Saturday, December 12, 2009

Andreas the Pilgrim Dane

July 17, 2009

I met my first fellow pilgrim yesterday, a Dane, Andreas. He caught me at breakfast at Sygard’s Grytting where I was having trouble tearing myself away from the hospitality of hosts Stig and Hilde. Andreas was about my vintage and impressed me as better prepared and adapted to the rigors of Norwegian pilgrim life. At any rate, it was raining and he was better dressed than me for wet. Also, while I’d slept indoors in the warm comfort of the Grytting pilgrim loft, Andreas had toughed it out sleeping in his tent. Several things struck me as we two started walking together. First, while I had walked the rough mountain track in to the Grytting farm, Andreas had walked the lower, paved road. And second, when we left the farm, Andreas took his cue from me that we needed rain covers on our packs—so I was apparently impressing Andreas. In the end, though I offered him the lead to set a comfortable pace, we walked together for less than 20 minutes. With a pack a third larger than my own, Andreas did have all the wet weather gear I thought I sorely missed. But he also had a sore back from carrying the pack. He admitted he couldn’t keep up and suggested that I go on ahead. Word from Stig is that I am one day behind an Irish pilgrim woman. More amazing, I know from pilgrim hostel guest books that I am a week behind Jeroom Coenen, a Belgium pilgrim I knew well walking the Santiago Camino in Spain in 2007. The sun is shining this afternoon in Sjøa!

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