After a rest day and some extortionate beer in Lillehammer, the two Daves and I have been continuing to trudge north towards Trondheim.
Along the way, among other things, we’ve camped in haunting, hazy spruce forest, crossed bridges half wrecked by flood waters, washed our feet at a derelict outdoor theatre by a thundering waterfall, and been invited to a massive hilltop party by a gregarious and topless bloke called Rudi (‘free for pilgrims’, apparently).
Tonight, after a leg where we seem to have been dragging our packs up steep inclines all day, we’ve finally reached our own modest El Dorado, in the form of a simple, open-sided wooden pilgrim refuge.
From our eagle’s nest we look down from a great height on the wooded valley below, with its thick slow worm of turquoise water stretching back out of sight towards Lillehammer and our past days.
Following the sage advice of the fellow in the Dale Gudbrands Gard pilgrim centre, which we passed this morning, we lugged three half-litre bottles of locally-brewed lager all the way up here, and chilled it in the stream while we got a fire going.
Now the bottles of cool, fresh beer are drunk, the marshmallows are toasted, and there’s a pot of savoury rice bubbling on the embers. We even had a pleasing little aperitif of some premium deer sausage that Dave (T) picked up back in town.
It’s certainly not the most extravagant evening I’ve ever spent, but it feels that way.