Sunday August 9th 2015. Raisjav’ri 30 km.

Weer steenhellingen, waar ik mijn muggenstift laat vallen

Again stony slopes where I accidently drop my mosquito stick.

Klettersteige met staalkabel. Niks voor een pony!

Klettersteige with steel wire. Nothing for a pony.

Hier beter niet uitglijden

Better no sliding here.

Cool, wah!

Cool, isn’t it?


Tosca trekt mij bergop

Tosca pulling me up hill

Maar helaas ook bergaf

But unfortunately also downhill.

Andreas uit Koblenz. Ziet het na twee dagen al nauwelijks meer zitten! Ha,ha

Andreas from Koblenz (Germany). Already after 2 days he considers stopping! Ha,ha

Net de rivier overgestoken. Tosca vermaakt zich met rendierkadaver

I just crossed the river. Tosca enjoys herself with a rendeer cadaver.


Alweer schoenen uit voor riviertje. Hiep hoi denken de muggen

Again taking off shoes for a river. Hey, jee, the mosquito’s think.

De Raisjav'rihut die alle comfort zou bieden: gesloten. Tosca houdt het niet vol in portiek

Raisjav’ri cabin that has all comforts: closed. Tosca almost dies of the bugs in the porch.

In de regen tent opzetten en zonder eten naar " bed"

Putting the tent in the rain and going to sleep with an empty stomach.


Tosca amuseert zich met rendierschedel

Tosca has fun with a rendeer skull.

Voor de geïnteresseerden

For those who are interested.

