Pentecote Sunday May 24th 2015. Engelshus, community of Dovre, 10 km

 Bewogen foto v Dovrefjell vanuit trein

Bewogen foto van Dovrefjellhoogvlakte vanuit trein

Moved picture of Dovrefjell-plateau from the train

Nog een. Rotsen en sneeuw. Niet echt uitnodigend

Another one. Rocks and snow. Not really inviting

Dovrefjell vanuit trein. Moerassen. Eland is niet te zien

Dovrefjell from the train. Moors. The moose is not clear in the picture

Geen Dovrefjell, toch muskusos

No Dovrefjell.Nevertheless a musk ox

Afstand naar Nidaros, mijn pelgrimsoord in Trondheim

Distance to Nidaros, my goal in Trondheim, end of the Olavs hike

Met mijn huisbaas en - bazin naar de zondagdienst in Vollheim

With my landlord and his wife to Sunday church service in Vollheim

Kerk Vollheim helemaal bekleed met stenen platen

Vollheim church completely covered with stone plates

Naast mij de huisbazin

Next to me the landlady on Sunday afternoon

Op bezoek in huis van hospita en hospess, met hun kinderen

Sunday afternoon visit in landlord and lady’s house with their children

Typisch brievenbussenhuisje met grasdak

Typical mail box with grass roof

De Dobrefjell in de verte is niet errg verlokkend

The Dovrefjell in the back is not very inviting

Today rest day. I only have 10 km.  to go. I do not want a day off, but I have to plan this way, for Monday will be my last opportunity to go shopping, which is in Dovre, before I Monday heap on the deserted plateau of the Dovrefjell. Look on the Internet. Cool, that’s for sure, but also cool temperature. I notice that Tosca’s runs out of food tonight. Organizing and planning remains one of the biggest nuisances.
is “open all year” in the travel guide. The last few weeks I experienced several times that this was not the case. Or in the guide it says: available in village restaurant or snack bar. But the guide does not say that closing time is 7 pm. So better carrying additional provisions, but that’s not  very pleasant on those slippery mountain paths. Being a pilgrim they try to cure you of your ideals, it seems. Back to basics is soon again like returning to “God in la douce France”. The variety, that is one of the nice parts of my hike. If every day always is like God in France it might be boring. And with these thoughts I’m packing now, and I’ll see if at the near by restaurant, read gas station, I can get coffee and then start my short route to Engelshus. I’m expected in Engelshus, so that makes me feel at ease. Oh, I just remember that the gas station here near the camp, where you can get food, only opens at 11. No problem, today only 10 km. to go. So I consider to leave before 11, so without breakfast.
At home, the extended family is present at my Sonja, whom I abonded. Well, such a wooden cabin in the semi-wilderness is not always very romantic. And a dog that barks at anything that moves, especially passing joggers and at children, makes me not really relax, especially on a campsite. On the other hand, there are worse things.
Reminds me of Peru and Mama Alice. Lately I don’t get as many donations as before. Understandable, because my action is not new any more. Still, I hope that we reach those 10,000 E before I’m back from Cape North. At the front page of my site is the link to Mama Alice and that is how you can donate.
As for loneliness, I have fun with the text messages, phone calls, reactions on my blog and on the facebook page of my ponyanddogtrip. O.K., now on to the gas station, i.e. the restaurant for COFFEE!

The gas station where they sell food, I just skipped. I’ll be in Engelshus soon anyway, only 10 km. The route was like previous days: playing the mountain goat, alternating grassy forest trails, gravel and sometimes ordinary paved back roads. Within a few hours I was there, too early. An old farm complex, where the family of the mistress had been living for 20 generations. Where does your journey go to, asked my hostess. From tomorrow four days across the mighty Dovre fjell, I answer. That’s not possible, she says, too much snow. Or you have to walk on the freeway all the time. May be that’s possible. Well yes, but I have pretty bad memories of the freeway. And from here, no river to follow with nice smelling spring flowers, frolicking beavers and otters, or other frivolities to fantasize as a distraction from the horror of the motorway. She spoke very poor English, so I suggested, after she guided me through my new old guest house, she would make tea for me and then we would discuss whatever she wanted. Fine. The guest house stood next to their’s, was old, but fully furnished old fashioned, with everything in it, ands was entirely at my disposal. Only no wifi. Tosca has an antique wooden barn to rest from pulling her master all day uphill.
I shower, wash my clothes hoping those will be dry before dinner. Jesus, 4 pm., Knock on the door, “dinner is ready”. Fine, but diner this early will make my stomach rattle at 10pm tonight of starvation. Her offer for breakfast tomorrow that I at first wanted to reject because I still had a sandwich left for tomorrow, but at second thought I accepted anyway. Then I’ll eat that remaining roll tonight, ‘ cause maybe dinner is not enough for me. And my clothes are still not dry. The next possible drying period is until 6:15 pm, because then I can join them to their church. Then I’ll be pious for a chance, ’cause ain’t I a pilgrim? “Slivvenier” (Our Lord) will probably fall from his throne when he sees me. I hope he does not break his jaw, like I heard that happened to my sister Francien, who will accompany me next week.
But what now? 4 Days Dovre fjell by foot inaccessible. Should I be sorry or happy? Will I be the first one to survive this adventure, or will I be the last one who didn’t survive the Dovrevfjell? It is not safe to do so. Reminds me of the Jeti, the Abominable Snowman in Tibet: no one has ever seen him and those who have didn’t return. Translated to the Dovre: Never has anyone passed him under these weather conditions and those who did never showed up any more. My landlady advises me to take the train in Dombas and then cross the Dovrefjell by train until Oppdal at the other side. But where is Dombas? Is not in my guidebook. And are dogs allowed in the train?? What is the timetable at Pentecost? What time will I arrive in Oppdal? Then I have to call today to book a shelter in Oppdal. And sister Francien? Thus I agreed Oppdal, but only next Saturday. You see, this organizing is intensive and very time consuming. I express to my hostess and – Mr that I regret that I therefore will not see the musk oxen that live in the Dovrefjell. You do not know, she says. A while ago, four of them have been run over by the train, so if you are lucky … Happiness is with the stupid / crazy, so a slight chance I’ll see them anyway!

