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  • Writer's pictureRadka Minksová

NPL 2022 - DAY 8

Ljosland - E450 Sandvigvatnet, 45,45 km, +1635 m


Days total

Distance today

Total distance

Elevation gain

Start position

End position

20. 7. 2022


45,45 km

212,53 km

1635 m


E450/ Sandvigvatnet

MAP - DAY 8:

Before I start describing this beautiful first day on the trails, I want to say something to the "media side" of this project..

I hate to say it again and again, but same story. I planned to start running the next 46 km stage at 5 a.m. to be very early by the car again. But I am starting at 8:30, after only 5,5 hours of sleeping.

I have to, I really have to get rid of all the "media debts" which I have in all the postings, writings etc. Otherwise, this amazing project will never be so strong, free and happy as it could.

The 3-day-long editing of the "Jungle movie" in the car in Lindesnes (see the second blog post here on the page) took me too much time, which I otherwise would invest into the writing, posting, preparations etc. So since the day 1 I am behind the schedule everywhere. On Instagram, here on the web and on Facebook.

Funny... I was totally ignoring social media the last 2 years. It is really ironic. Since June 2020 I lived 2 years in the most beautiful parts of Norway during the corona times, in Lofoten and Lyngen, filming cool nature and skiing, climbing, trail running and other adventure stuff every day almost for the clients. But never posting almost anything on my personal social media.

I felt big reluctance to do so.

Even though I knew I should, because in these crazy unsure times, it is good to be well known to have more work possibilities in my outdoor filming field. Because in March 2020 all of my very promising filming skiing projects in Norway and Canada were destroyed by the heavily misused corona scam. And suddenly we could not travel and many of the clients got into existential troubles. And today almost every company looks not at the quality, but at the social media numbers first. Which I totally killed by 2 year long inactivity. Because my work has never been dependent on numbers on social media at all.

But... Haha, paradoxically, here I am now, struggling the last week to run across a nice but weird forest and marshy landscape of southern Norway, so boring to most people, compared to insanely scenic nature in Lofoten, and I am suddenly trying to post it everywhere I can. Haha, what a stupidity. At the first glance.

But I know why I am doing it.

This run across Norway and all the media work is just a stage 1 of a big long term NPL project. And later, if we succeed to finish this trip this year and if I manage to create "the best trail running adventure film ever made" (my very immodest dream, I know), it will start to be very valuable material. Later I tell you more about it.

Generally, all the media side of this project is hard, since we are only 2 people here. Radka is totally busy with most of the backstage stuff and editing photos and I have literally zero time for the resting after the run, except of short sleeping, which is also not ideal.

When I return from the run, I immediately have to back up all the data from 4, sometimes even 5 cameras. Twice, to have always the data twice, if one of the hard drives crashed. It takes very long time and focus. Then I have to select the photos for the article and give it to Radka. I have to create do Instagram stories. Sometimes, when I do the stories it in the middle of the running, it stops me, sometimes for hours.

There was no time to introduce the project to wide audience in all the selected Facebook target groups so far. I know how to do it, really efficiently. But I had no time yet. Despite working non-stop the last months, there is still something more to do :)

Writing these articles on the run is another league... Cruel time eater.

But I want to do this all! Why? Because it is a perfect, perfect school of effectivity and time management. Something very important for a chronic perfectionist like me. When I am not under the pressure, I can easily play with short video even for weeks, forgetting about time, playing with details which nobody else notices :) The same I could do even with these articles to make them perfect. Select the best photos, spend many days editing them, rewriting each sentence until I would be satisfied.

But here I have absolutely no time, I have hardly time to read it again to check the spelling, if I also want to run, ideally at least 50 km a day in the mountains. It is hard for me, to publish things which are by far not perfect at all in my eyes.

But that is exactly what I have to learn and overcome here...

What is also hard fore me is this...

I am going through interesting various landscape every day, experiencing many nice or even dramatic moments. I am filming every hour many shots with many cameras for the film. Really, many shots each hour. Even on the run. I created a special system of pockets for all my filming gear, so I can film anything almost anytime quickly in the most authentic way possible on such a lonely project. Usually, when working, I am filming someone else. A runner, climber etc. And it is so much easier and faster than to film yourself...

A Good NPL Film is my biggest priority. I also take some photos for the web and book, but I put only 5% effort into photos. Videos get 95% of it. If there is a nice moment, I always prefer the video.

At the same time, later I want to write a book. A detailed NPL guide book and also our diary. So these long articles are very important for me! Because just in a few days you forget many details and feelings from the backstage.

Details about the route itself I always remember even after 10 years, but all the daily stuff around gets blurred very soon in my mind.

That is why I want to write it. What I hate is that these articles and simple photos have no chance to tell you the story properly. It is too weak compared to a proper edited film.

An article written in a hurry never shows you what I see and experience. But for editing videos, there is absolutely no time for at all on the go. Only for simple Instagram Stories which I am trying to post daily.

But despite the "media pressure", I will also try to post more videos from the real cameras soon, but first I have to "get to the present day" in writing the articles.


So on the start of today's run, I am promising myself, that I will not start running further the next days, until I finish the last article about the last day. It is better to sacrifice one more running day and then run with clean mind and faster than to still feel the stupid pressure of being several days too late.

Ok... Enough long philosophizing about my media weaknesses and issues (and big congrats if you are still reading!), let's go back to the trip of Day 8 yesterday. Yes, I am already only 1 day behind, when writing it

In the morning I start running from the car parked by the river up on the asphalt road. Here the asphalt does not matter, I am just returning to the point where I stopped the last short day. Here I turn on both my inReach tracker and my watch, film intro for Day 8 episode and start running up about 3 km to the new dam of the lake Langevatn.