This Sunday story has been written on Monday evening. Sunday was such a breakdown that I did not have the energy to report in the evening. After my pleasant stay with the nice, cozy Norwegian families in the Nedrefosshytta, it was really a pity to leave again. Last night there was some sensation about a nest of mice in the kitchen. Reason for the children to get out of their beds again. Would I let go off Tosca? She eats mice. But in another room there was also a dog and that would give too much hassle (barking and so on). Later it turned out that Tosca and I had a room just for the two of us. Prima night, after the sauna with 2 free beers of the Norwegians and afterwards the choice of cognac or Bayleys with apple cake at the campfire, which I all gratefully accepted. I only had myself to offer them in return. For the Norwegians I am an exot, so my comments were a good exchange for their good gifts. Because I was awaiting  a hard day tomorrow, I left the orgy halfway yesterday evening to put my head on one ear. Until midnight, I heard more and more laughter outside. How they can stand it, those mosquito’s, is a mystery to me. Probably one doesn’t feel it any more after a lot of alcohol.
After my breakfast the Norwegians awoke a little bit. One of them complained: at this moment I would like to have your body. Including the head?, I asked. And would your wife appreciate that? If we change you will be 20 years older, I warned him. Is not that nice.
All right, this morning I leave with still steaming shoes. First across the high, swinging, bridge, pending on steel wires. Tosca and I are already used to it. But then: The Reisa River flows in a mostly narrow gap. Often the space between the river and the high canyon walls is completely filled with huge rocky blocks, stacked from the river bank directly up to the canyon wall.  There is no path. You just have to climb the rocks as close as possible to the river. Sometimes for miles. And slippery. One place was a klettersteige / via ferrata. That’s a steel cable to hold on, in order not to slip from the rocks down into the river a few tens of meters below. Still taken a picture of this dramatic place. Photo. Damn, my mosquito stick drops out of my pocket, some four meters down. I saw it between the boulders. And because I’m totally lost without mosquito stick in this bugs fun fair, I decide to get the stitch. Taking off my back pack, very slowly and carefully. This is a delay again  Tosca then follows me and for her it is also a risky trick. But we have survived that too. Finally, the canyon ended. A long, heavy climb uphill over rocks, but between the boulders a muddy, slippery path, often functioning as a brook, brought us to a kind of highland, tree-free, but one big marsh, covered with a layer of 1 m high bushes, where of course we woke up the lovely sleeping female mosquito’s. In their morning mood, they attacked us furiously without any restraint. I had my mosquito net so that I could keep the mosquito oil to protect Tosca’s snout and almost bare bitch breasts somewhat from the pests. But what does Tosca do now? As soon as she gets a chance she rolls through the wet bushes, because of the itching, and then the protective oil is largely gone. Or she is looking for refreshment in the cold water, with the same effect.
Yesterday we walked 30 km. between and over those rocky blocks, through those shoulder-high wet ferns, through creeks and swamps. Today the same story again. Slowly, slowly. It did not work out. I was completely empty. Walked on my gums. Right before the first river for which I had to take off my shoes, it started to rain. No choice. Shoes off, pants up. And yes, yes. Dirty, ugly, horny bugs. They settle on my virgin white legs. Even when I’m balancing on the slippery stones at the bottom of the fast-flowing river, they take their chance. Then they dare, the cowards. On the other side of the river the legs and feet must dry again. So backpack down. Searching a tree to hold on. My wet handkerchief is already used as a towel and is being used again to get the water out of those wet shoes. Soaked handkerchief in the pocket again.
What is that man doing who walks back and forth in the distance? Undoubtedly again a river. Looking for a place to cross. We cross each other. To his accent, I heard that he was German: Andreas from Koblenz. Hello, also a Rheinländer! (the region across the border from where I live) Not really, he said. Originally, I am from near Berlin. O.k., his bad luck! I’ve walked parts of this 800 km Nordkalottleden in previous years. Now, for three days, another part again, but oh, is that heavy. I’ve been walking for just a couple of days, but I do not think I’ll finish it. Another boost for me. So not only I, elderly youngster, or younger elderly, think this is very hard. But also most others. So much the better. Restores the self-confidence.
I did not eat this afternoon, because there was no good lunch spot: either too swampy, or no stone to sit on, or the swarms of mosquito’s, or it rained. And without a little bottom in the belly one is weak like a newly milked udder. No more pace, taking a break very often, deadly and deadly tired. Now it can not be far away any more.  Another river for which  I have to take off my shoes my guide booklet says. And then a swampy stretch is supposed to come. I had already been dredging throughout the day. But this! This was real swamp. No dry peace of grass. Constantly soaking through the water. Shoes feel like walking in the soup. This really is no longer fun. Until now it had not been that much fun yet, but this is a disaster. I’m too tired, too old, not motivated, to go on doing this for many more days. Call a helicopter, shoot an emergency rocket. But what does the ordinary laboror want? On and on. Working for the higher purpose. And what’s that higher goal? First of all, the boss, of course! Furthermore, the children, but mine are already independent. There is no higher goal. Survival. Do not complain, let’s go! Soon I will arrive at a very nice cabin, the Raisjav’rihut. With a nice grass roof, beautifully located at a lake, with electricity, food and internet. At the stove I can dry my shoes and socks. Preparing dinner, nice mattress. Come on, please. We are still alive, though it hardly feels so.
And yes, yes. Le voilà, just look. Just across the bridge and I stand in front of the beautiful cabin. Oh, boy, oh boy. A large bar with a lock barricates the door. But I have a key of the DNT cabins, the Norwegian outdoor sports club. It was a quarter past nine, almost 12 hours of strolling past the gates of hell, and it was already getting darker. Is there nothing I can unscrew? No window open? In the porch I tied Tosca as I walked around the cabin looking for an opening. Tosca did not like the mosquito’s, jumped away every time again. I’m covering her with my raincape, but of course that didn’t help for long for such a crazy young animal.
I wished Q was here. Q was once included in psychiatry in an isolation cell, due to disordered behavior. The institute did not know that Q was specialized in frames, ceilings and locks. I visited Q in his isolation cell. Q told me he did not let himself be locked up. After being locked in he opened the door lock in no time. And there in the psychiatric hospital they left it that way. He was not quite calm yet when I visited him, because he took me directly to the department’s kitchen, to tell me which nurse he liked most. (The letter Q is a fiction).
But now I was alone. Q is more than 3000 km. away. What a disappointment, that cabin. Then the tent. And cooking for dinner. It turns out that I’ve forgotten my only pan / jar, a coffee pot, in the cabin this morning. Then no dinner today, but for the second or third time müessli today. As I get the tent out of my backpack, the first rain drops begin to fall. And when the tent rises, my fleece jacket is already wet. Soaked Tosca flees into the tent to escape the mosquitoes. Dirty and wet, she is in the tight tent between the bags, sleeping bag, roller mattress etc. I covered the backpack outside and the rest of the items that I had outside, with my raincape. Then again, wet, into that miniature tent, with my dripping shoes and socks. Of course, they will not dry tonight. A series of mosquitoes who want to be friends with me,  joined me inwards. With great effort I ordered everything in my tent while wet Tosca and wet I occupy the much too tight space. Evening dinner is still packed in the backpack, outside, under my cape: then simply müessli again. However, therefore I have to get water at the lake 100 m. away. Then no dinner at all. With all my wet gear I crawl into my sleeping bag with wet Tosca on top of me. Due to lack of dinner I ate only a few pieces of chocolate. When I woke up later that night I noticed that I had fallen asleep before I had swallowed the chocolate and Tosca also slept immediately. We were tired like a dog. Kapoelewoetsj!

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