Hiking St. Olavsleden : Stiklestad to Munkeby

Today it rained and rained. I have no photographs from the first few kilometres as my cameras needed to shelter in my bag.

The first part was mainly on pavement along a main road surrounded by houses and then through a fairly industrial area. Soon it turned into farmland and became more sparesly populated.

There was a lot of tarmac pounding today. We made good speed along the roads, partially driven by the desire to get to a warm dry destination.

For our lunch break we sheltered under a thick area of evergreens, keeping most of the rain off of us.

The sections through forest were very beautiful today, a mixture of lush dark evergreens and sparse turning birch.

In the afternoon the rain eased and we were able to stop and explore the site of an old church, eat berries and add our names to another pilgrim book.

A lot of rain had fallen, making the rivers swollen and brown.

Eventually we reached Munkeby Herberget and was warmly welcomed by Håkon and Sissel, who live and work here.

This was a very welcome sight for us, a delicious traditional Nowegian pancake made by Sissel, filled with cream and jam, served with coffee in the beautiful little cafe/restaurant here.

Håkon showed us around the farm, which has a converted pilgrim bunkhouse in a old historic wooden building as well as a block with 5 luxury accessible guest rooms, complete with shared shower, kitchen and toilet facilities, as well as a dining area.

The cafe/restaurant also has a small shop attached to it selling handmade knitted goods and wooden toys.

For dinner we were served Norway’s national dish, which consists of slow cooker lamb, boiled potatoes and cabbage in a mild sauce made using the meat stock. All food is locally grown or sourced here and all dishes are traditional Norwegian recipes which I love. As a foreign pilgrim, I  want to absorb as much of the local culture as possible as it is all part of the experience.

We enjoyed chatting with our hosts about the history of the local area and the food here. In the evening we met two young German pilgrims heading the opposite direction who had already walked from Oslo to Trondheim. Wishing them both a god tur!

There was a play in a local ruin of a monastery in the evening which Angeliqa went to watch, while I snuggled up in the common area and made some calls home.

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