There’s only so many times I can say the following when describing the landscape…
Beautiful, increible, amazing, delightful, remote, hostile, breathtaking.
They all mean the same thing. This place is beyond what I expected. It fills my mind in such a way that there are no deep and meaningful insights into what I am doing. Any attempt to thing things through gets over powered by one of my senses.
I sit in the sun, having started in a mountain pass that was anything but sunny. It rained and I wasn’t bothered. It was cold and I wasn’t bothered. I purposefully moved slowly as a rest day, having upped the distance to 35 then 43 the days before. Today was a simple 32km, at a leisurely pace but I seem to have covered the most difficult part of the day an hour quicker than walking pace!
I arrived at a hut (Gaskahytta) found a bottle of cognac, half full, ate a lunch as I refuse to carry food on the day to Abisko, and then sat wasting time. I leave and cover the distance an hour or so faster than I though I would!
I talk to a lady from Switzerland about her journey. She asks about mine.
I tell her where I started and when.
Her eyes nearly pop out of her head. She asks about today’s trek and I tell her I came from Vuomahytta. She asks when I left. Again I tell her and am treated by the same startled, frog eyed fish look.
This happens again when she asks of my plans for the next day.
To me, I am going slow. To others, I seem to be flying around these fells and other than a healing leg, all feels relaxed and well. Yesterday and the day o reached Kautokeino are the only days I ended with the feeling of having pushed myself.
What is stranger is that my life as a teacher feels like a distant memory. As though this has been my life for as long as I can remember. What a life it would be if we had no need to be a cog in another’s machine?