Now I have daughter Marieke living here in Norway. I didn’t hesitate long and called Marieke. Within a minute she had found the answer (what a smart girl , looks like her mother.): Tomorrow afternoon, Pentecote Monday, 3 trains from Dombas to Oppdal and a dog no problem. Seems a personal add. The Norwegian Railway competes with the bus companies with the slogan: wanted travelers, one dog no objection. In the bus dogs are not allowed. Something like that I heard more often, ha, ha: José Féliciano, 1968? : no dogs allowed.

This evening I join them to their church. In passing, we would also drive past the railway station. Hip, hip. After checking into my guest house I went to my landlady’s house to have coffee with them. I explain that I was raised Roman Catholic. Oh, just like our Philippine daughter in law, she says. Immediately she took the album with pictures of their visit to the Philippines and the wedding there. Funny that a farmer’s son from the outbacks of the Norwegian mountains finds his small sized luck at the other side of the world. Reminds me of my son Servé who brought his Peruvian bride to Belgium to live there.
Now is 8:13  in the evening. I went with my host and – wife to their church, where the confirmants ( the kids renewing their baptismal vows) were to be addressed today. Next week will be their big day. Too bad, that I’ll miss it, because everyone will be in national costume. The story will follow later this evening, because after curch I was asked to come over to their house for drinking coffee again.
Quarter to ten pm already. Then quickly before sleeping: The church of Dovre is very special. Built of wood, but completely covered with large stone slabs. See picture. First we visit the grave of my landlady’s/landlord’s daughter who deceased at the age of 11. Always an emotional moment.
Inside are the sexton, who is a large, heavy man and next to him the priest awaiting and welcoming the people. I offered the clerk my hand, but he didn’t shake it. Unusual here? Come in, he says, in a friendly tone. I lead you around. A stone baptizing font from 1100, an altar decoration of wood with ornate curls and bows, cut in the stone. He calls it baroque. With all due respect, I think, have a look at Catholic central, Southern and Eastern European churches. Then you see what real Baroque and Rococo means. The same applies to the elaborately carved wooden pulpit. Top center aisle hangs a wooden sailing ship of the kind with which our national hero Michiel de Ruyter defeated the Spanish Armada in the 17th century. Do you know why ?, asks the clerk. Because the ship, is a metaphor for a journey, a journey of life. That appealed to me. I’ll put it in my blog, I respond. So that ‘s what I’m doing now. Photographing unfortunately prohibited. I only wondered why on that ship in the church were guns, with loopholes. Harry, don’t be difficult.
It struck me that the Lutheran worship is not much different from the Catholic. A little more miserable singing, which, as I’m used to, no one dares to sing aloud. An organist, which compensates for the lack of song participation by putting his whole heart and soul into these pipes.
The priest prays with his back to the audience, in chasuble (youth, look up whatever that is!) his litany, which certainly will be meaningful, but still is dominated by utterly appearance, whilst the 12 candidate confirmants couldn’t suppress their laughter . During communion, after some doubt one after the other rises from the banks to walk forward, without the drilled discipline, which became customary in our Dutch catholic churches in our 70s.
Upon returning home the family of dear daughter comes to tea with cake. We had an enjoyable evening, I got my amount of necessary extra calories and the solitude was gone. The son in law offered to bring me tomorrow to Oppdal at the other side of the Dovrefjell, so the train is unnecessary. And there would also be a shop opened, inter alia, for dog food.

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