Total Miles: 2,055.8
Past Hultafors, Sweden – October 3, 2016
“Where are you trying to go?” the man asked.
“Gothenburg,” I said. “I just missed a turn back there, but I’ll connect back with the trail just ahead here on this road.”
The man looked at me and slowly shook his head.
“Gothenburg,” the man said, holding out his fingers to count. “Five days.”
I looked at him like he was joking and shook my head.
“One,” I said.
He held out his hand to show me his fingers.
“Five,” he said again.
I looked at my phone to check my math as he told me about the trail ahead and how I’d need to go get food in the next town and how part of it hadn’t been cleared so there would be fallen branches so I couldn’t go that way.
“But it’s only 50 kilometers to Gothenburg,” I said.
“Sixty-five,” he said, denying my gps and the last road sign I’d seen. “And a hundred through the woods.”
“A hundred?” I said. “No. But even so, then it’s only two days.”
The man shook his head and chuckled at me. He held up there fingers.
“Three, at least,” he said.
“I still think one,” I said.
The man shook his head again.
“Maybe three,” he said. “Probably five.”
I gave up.
“Maybe,” I said. “But either way, I’m going to Gothenburg.”
I camped a few hours later in a wind shelter by a lake as the last bit of light faded on the water. I watched it as I ate dinner then stretched out in my sleeping bag and massaged my feet a little before I closed my eyes.
“Sleep well,” I whispered to my legs, “because tomorrow you’re walking to Gothenburg.”