Hiking from Sweden to Norway along St. Olav’s Trail

Image of Leanne Downs Hiking in the Scottish Mountains

This morning I received my flight confirmation. It now feels real – I am going to be spending most of August and September hiking from the west coast of Sweden to the east coast of Norway!

Anyone who knows me will appreciate how much of a dream come true this is for me, to be spending a month in Scandinavia. This is the place that has captured my imagination for most of my teenage and adult life so far. Now I will be seeing it the best possible way, slow paced immersion via walking along St Olav’s Path.

On the 18th August I will fly to Stockholm and meet my lovely friend Angeliqa. Then we will travel to Sundsvall ready to begin our walk at the start of the trail in Selanger on August 19th.

We will be walking for 28 days across the country, over the Swedish/Norwegian border into Norway where we will finish in the middle of September in Trondheim. A 564 km coast to coast hike, carrying almost everything we need on our backs.

We will be camping most nights, but we have also been lucky to secure some pilgrim accommodation along the way. Along with the various kind people who have offered us a place in their garden or home.

I’ve been dreaming about this for months now. Dreaming of pine forests, mountains and lakes and little red wooden houses (and Elk!) waiting to find out for sure that it was really going to happen. I almost feel the need to keep pinching myself now that it has all come true.

I now have the overpackers worst nightmare of packing my rucksack with a very Swedish mantra in mind; ‘Lagom’ – which means ‘just enough’. The lighter the pack, the more enjoyment out on the trail. Which is a hard task when you’re a photographer with camera gear weighing almost half your recommended pack weight. It means no room for luxuries and little room for necessities. I’m really looking forward to making some photography work about the trail though.

Over the next couple of weeks i’ll be keeping a diary of preparations until I leave. After this, a daily diary while hiking along the way (technology allowing). I will also be setting up a fundraising page to raise some money for some charities close to my heart. I hope that doing this will help keep me going when my legs are tired and my back is aching along the way.

 

 

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