Table of Contents
Section distance: 265,5 km
Hiking days: 11
Total distance: 1.238,6 km
Day 69: Grong – Fishing spot at Namsen
23.07.2022 | 27,9 km
From Grong we now have many kilometres of road ahead of us. We follow the river Namsen northwards. In doing so, we will also walk on the E6 for a total of around 50 kilometres. The E6 is the only road in Norway that goes all the way up north, and is therefore very busy.
But first we can still enjoy the trail off the road for a little longer. From Grong, the Nordleden accompanies us for another twelve kilometres. It ends at a small church, which we find closed. There is also no last stamp for our pilgrim’s booklet – what a pity. Well, at least we make use of the picnic benches with their fantastic views for a break.
On the traces of salmon and trout along the Namsen
After that, our path leads us along the Namsen. The river will now accompany us for quite a while. It has its origin at lake Namsvatnet in Børgefjell, where we originally wanted to pass by. And we learn that the Namsen is supposed to be good water for salmon and trout fishing. But then we wonder which river or lake in Norway isn’t. Over and over we find signs at every water pointing out that there are some particularly unique fish here. And, of course, there are also signs telling us where we can buy a fishing licence.
However, there is actually a very special fish in the Namsen river: the Namsblank, a small salmon that does not migrate into the sea. It is unique in the salmon world and is threatened with extinction.
A dangerous cattle gate
On our way we also cross an electric fence. Instead of pipes in the road to keep animals out, there are metal plates on the ground connected to the electric fence. And there is no way of getting around them. After all, this is the way it is supposed to be. No problem for us, but very uncomfortable for Lando without insulated shoes. So Manuel takes Lando on his arm and carries him to the other side.
That evening we take advantage of the fishermen and their infrastructure: we pitch our tent at a fishing spot with a view of the Namsen. There is a picnic bench and even an outhouse. It’s dry today and tomorrow should be fine too.
Day 70: Fishing spot at Namsen – Trones
24.07.2022 | 27 km
Good weather is just what we need now, as we are facing ten kilometres on the E6 today. Being constantly sprayed by cars in rainy weather is not a pleasant thought. But first, we walk along an agricultural road and make good progress. We cross the Namsen at a dam. There are chairs in front of the nearby office building. As there is no one around, we use them as seating for our lunch break.
Then we turn onto the E6. Before that, we put on our headphones and make sure that the noise cancelling is switched on. That’s already better: at least the road is not so loud anymore. At the side of the road, we are greeted by a few construction vehicles parked up for the summer and we can read in their shovels that they are wishing us a good summer. Podcasts pass the time on this stretch and two hours later it’s already over again. At least for today. We decide to stay in Trones, after all, we’ve already covered another 27 kilometres.
Day 71 – 72: Trones – Brekkvasselv – Namskogan
25.07. – 26.07.2022 | 15,9 km | 15,7 km
As I’m feeling a bit sick with a cold, we decide to split the next 30 kilometres over two days, renting huts in the evenings and taking it a bit slower. We use the opportunity of the free time to plan the sections of the route ahead of us. Where do we find huts, where can we go shopping? Where can we take rest days and how are we doing in terms of time? We come to the conclusion that we will send a parcel of dog food to Saltoluokta from the start of the Kungsleden in Hemavan, as there are few places to buy dog food along the Kungsleden. As we can buy our own food at the cabins, we’re all set for the time being.
Day 73: Namskogan – Majavatnet
27.07.2022 | 27,9 km
From Namsskogan, we have another 35 kilometres of E6 ahead of us. All in one stretch. This is the section that I have been worrying about for days. We plan to cover 28 kilometres on the first day. From time to time we have to stop a little off the road. It gives us the chance to relax and don’t have to concentrate on the traffic for a little while.
Otherwise, walking along the E6 is rather unspectacular: the traffic usually comes in groups, as overtaking is rarely possible. A slow vehicle drives in front and dragging about ten others behind it like a snake. If the first vehicle in front brakes and gives way, everyone else has to brake too. This usually works pretty well. But sometimes the vehicles pass us very closely. This is particularly unpleasant with trucks and campers. Certainly, this is not the most beautiful stretch of road on our tour. But it is the only way to go if you don’t want to hike through the mountains completely pathless.
E6 and nothing but E6 for the next few kilometres
By the way, the E6 will be widened in many places over the next few years. The old road will then often be retained and can be used by cyclists and pedestrians. There are already some of those sections here and there that we are very happy to use. About halfway through the day, we take one last look at the Namsen, which turns off to the east here, or rather comes from the east, as we are walking against the direction of flow. Goodbye Namsen, it was a great time travelling with you!
The day is largely monotonous, but there is one more highlight to come: At the border between Nord-Trøndelag and Nordland, there is a large gate on the road. From now on, we are officially in northern Norway. Here we also find a rest area where we enjoy a hot dog and a coffee. We finally pitch our tent at Majavatnet. We had already used the Park4Night app to find a good place to sleep a bit earlier. A little off the road, we have a great view across the lake to the mountains on the opposite side. The wind keeps the mosquitoes away and the gentle waves drown out the few cars that are still travelling at night.
