”We are capable of more than we think.”

Beautiful views and the silence of the woods. That’s why Monica Andersson, from Blomstermåla in Småland, decides to complete St. Olavsleden, from Selånger to Trondheim, despite an overstrained foot. “I realized my foot was overstrained when I walked over the hills right before Pilgrimstad, but the beautiful view made it worth it”, says Monica and laughs.

Five years ago, Monica walked in Spain. That’s when she started thinking about walking the northernmost pilgrimtrail, St Olavsleden, as well. In August and September, right when summer turns into early autumn, she makes reality of her dream while enjoying the changes of seasons. Stress and musts slowly fade away in the silence of the woods.
– There were so many people in Spain. It’s very different here. Lonelier. I love the nature here in northern Sweden, and there are amazing views over mountains and lakes, and then the silence in the woods. All you can hear is birds and the wind. You only have yourself and your thoughts, says Monica.

Her overstrained foot forced her to an extra day’s rest in Östersund, but she still believes we can accomplish more than we believe. Not least for a beginner. She does have some smart tips for the first-time hiker though, like choosing well tried out shoes.
– Don’t buy new shoes right before your hike, and it’s good if your shoes are a bit oversized since feet tend to swell while hiking. Three good advices are to practice walking with your backpack, bring a first aid-kit with 2nd skin bandages, and don’t forget a water bottle! 

Monica means that, to walk the entire trail, one should plan for at least a month of hiking. Then there’s always possible to only walk parts of the trail and go by train or bus on some stretches. The local communications are a good asset when in trouble, says Monica.