Soon comes Radka with the car. I am quickly filming drone shots of the car. Then I take my 11 year old buddy Čenda and for the first time I am not running alone.

He is still super strong, but on hot days he is struggling a lot. So I did not take him all the previous days, when I had to cross such a bad terrain with no paths and high grass and thick bushes. Today we will be almost all the time on the trails and there are many lakes, where I can cool him down.

I am super happy to have him with me and he is super happy to finally be out of the car. Only Radka is a bit unhappy, because she loves Čenda too much. But he is mine today...

I tell you more about Čenda later, but he is the best outdoor guy I ever saw. Super strong, funny and a bit crazy runner. Proud mongrel with incredible grace

He is half dachshund, father unknown. He has really short legs. But incredible endurance. He ran 104 km race in 2017 and many 50-65 km races and distances and then he was fighting dogs in the finish line He is with me everywhere, even in deep powder day on my ski mountaineering trips to high mountains.

But I can see he is slowing down a bit the last 2 years, he will be 11 in November.

So I am very happy top see that he is running without any problems today. It is really hot day, but there are many rivers and lakes all day long, so when he is breathing heavily, he takes a swim and he can continue another several kilometers.

We are running on the new gravel road along Langevatn. When I was here in 2019, the road was much much shorter, and there was a beautiful trail on the north side of the lake. Sad.

By a crossroad, we turn to a forest trail towards Gaukhei cabin. Finally, pure nature again. We are going up and down, over and over again.

We pass the nice farm of Pytten, inhabited by a young family and soon we are up on the plateau above the tree level, where we stay more or less all the day. The trail here is insanely fast and good compared to the jungle I was passing the first 6 days. I feel like flying, a really comfortable highway. I am enjoying it. I am not hurrying too much, because I know what waits for me the next 3 days. Unsupported 144 km across the super harsh stony deserted northern part of Setesdalheiene. Last year I completely destroyed my feet there, I had blisters everywhere and I had to stop for 3 days to heal the feet before I ran 90 km across Hardangervidda in one push.

I must absolutely avoid the blisters. And my skin is not in the best shape already here, despite the previous "rest and media day" helped a lot.

So we are enjoying a nice sunny day, filming a bit, but not too much, because we ran here last year, same weather, same path and I filmed like crazy in 2021.

I am really grateful to have another chance to experience exactly this with Čenda. It will be the best memories of this incredible, small guy with enormous heart one day.

No need to describe the route in details here. This part is well known, well marked. Again, it is endless, traveling up and down through a hilly green and blue kingdom. Totally peaceful, quaint, almost fairy tale like landscape. At least in a good sunny weather.

I feel that my neck is totally burned, but I leave it as it is. It simply needs to get used to. My face is already dark brown, with sharp edge where the white skin hidden under the T-shirt starts. It looks soo funny and bad, haha. But I do not care, here are things like "beauty and style" totally non-important. Totally.

The terrain is easy, but I am tired. Not too tired, but tired, and I know what is ahead of me. And I know that it will be demanding like this for weeks. I knew well what I was going into, when I planned this trip, but again... The dreaming at home is always much more romantic and optimistic than the hard reality then on the road, especially when you are tired, stressed and the weather is bad.

I know I will have to be very patient, smart and I should give attention to all the details, which are normally not very important. Like the state of your skin on your feet. You can be the strongest runner in the world, but on big blisters, you are done.

After passing Gaukhei cabin, there again are many green hills, countless blue lakes and several very nice small farms. I am meeting maybe 3 tourists the whole day.

By the lake Sandvatnet I am turning left towards Håhelleren cabin. You can see immediately that there is much less traffic here. The path is smaller but nicer. After passing the last saddle, I finally see the last lake Sandvikvatnet and its old broken bridge.

Čenda is still fresh, and here he starts running back and forth like crazy. Sometimes I do not understand this guy. Where his energy comes from? Or maybe he knows he is quite close to the car?

We are taking a last short break by a stream under the Håhelleren cabin. It is full occupied by young family with kids. So much happier atmosphere than last year, when the DNT cabins were almost closed "due to the deadly plandemic". It was so ridiculously sad and stupid. Mountain cabins in the middle of nowhere were almost banned and "so dangerous", but you could meet all the people you wanted in the crowded shops. But enough of this shit, now it is summer, and I am afraid that the insane "control and power game" is gonna continue soon, as the "talking heads" are trying to prepare us for already now in the corrupted media. Hopefully, much fewer people will play it this time...

We run to the bridge. When we get there, I can see Radka coming to the other side. We are doing some drone shots and head back to the car parked near the westernmost tip of the lake, by the E450 road, which is dividing Setesdaleheiene into 2 parts.

Today it was 45,5 km and 1634 vertical metres. No asphalt at all.

I am washing myself and muddy Čenda and we are driving a bit to the west to get some signal and internet. I have decided in the morning that I will not start further running, until I finish all the texts from the previous days. So... Whether I like it or not, the next day, Day 9, will be completely a media day.

It is not a good news, because the next 144 km long section is really hard, very remote, unsupported, with heavy backpack and the weather will get really bad after 2 days.

But I rather sacrifice 1 day of good weather than to do another 3 days stressed about all the media debts. And... Looking at the positive side of it, I will be better rested and my skin will be in better condition. Maybe I can make the 144 km much faster that last year? Soon I will see...


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