Day 74: Majavatnet – Antonsplass
28.07.2022 | 25,9 km
We keep following the E6 the next day. Another seven kilometres and then we’ve finally made it. But first we have a cosy breakfast at Majavatn station. There’s fresh water, a bench to sit on and a toilet. What more could a hiker’s heart ask for? My backpack doesn’t really want to fit this morning and my shoulders are already complaining. Sometimes this happens even after you’ve been carrying your backpack for so many hours before. Fortunately, after a short rest, everything feels completely different again and I can carry on without any pain.
Finally, the road we want to turn into comes into sight. There is hardly any traffic here, so even Lando can walk freely again. Later in the day, we turn into an even smaller road. Unfortunately, despite our expectations, this road is paved: we had already taken a look at the road on Google Street View and in the pictures there, the road was gravelled. In the meantime, it has apparently been upgraded. We again spend the night at a fishing spot with benches and a toilet. Before the road was built, the milk from the neighbouring farms was collected here by boat. Today, this is a great place for fishing and camping.
Day 75: Antonsplass – Fishing spot at Stillelva
29.07.2022 | 26,2 km
The weather has decided to get really good and we continue walking in bright sunshine. Oh, how good that feels after all the rain in July. DNT Narvik wrote on Facebook that it was the second wettest July in the last 100 years. And that’s pretty much how it actually felt.
Shorts and a T-shirt immediately make us feel better. And the prospect of getting back onto a gravel road today after another 20 kilometres is also a nice prospect. Although the roads are now all small and barely used, every step is the same on asphalt and our feet get tired from the monotonous walking.
Trail Magic: coffee, cake and ice cream
But first we stop at a small supermarket. We buy bread and potato salad for our lunch and when the shop owner sees that we are hiking, she gives us homemade cake, coffee and ice cream for free! Our very special trail magic moment. Even though the woman doesn’t speak English, you can tell that long-distance hikers are particularly welcome here.
Today, we are also happy that the water in the rivers and streams is clear again. After weeks of marshy water, we would love to take a sip from every stream. Lando does the job for us, but every now and then even we can’t resist.
How beautiful it is here in northern Norway
In the evening, we find the most beautiful campsite of our trip so far. Of course, it is another fishing spot that we found using iNatur. By now we are quite good at finding good places to spend the night using various methods. Twenty metres below the path is a sandbank where two rivers meet. A steep rock face rises up on the other side. We are completely happy, it is so picturesquely beautiful that we could stay here forever. As it is warm and there are no mosquitoes around, we take the plunge into the cold river. But it’s really freezing cold, so we gasp for air and sit down in the current for a moment, but soon get out again.
Day 76: Fishing spot at Stillelva – Hattfjelldal
30.07.2022 | 24,3 km
After another 24 kilometres on the gravel road and another small road, we reach Hattfjelldal. The day was a bit stressful as we were constantly attacked by horseflies. Taking a break was just unthinkable. We quickly do some shopping when we arrive, as it is Saturday and the supermarket is closed on Sundays. Afterwards, we enjoy a long shower in the hotel, as it has been very warm today and we have also applied mosquito repellent because of all the horseflies. Once we are clean again, we start our well-deserved rest day with a burger. Once again, we receive a very friendly welcome and are even allowed to use the hotel’s washing machine for free!
Day 77: Hattfjelldal
We spend most of our rest day in the hotel lounge. Here we can relax comfortably on the sofas. When we go for a walk with Lando in the afternoon, we are pretty surprised when Markus suddenly appears up in front of the burger shop, waving his arms enthusiastically. He and Sophie have walked to Hattfjelldal today to eat burgers and pizza. The craving for food was so strong that they even took a whole day’s diversions to get there.
Day 78: Hattfjelldal – Campsite at Krutvatnet
01.08.2022 | 25 km
From Hattfjelldal it is suddenly only 75 kilometres left until we reach Hemavan. We plan to distribute this over three days. The first day is supposed to be really rainy. Our motivation is therefore rather limited. Markus and Sophie feel the same way and so we don’t set off together until around eleven o’clock. The temperatures are in the single digits and we are glad to have some people to talk to today. It’s really fun to be walking together again after such a long time.
Day 79 – 80: Campsite at Krutvatnet – Campsite Kullen – Hemavan
02.08. – 03.08.2022 | 27 km | 22,7 km
The rest of the route to Hemavan is unspectacular. The road leads over a pass and then we suddenly find ourselves at the Swedish border. The road signs change their background colour and the houses suddenly look more well-kept. But for us, crossing the border is something special for us, especially mentally. It almost feels a bit like coming home. We are looking forward to the next section that lies ahead of us following the Kungsleden, which will take us almost 500 kilometres through Sweden.
We also hike a few kilometres on the Lapplandsleden trail, which was newly opened in 2021. After many kilometres, this is the first time that we are hiking on small trails through nature again. Maybe we should walk the Lapplandsleden next?
Shortly before Hemavan we see something special: the small gravel road is regulated by traffic lights. It looks a little out of place here, halfway through the wilderness. But of course there is a reason why the traffic lights are there: When a plane lands or takes off at the airport, the traffic lights turn red. Presumably the overflight altitude of the planes is very low here. But we don’t get to test this, because only one flight arrives here every day.
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