all, the summer festival is taking place here next weekend.
Day 52: Klettheim Forsammlingshus – Vardan
06.07.2022 | 8,04 km
We had a good night’s sleep, but the next day I wake up with a rash on my knee. I hadn’t worn my bandage for a couple of days as my knee was becoming less painful. Probably the diclofenac has made my skin very sensitive to the sun and it has reacted quite badly. It seems that I have developed a kind of sun allergy in the treated areas.
Soon after we set off today we realise that this is not going to be our day. And again dark clouds are gathering behind us. The weather is really awful at the moment. We have to think of Markus and Sophie, who are walking through the swampy areas further east and have little chance of finding solid shelter.
After eight kilometres we find a small open hut on a saddle at the highest point. We just want to sit out the rain for a while, but somehow we can’t get back up. In the end we stay and enjoy the free afternoon. After all, it’s nice to be able to organise our time so freely.
Day 53: Vardan – Samatun
07.07.2022 | 35,1 km
After the short day the day before, we are full of energy again today. The first few kilometres fly by and soon we take our first break at a supermarket. Perfect timing, as it has just started to rain again. We think about where we want to walk to today. Originally we were heading for the nearest open hut, but now we’re flirting with the Samatun Red Cross training centre. I had already enquired there and got the code for the door. However, it’s 36 kilometres to Samatun. But sometimes you grow with your challenges.
We leave Østerdalsleden and instead take the gravel road that runs parallel to it. We make much more progress this way and don’t have to climb as many metres. It’s cold and drizzling, but we have a clear goal in mind: we want to take a shower tonight. By the end of the day we are extremely exhausted, aching all over, but we make it and reach the Samatun Red Cross training centre.
Day 54: Samatun – Smithy
08.07.2022 | 25,3 km
Two days before Trondheim, I suddenly develop a sharp pain in the lower part of my right shin. Not another pain. Blisters, knee pain, I’ve had enough problems to slow us down. But the pain is getting worse and we’re still twenty kilometres from our accommodation in the middle of the swamp, and of course there’s no mobile phone coverage. Stretching or pulling my foot is extremely painful.
I clench my teeth and continue walking slowly. Step by step, screaming out the pain from time to time and crying more than once. It doesn’t help, we have to keep going. Soaking wet, we arrive at our accommodation in the evening. We spend the night on a farm in a restored smithy. The owner brings us a coke and a beer and offers to drive us to the supermarket in the village. But we have everything we need and so we decline.
I take advantage of the good phone reception and research what might be causing my pain. I can’t come up with a definitive diagnosis, but it seems most likely that I’ve overburdened my calf muscle. We had walked 36 kilometres the day before, so maybe that was a bit much. We massage the calf and I stretch the calf and shin and then we go to bed.
Day 55: Smithy – Trondheim
09.07.2022 | 21,7 km
The next day I decide to take the train to Trondheim, while Manuel walks the last day. Today we go separate ways. I limp to the railway station and catch a train to Trondheim. I really can hardly walk. At the pilgrim centre I take it easy for a while. All of Norway’s pilgrim routes lead to Trondheim, including the Østerdalsleden. Coffee is free for pilgrims and I sit in the warmth with a piece of cake, dry, comfortable and cosy.
I also get our Olav’s letters and our pilgrim’s pass, which gives us discounts at various places along the pilgrim routes. There is also a large map of Europe. This is put up every year and the pilgrims mark their home town with a pin. Not many people have made a pilgrimage this year, and certainly not many people walk the Østerdalsleden.
Later I meet up with Manuel at the youth hostel in Trondheim. He tells me it was the wettest and swampiest day so far. Again and again he sank in up to his ankles. He looks pretty tired and exhausted and disappears under the hot shower. We are a little happy to have completed this wet and marshy section of the Østerdalsleden.
However, the exertions of the day fade into the background with the prospect of a large pizza from the takeaway around the corner. I take a rented scooter for the short trip there to take it easy on my leg. Sometimes the big city has its advantages as well…
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