For 16 days now I have been hiking without a day of rest. A certain mental tiredness spreads. Fortunately, the landscape changed at a high rhythm and the weather played along. So it is easy to keep the motivation high.
The sections through the national parks with the highest peaks in Norway are spectacular and challenging at the same time. All around glaciated mountains with angular contours. As a non-summit climber, I stay on the “hiking trail”. This leads through the glacier forelands with countless cirques and many more boulders of all sizes. That requires highest concentration all the time: where is the next cairn and where do I put the next step. This way I dance for hours from stone to stone and try to recognize the usually much smaller cairns in this jumble of blocks. This is pure fun and I enjoy this full focus. The breaks are also very important in these sections. Eyes, head and legs need them so that I can continue to move forward in a controlled and speedy manner. These are also the moments where the scenery of rock, ice, snow, water, sun and clouds can be enjoyed. One finds a windless place between the blocks anyway. Of course, I am significantly slower in this terrain. So far, I have always opted for the variant “longer hiking day”. This way I could reach in each case a cabin and was not exposed to the nightly rain and strong wind in the tent. To find a suitable campsite in this rocky environment is not quite easy, but there would be some.
This is where I realized my wish to be able to celebrate the coming majority age of our twin-boys together as a family. To me this birthday stands clearly before the conclusion of my hiking trip or any highlights, which I could rattle off on the way also still. I’ll be received at Cape Lindesnes by my family and then we celebrate together birthdays and the conclusion of my tour. To make this works, we had to book the flights already 2 weeks ago. What felt at that time as problem-free and still far away and was also factually founded with sufficient time reserve, leads today to a certain “last-minute panic”: is there enough time? What if… Actually, all completely unfounded. I am still well on schedule, or have even been able to extend the reserve somewhat. What can be accomplished rationally even in the most adverse weather conditions, or even endure a flu, is sometimes not so easy to believe in the head. That’s why my daily performance has tended to increase.
For this I can now reward myself with an additional rest day. One day of doing nothing, just eating and lying around. And tomorrow I can get into freshly washed clothes. These have deserved it to land in a washing machine after 16 days.
Then I will tackle the last 500 km. For this I needed so far 2.5 weeks. So I have a full week reserve for winter onset, illness, material replacement etc. That should actually fit! I also expect more beautiful and for the most part still unknown landscapes. The weather forecast is also good for the next 10 days. What more could you want! Anyway, I’m looking forward to hiking now into the beginning autumn.
Aware that this tour is coming to an end, I am also increasingly thinking about the aftermath. Don’t worry: I won’t turn my life upside down and I won’t become a long-distance hiker who has to cover all the relevant routes in the world! Probably I will not become a couch potato or continue to eat the current amounts of food. It is much more about what I want and I can take over from the made experiences into the everyday life. Probably it’s just little things, but so I can remind me daily of this indescribable time alone on the road in the wilderness a little bit.
Surprisingly, so far no melancholy has arisen that this beautiful time will soon be over. The anticipation of finally being able to take my family in my arms again after such a long time outweighs by far!