Three times I woke in the night.
Three times I clutched my leg, unable to ease the burning pain.
A split second thought about staying till tomorrow.
It passes, the pain remains, I fall back to sleep as the pain reaches a low.
It is 34km to Rhostahytta, and only 14 to Gappohytta. These distances are small. These distances are achievable. These distances will be paid for by pain, joy and awe.
The air is cooler today. The sun hidden behind a thick blanket of clouds, close enough that I can reach out and touch. It is time for coffee, to clean and to move on.
Just after 1pm I reach Goskahytta. Not sure why the time matters in the slightest. The trail here climbed out of the valley around Goldajavri and up towards the mountains.
The peaks I was in admiration of grew closer and closer as the trail snakes it’s way south west. A steep descent into a dry river bed, with signs of the rivers true power and nature etched on the face of each beautifully carved rock. A hello to a group of hikers and a steep climb out and along to the next climb. Up it went. Slow and meandering, whilst I wandered how best to describe the landscape I move through. Beautiful is too common placed, magnificent full of grandiose without substance, incredible a word best used to describe the forces that formed this place.
I drop down into another small river bed, with only the smallest of streams exiting the small lake. It’s power is such that along its path are plunge pool after plunge pool, all filled with crystal clear cyan coloured liquid. The smile I’ve worn all day widens. The knowledge the hut is near doesn’t solicit the same increase in pace. I wish to stand here and admire.
I contemplate a quick swim, imagining the fun it would be to slide along the waterfall and fall into the pool below. It would be foolish to do so in such a cold wind and at this altitude, so instead I collect water.
I reach the hut after a few 100m and enter. Inside I find some porridge and a can of stew. I make a meal of the stew and have th porridge as a sweet treat, sweetened using the raspberry jam I find, along with some butter for richness.
I take only what I need, some soya mince and couscous, leaving everything else. I debate moving on and decide to stay for one evening. The leg is sore after a jolt on a downhill and I would prefer it fixed sooner and spend more time on the trail than heal slower and less time here. I’m quickly joined by a Canadian philosophy lecturer who is exploring Northern Norway and a family (I assume they’re a family! A husband and wife joined by a father/father in law) from Switzerland, on their way to the tripoint and then Kilipisjârvi on a boat.
The fire is on, people are sat either chatting or lost in their thoughts. I’ve worked on the tendons and muscles in my leg, loosening the muscles as best as I can. I’ve realised that I need to moisturised my feet! The cool and arid air dries the skin and makes it easier for cracks to appears. By cut toe is all but healed and the small nick to the ball of my right foot is healing well. My pack is ready to go and all I have to do is clean the mess I create before I leave in the morning. An early start is needed to cover the distance to Dærtahytta.
I realise that others will view my mental state or emotional state with a perception other than what it is. I may get angry, be in pain or even sad through loneliness. This means nothing as below all this is a simple and nourishing joy. The joy that comes from a confidence in ones ability to survive. The ‘dark places’ are truly places of metamorphosis. We enter and leave with either subtle or profound changes to our nature or resolve. Their is now a greediness to my actions. Greedy to place my feet on new ground everyday, to see new sites and to feed on the sensations my body receives and brain translates. The land is rich in all things and I am greedy for its fruits.