Hiking St.Olavsleden : Gällö to Pilgrimstad

We took a trip down to the lake and boathouse at Camp Viking before we left, to look out over the water. We sat and had breakfast with the lovely people who run the place and discussed the importance of the trail. It is obvious that many people love the trail and work really hard to develop it and want it to be successful.

I have decided I can’t wear my hiking boots today, I have a lot of pain at the back of my foot which is much worse when my foot is in the boot. It is a deep pain not caused by rubbing, but worryingly a sign of a real problem with my foot. I decided to wear my walking sandals instead as they put less pressure on the affected area.

We stopped off to buy some snacks at the local ICA supermarket and the staff were dressed up for the towns Oktoberfest event. We chatted to the staff and they offered us free princess cake and coffee.

Note: Swedish people LOVE coffee. I have drank more coffee this week than I have drunk in the past 2 or 3 years!

Princess cake is bloody delicious by the way…

We walked up the hill past some houses and got a bit confused at the direction we needed to take so some joggers helped us on our way.

We entered the woods and and began a day of walking through a mixture of woods and road.

My foot began to hurt more in my sandals and I started to panick about it getting worse and ruining the hiking for us. I had my first real cry of the trip (managed 8 days!) because I was in pain and sad about the prospect of having to rest again and skip sections of trail.

I have worked out that it is my Achilles Tendon that is affected so Angeliqa got some advice and we put some gel in my show to elevate my heel slightly, which seemed to really help!

We reached Revsund where we saw this sign and knew we had reached Reuben’s house. Reuben has helped develop and market the trail and he invited us to his house for coffee and to talk about our experience so far.

He had a wonderful guest house which was beautifully decorated and we met his partner and his 3 cute cats, chatting whilst we ate meringues and drank coffee (tea for the English girl!)

Can you see the special moss in this window? I’ve noticed this a lot here. Apparently it helps stop condensation in the window which I think looks so pretty and I love that it is a natural way to solve a problem. I need some for the secondary glazing in my house!

Reuben took us to meet his 3 alpacas and angora rabbits which they use for wool to make clothes with and for walks with tourists. The alpacas don’t look real! They are so cute and look like puppets. One of them had cute sticking out teeth – he could be Instagram famous for sure.

Reuben offered to take our packs to the next town as he was heading there anyway which meant we could relieve ourselves of weight and walk more freely and quickly as the weather had turned and it had gotten quite cold and was raining a lot.

We started walking again and I began to feel my foot hurt more again and was feeling a little sick with the beginnings of a sore throat. As we entered the forest I started to panic a little at the situation as it was raining, was late in the day and felt very dark among the trees. The forest felt very remote in comparison to previous sections. I was worried about my foot and not feeling well as well as not having the security of having our packs with all of our provisions such as headlamps and the tent. This made me uneasy incase a situation arose from my foot being injured and us needing to stay put for help deep in the forest. I was getting wet, especially my feet in walking sandals and I knew that I was hypothermia waiting to happen. Not a nice feeling to have.

It’s a shame to feel preoccupied with thoughts like this because this part of the trail was stunningly beautiful and incredibly lush. At many points we had a huge lake just a metre from the left side of us and thick forest above us and to the right.

After a couple of hours we reached the road and the weather was increasingly bleak. I felt a little miserable due to my foot and it felt like autumn had suddenly arrived after a summers day yesterday.

Eventually we reached our accommodation for the night, glad to not be staying in a tent. We were soaked through despite our wet weather gear and we were cold, tired and hungry.

We showered while the lady we would be staying with made us home cooked goulash with bread, pickles and pancakes. It was delicious and warming.

Today was definitely the most testing day so far and definitely was reminded of some lessons previously learned. Doubt creeps in to my mind due to my foot and the weather turning more autumnal, wondering if the rest of the way will be as kind to us as it has been so far.

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  • Hi Leanne

    I am loving your blog – thank you for sharing your experience. I sincerely hope your foot gets lighter with the pain. Achilles tendon injury does not heal over night, if you can soak your feet in ice cold water every evening it might just help with the inflammation. Good luck and just take your journey one step at a time!!

    • Hey Michelle thank you! Just trying to rest it so I can complete as much of the trail as possible. Missing a couple of sections 🙁 but hopefully can get back on the trail for the most beautiful parts!