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Challenges of a Solo Journey?

noelle6422

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
St. Olav's Way (2019)
I'm planning to walk St. Olav's Way from Oslo to Trondheim next summer.

I'm generally a confident solo traveler and never once felt unsafe along the Camino Frances last year.

Would you consider St. Olav's Way to be safe for a young solo female traveler?

Most blogs and guides I've seen have been super informative, but each one has been about groups of 2 or more people. Are there any unique challenges in taking this path alone, other than the solitude of a less-populated route?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
I'm planning to walk St. Olav's Way from Oslo to Trondheim next summer.

I'm generally a confident solo traveler and never once felt unsafe along the Camino Frances last year.

Would you consider St. Olav's Way to be safe for a young solo female traveler?

Most blogs and guides I've seen have been super informative, but each one has been about groups of 2 or more people. Are there any unique challenges in taking this path alone, other than the solitude of a less-populated route?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
And would you consider it safe for an old solo female traveler?
 

AllanHG

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France 2015
Camino Portuguese 2017
There is a lot of information on St. Olav's Way on Facebook (St. Olavsleden) and I think there have been posts from women walking alone. I started using Facebook specifically to follow this and it is well worth it if you're planning this walk. There is also a good guide book available online at a St. Olav's Way store and I think the 2018 book is available shortly. I'm sorry I don't have the links here but they are both easy enough to find. I'm doing this walk this summer and have found these resources really helpful in planning.
Good luck!
 

noelle6422

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
St. Olav's Way (2019)
There is a lot of information on St. Olav's Way on Facebook (St. Olavsleden) and I think there have been posts from women walking alone. I started using Facebook specifically to follow this and it is well worth it if you're planning this walk. There is also a good guide book available online at a St. Olav's Way store and I think the 2018 book is available shortly. I'm sorry I don't have the links here but they are both easy enough to find. I'm doing this walk this summer and have found these resources really helpful in planning.
Good luck!
Thanks for your reply. I've already ordered a guidebook as well. I'm afraid I don't have a facebook account, but I may look into it. :)

Your journey must be coming up quickly--safe travels and best of luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
TdMB/KLW(2014)
Portugues(2015)
St Olavs Way(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF (2019)
Thanks for your reply. I've already ordered a guidebook as well. I'm afraid I don't have a facebook account, but I may look into it. :)

Your journey must be coming up quickly--safe travels and best of luck!
Hi Noelle,
I'm new to the forum & just discovered your thread. Still time to be helpful I hope!
I walked St Olav's Way from Oslo to Trondheim as a solo female in 2016. I was/am 'middle-aged' 😯 & an experienced long distance walker.
Norway is a safe country for solo female travellers however as with anywhere on the planet, you need to exercise the standard precautions. I never felt threatened or had any concerns for my personal safety even on the more isolated stretches.
The main issue I had was with accommodation. On several occasions, places decided they were 'full' or 'closed' despite me having confirmed reservations (guaranteed with a credit card) & would not honour the booking. Fortunately on each occasion there was an alternative within a few kms. To balance this out, other places were horrified at what had happened & went above & beyond to assist. My advice is to book ahead & ensure wherever possible, that there is another reachable option...just in case!
I'd also suggest looking closely at each stage to see if there's an alternative route for a section; many times the route goes all over the place unnecessarily when there are more straight forward paths. Also deviating from the path will be required to access facilities (accom, food, etc) Any deviation is of course, a personal choice...I'm not a purist & viewed the official path as a suggestion. I nicknamed my walk 'St Olav's My Way'.
It's a beautiful walk through a wonderful country & definately 'the road less travelled'. Enjoy it...you'll be fine! Any queries, don't hesitate to ask. 👣 🌏
 

noelle6422

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
St. Olav's Way (2019)
Hi Noelle,
I'm new to the forum & just discovered your thread. Still time to be helpful I hope!
... 🌏
Thanks so much for your reply! It definitely boosted my confidence a bit. Thanks for the advice on checking for alternative routes—probably the most practical input I've received! I'm not too concerned about accommodation issues, as I'm prepared to camp out when it's more convenient or accommodation isn't available.

Did you have any trouble with weather or wildlife on your journey?

My trip is coming up faster than I realized—it'll be a great adventure after a bitter winter :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
TdMB/KLW(2014)
Portugues(2015)
St Olavs Way(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF (2019)
Thanks so much for your reply! It definitely boosted my confidence a bit. Thanks for the advice on checking for alternative routes—probably the most practical input I've received! I'm not too concerned about accommodation issues, as I'm prepared to camp out when it's more convenient or accommodation isn't available.

Did you have any trouble with weather or wildlife on your journey?

My trip is coming up faster than I realized—it'll be a great adventure after a bitter winter :)
Always happy to help Noelle! I walked from late May returning home beginning of July. The weather was unseasonably hot early on & rainfall lower than average. In the whole 4-ish weeks on the trail, I only had 2 mornings of light showers. This was unheard of...I was expecting rain 50% of the time!
Re: camping. My long distance walking motto is 'travel light, comfy at night' so can't give much advice on this front. However I do know Norway is far more lenient than most countries when it comes to free/wild camping...very few rules/restrictions. I only met 5 other pilgrims in total; 2 (a young couple) were camping & they had no problems...except for how much weight they were carrying! Also when I walked, various community groups were starting to build shelters along the route to assist trail users. These were mostly 3-sided with a platform for sleeping. As this was 2016, I'd expect there may be more now.
As you probably know, the route, even though it links all the way to Trondheim, was not designed as a through-walk but more a sectional/day walk set-up. It's because of this, most of the trail issues occur ie unnecessary (& exhausting!) faffing about, lack of facilities, etc.
I used Alison Raju's guidebook 'The Pilgrim Road to Trondheim' published by Museums-Forlaget...the only current English guidebook at the time. The maps were very good...much better than most Cicerone guides. I did note that occasionally Alison got her Lefts & Rights muddled up so vigilance is required however it is generally well way-marked through-out.
As for wildlife...mozzies & flies were the biggest issue. I'm Australian so if I complain about flies...you know they have to be bad! 😄 Apart from those pesky little blighters, I only saw a few deer & squirrels.
On general terms; be prepared for lots of hills & Norway is expensive...the supermarket will be your best friend for eating.
I'm heading off to tackle the Via Francigena from March. You'll probably be underway by the time I return home (early July). Feel free to ask me anything & keep in touch...I'd love to know how you get on.
God Reise (good journey)
👣 🌏
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
There is a group walk from Oslo to Nidaros each year that ends up in Trondheim to St. Olavs day, end of July. They usually start 15-17. June and use 6 weeks. One can book parts of it or the whole way. Sunday is restday. I tell you this to be aware that places to sleep might be fully booked at that time. There is also a groupwalk starting from Dovre to Trondheim end of July.
Be aware of the moscus if you come upon them¡
 

Anna-Marie

Active Member
I went solo and met several other women (20s, 30s and 60s, generally) who also walked on their own and never heard of any problems. I camped outside of campgrounds without problems, too.

Also, if you're aiming to be in Trondheim by July 28 (when the St. Olav festival starts), you'll actually meet a number of people (though nowhere near Camino numbers) after Lillehammer. At least, that was my experience.
 

Snoopy99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Via Pondiensis (till Chaor)
next Caminho Português
Hello, Noelle,
Hello, Pelerine,

I followed the threat with great interest. Thank you so much for that. I am planning to walk St. Olav's Way from Lillehammer to Trondheim in the middle of May. When are you planning your trip?
Maybe it will give us women some security if we can communicate with each other on the way.
Best regards
Elke
 

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