I woke up from the sleep of the dead on a little cot in Mikal’s apartment. He had work that day and I was to leave with him or else I could’ve slept for many an hour longer.
I transferred my pack back to its full capacity (the previous night I had made a day pack thinking I would spend the day exploring Oslo) in preparation for my trip to Stavanger.
My train was set to leave at 11am so I explored the area directly around the terminal for a few hours before boarding.
Let me take a little time to now vent about needing to pay for reservations on trains when I have already bought a pass that is supposed to get me on all trains for the next three months. While I knew some trains are overnight or express or French and would require reservations, it is still insanely frustrating to still be paying for this transport that I thought I had already done. A brotha’s trying to ball on a budget here, damn.
The train was good. It was my first true long distance train experience and it was wonderfully smooth and uneventful. The countryside that we rode through was also incredible. Towering, jagged mountains looming over the quaint Norwegian farms were wonderful distractions for my eight hour trip.
I arrived in Stavanger just past 7pm and the race was on for some white gas and a green spot to park my tent for the night. The sleeping space was put on hold because the crowds areound the parks were quite large and my stomach refused to wait much longer for sustenance. But the white gas was ill fated from the start, as the city basically shuts down except for restaurants and bars at 6pm. I found this out as I wandered between what could have been a J. Crew yacht club photo shoot on the harbor and the designer shopping district. Let me tell you how well me and my 70 litre pack fit in in that part of town. I found out later that all those J Crew model wanna be’s were actually just a bunch of oil and gas industry blokes in town for a convention of some sort.
Losing on both fronts of my mission, I retreated to the safety of the ferry terminal where I would catch my bus in the morning. With a roof and wifi it seemed like the perfect place to spend an evening. I met a talkative Chinese traveller, Roy, as well. We spoke and shared our stories as we prepared to spend the night in the terminal. And of course, as these things always do, no more than 5 minutes after I unrolled my bag but a security guard came through to close the building up.
I haphazardly threw my stuff back in the pack and trudged off into the 11pm Stavanger night. With a Roy right behind me.
See, the oil convention had claimed nearly every room in the city and Roy was extraordinarily unprepared for any situation in which he didnt have a bed at the end of the night, so I had told him that if he needed to he could spend the night in my tent. But instead of outright accepting my offer and his situation, he insisted on trying all the other public transport centers to see if they would be open. Want to guess which of them were?
I felt bad for the kid (and a tiny part of hoped he would be right and we would be ablr to sleep inside somewhere) but he was not. So we removed ourselves from the city center into a nice little green space in a neighborhood that was just a few minutes from where we needed to be the next morning. Oh, did I mention Roy was planning to go on the same hike as me the next day, too?
Roy waited around awkwardly as I set the tent up. He offered to help but I had no interest in teaching a “Tent Setting 101” in the dark when all I had on my mind was sleep. Once I had everything up and running, we climbed in and I realized just how unprepared Roy was. He didnt have a pad or a sleeping bag. He had a pillow, all of his clothes, and the waterproof cover for his pack. I knew that splitting my pad and bag up to make him more comfortable would only make for a miserable night for me and possible damage to my gear but I did really feel sorry for the kid.
My exhaustion was to a point that even these thoughts didnt keep me up long and soon I was out like rock.
All my love.