Friday June 5th 2015. Stiklestad 32 km


Kerkje van Stiklestad

Church of Stiklestad

Pelgrimscentrum/ hotel van Stiklestad

Pilgrims center/ hotel of Stiklestad

Tosca rust onder afdak tot slaaptijd. Krijgt daarna een veilige hoek

Tosca resting under a roof until sleeping time. Then she’ll get a safe corner

In de eetzaal

Diner room of the pilgrims center

Brenton, 37 .j. oud, en ik vrijdagavond

Brenton, 37 years old, and I on Friday evening

Francien and I thought that we had agreed with the administrator of our parish house at 9.50 this morning. Then he would come and pick up Francien to drive her 15 km. to Skogn, where Francien 25 min. later could take the train to the airport. But the good man already arrived at 8.30 am., more than one hour early. We are still having breakfast and still have to pack, but have a coffee or tea with us! No, he would come back later. We found his next proposal be tight: picking up Francien at 9.50, driving 15 km and her train will leave at 10.10. Anyway, the post all proved to be successful. I had to walk 40 km. to Stiklestad, but the first 7 km. I could hike with Francien and the good lord piggyback to where stillness my way of theirs. Fortunately, with very little rain and the wind at your back I walked With a good pace. I had the choice of a longer route for pilgrims on slippery paths through the forest to the pilgrims’ hostel Munkeby, or less over the long Levanger, but then continues on roads and paths. I chose, given the wet weather and the length for the latter route. On the way I stopped in a cafetaria for a coffee and there updated my blog on Thursday, because there was wifi. Another brief stop in a bus shelter to consume my lunch and a small tip to buy Frolic-dog kibble for Tosca. At about four, I was already in the pilgrims’ hostel of Stiklestad, a village like nothing. Not even a shop. But here the holy hero King Olaf who brought christianity in Norway died in 1030  Now a stopping place for pilgrims like me? The pilgrimage center I see quite a lot of decent, well dressed, controlled, quiet, elderly people, probably meditating during the day or attending a course. Not exactly the high jinks which the ones home expected me to experience here. I have a fancy hotel room here at the pilgrimage center for a price that is lower than for a wooden camping cabin. And rightly so. For Tosca I have to find a dry, wind free corner. I think she is happy because tonight she was inside, again on her back with legs up high, because she does not like heat, while we were not warm at all.
A text message from daughter Marieke in Southern
Norway: she has found refuge for me, that is for Tosca, for when I go to the Nl. for one week. A burden off my mind. Because there will be only one shelter for hundreds of kilometers. from here. All websites are in Norwegian and anyway I have to hurry searching for asylum for Tos, because by that time it is about holiday here. After extensive searching for sleeping accommodations for the next few days (since there are no marked pilgrim routes further North of here) I’m once again going to search on google the booked dog shelter by Marieke, where I Tosca can accommodate one week. But that is more than 100 km. from the airport Moi i Sana and also 100 km away off my route. How do I arrange that? In Norway a dog is not allowed in the bus. Renting a car is only possible in greater towns and I won’t pass those any more the next few weeks. How do I arrange all this again? During the day I walk and in the evening I have to plan for the next day. And the asylum expects
a speedy reply from me.
Just in case Han, my hiking companion for the week of June 29 will read this:my present hiking goal: arriving before June 19 in Hemavan (Sweden). From Hemavan trying to reach Mo I Rana (Norway) before 20th June. From there go to the dog shelter in Sundoy, near Mosjoen (100 km. South). And then straight back, because June 21st will be my flight from Mo I Rana to the Nl. In Hemavan is not a car for rent. Maybe then but not walk from here to Hemavan, but walking in the totally opposite direction, 300 km. or so to the shelter near Mosjoen. That is as far as from here to Hemavan. Leaving the dog there and then get the train to Mo I Rana. But how should we plan, Han, when we come together from the Nl. to Norway? Besides, if I walk from here to Mosjoen, I’ll have to walk a few hundred kilometers on the motorway, the E6 and that is extremely unpleasant, moreover dangerous. I’lkl think it over another night and day and then I’ll find a solution. So you see, no time for all kinds of social interventions. Not in the least. Infrastructuring that’s what it’s all about. Now, it is already 9:37 pm. And this evening I want to look for other shelters, car hire, SMS etc. The days here are very long and they still are too short. Or is it just me? If I want to finish this trip, what I do, of course, there is no alternative to the hassle. A true soldier does not sleep, but rests. For me, even little rest, just while walking. Crazy, huh.
 While I’m writing all of this someone knocks on the door. Oops, oops, it’ll be about Tosca.  Maybe she is loose, or she barks, or she  scares people off? Hello, says the man at the door. I am placed in your room. Well, come in. So now our double room is full. Brenton is an American, but was born and raised in Kenya 18 years. Lived briefly in Nebraska (USA), married in Kenya with an American girl who worked there, then lived for years in China, where he taught English and now lives temporarily in Norway. His parents and grandparents were missionaries. We talked until after midnight. At 5 pm he will get up tomorrow because he wants to walk 30 km. I want to walk 34, but  because Brenton and I talked until late, I set the alarm at 8 am. We talked about Kenya. You will always be white and they are black. White means for many Africans rich, money. That allready creates inequality. Extreme smog in China, making Beijing unlivable for Brenton. I asked him how it feels to be at home nowhere. Identity and so on. In Kenya he knew several Norwegians. Now he lives in Norway, he is considering staying here. I told him among other things what the tour did with me. And talking it quicly got(too) late, but interesting.

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