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22. november 2017


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Nidaros Pilgrimage feedback
Sist oppdatert 27.10.2008 21:59
 

Here are some thoughts I had on my walk from Oslo to Nidaros. Overall, I enjoyed the experience very much.  These sorts of suggestion emails tend to come out with a somewhat negative tone, but the good easily outweighed the not so good here. That said, for what it's worth...

Waymarkings

In general, the waymarking was excellent. I took very, very few wrong turns - less certainly than I took on my first walk on the Camino de Santiago. It's very well done. What follows are the few places I remember struggling.

The very first yellow arrow in Oslo sent me straight down a road when I actually needed to turn left. It's possible I simply misread this. The u-turn near the McDonald's on the outskirts of Oslo is very tricky and easily missed.

Before Frogner Kirke. It's hard to describe, but after walking on a cycle trail for a while, the waymarking calls for you to turn left up a steep gravel road. Eventually, it intersects a paved road, where you have three options: L on asphalt, R on asphalt, or straight ahead on gravel. No waymarkings are evident. Eventually I found an inconspicuous yellow arrow on the side of a guard rail, well down the road. But, I was stuck there for a little while.

After the golf course and before Ullensaker Kirke the waymarkings disappear. Given that I knew Ullensaker was the next stop, it was no problem, I just continued on the road. Without that info it would have been very tricky, though.

In the neighborhood after Meldal Bygemuseum where the road forks
 
Waymarkings were much lighter over the last 100k, especially just before Lian.


Trail conditions

Footpaths in the first 200k were very overgrown. I was a little frustrated with all of the asphalt early on, but I also got very nervous when the trail turned on to a footpath because I anticipated a struggle - wet, waste high overgrowth, which would often soak my feet and pants, and ample stinging nettles. Obviously, the best cure for this is more pilgrims to keep the growth back...

Most frustrating were the stretches around farm fields, where the area to walk was almost always overgrown with waste high weeds, bushes, etc. It would be lovely if more formal paths could be cleared, both to ease walking and better protect the farmers' crops. Easier said than done, I understand

The kavlbru in the Dovrefjell were in very bad shape in some places, especially around Avsjøen Lake. Some of them immediately plunged down four or five centimeters when I stepped on them, into the water. Others were coming apart, including one bridge that made me very, very nervous.  If I was walking the route again, I think I would follow the E6 because I don't have a lot of confidence that the bridge in particular will last many more walkers

The bog after Korslia is very difficult. I was there after a good stretch of sunny days and it was still a futile effort to keep my feet and shoes dry. This is also bad for the vegetation in the area, as it's clear that all walkers are tromping on anything that looks solid. Any chance of installing some kavlbru here?


Suggestions

I would love it if you would waymark through routes into more of the towns and then back on the PL afterwards. I depend on the towns for supermarkets - and human contact, really - and it's always a minor frustration to have to backtrack a kilometer.

Also, I would love it if the higher level alternate routes in Eivind's book had waymarkings

Please, continue pursuing cheap pilgrim accommodations. And, in particular, it would be great to have more of these in towns. I believe that regular lodgings in the 100kr range would open the route to many, many more people. Pilgrim accommodations in Hamar and Eidsvoll are particularly critical, I think.

More for Eivinds book, I think, but I would encourage highlighting both supermarkets and petrol stations in the guidebooks. Petrol stations come in handy on Sundays when most supermarkets are closed. I would also make sure to list if accommodations have cooking facilities.

Improved access to churches would make a big difference, I think. They were almost all locked!

It is a very lonely route if you walk alone. I like solitude, but it was even too much for me at times.  One of my happiest evenings was in Budsjord Gard, after Dovre, because it had a short wave radio and I was able to find the Voice of America and BBC News.  I wonder if you might be able to get radios donated from supporters and distribute these to the different pilgrim lodgings?  I think it would be a nice, hopefully inexpensive improvement. The same would be true of reading materials - if you could do a book drive and then deliver old paperbacks to the different lodgings, so people could swap them.  When I had a book to read or a radio to listen to, I enjoyed the trip much, much more.


Favorite Parts

The walk after Eidsvoll and the walk between the Varstigen and Rypusan were incredible.

The historic accommodations are one place the PL has the Camino de Santiago beat, I think. I particularly enjoyed staying in Bjerke Gard and Sygard Grytting. Non-historical accommodations I liked include Lysjøen and Ringebu. And, while it's a modern hotel, the Quality Hotel in Olaavsgard offered a great discount and was one of the nicest hotels I've stayed in - and a great breakfast!

The pilgrim's mass with Eivind's group. It really brought a nice sense of completion to the trip.

I really enjoyed the experience!

Regards,
Dave Whitson










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