Hiking St. Olavsleden : Borås to Ersgard to Folden

This morning I realised quite early on that I was not going to be able to walk with my toe damaged. It woke me often in the night everytime I touched it on something and I couldn’t use a duvet – luckily it was boiling hot in the cabin.

We made fried eggs for breakfast and then Angeliqa got ready to walk and I got ready to be driven by Sulfried to Ersgard.

We passed Angeliqa in the car and waved as we drove by. Sulfried stopped at a supermarket so she could buy bread and I stocked up on some chocolate and biscuits for Angeliqa and I. We chatted to some of Sulfrieds friends for a little while and then left for Ersgard.

I arrived at Ersgard early in the day and Stein showed me around. Here they have 3 modern flats for hire, a conference room and event room which forms their main business, but they also operate a more modest pilgrim cabin and fishing area. They also have a shop selling second-hand Swedish homewares.

Later in the evening Angeliqa arrived and Stein and Greta warmed up some leftover ‘pilgrims soup’ for us – a broth of vegetables, barley and meat – which we ate together.

We sat in the conference room to use the Internet before retiring to our pilgrims accommodation, where we lit candles and built a fire (as the hut is without electricity) giving us some cosy light and warmth.

In the morning after a breakfast in the cow shed, Angeliqa left to walk and I waited for Stein and Greta to finish attending to a big group of guests, as they had kindly offer bed to drive me to Folden, with my toe still being swollen and painful.

I am sad that I cannot walk again but I really want to end the trip on a high and walk into Trondheim to the cathedral, so it is better to rest my foot and let it heal rather than damage it more so that I can walk the last day or two at least, despite the concern that I am missing the last couple of days of nature, before we are in the city.

Greta and Stein drove me to Folden where I was warmly welcomed by Bernt, who was born on this little farm nestled high up among the forests near Trondheim.

Bernt gave me a lot of his time today and made sure I had an enjoyable day despite my foot. He took me to the supermarket where I enjoyed looking at all the Norwegian foods (but winced at the prices!) and then he drove me all around the area, taking me to his favourite beauty spots such as a large waterfall viewed from above and a high point overlooking the fjords and mountain tops.

In the evening when Angeliqa arrived, Bernt made a delicious dinner of Sodd – the popular Norwegian meatball soup served on special occasions. I felt really sick before dinner and had to lie down a for a while but eventually felt fine (was very strange!) and then Bernt took us out for another drive in the hoping of spotting some moose.

Driving at night along the forest roads was a stunning visual experience. The moon was orange, huge and full, rising above the pines. The lights from the Norwegian houses and cabins glowed warmly in the darkness and a low most hung over the lakes and meadows. It was too dark to photograph without a tripod but I don’t know if the camera is capable of capturing the beauty and feeling it created anyway. It was better just to look and be and experience.

We had a successful Elk safari, seeing 4 moose in total. They really are so huge. It was too dark for photographs but they are such impressive animals. We even saw a baby one!

Bernt drove us back to farmhouse where I managed to finally eat dinner and we chatted for a while before heading to bed.

Only two more days left on the road now and in beautiful Norway. I cannot believe it’s almost been a month already! Time has passed so quickly, it is going to be so strange to go back to reality, sitting at a computer all day again and worrying about more than walking, sleeping, eating and writing about the journey.

There will be plenty of reflection and easing back into reality over the coming days.

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