After 7 days and 152 km we completed the expedition. It is unbelievable to think that kids all the way down to the age of 7 years old walked this road, BAREFOOT!
In short, the child wandering started about 1800s. The children grew up in tight conditions and several in great distress. Children from the inner villages west of Agder walked to Kristiansand's area and further east to work on rich farms so that they could survive. Some of their work tasks were cooking, herding and slaughtering. The children left home in April and returned home in October / November. This lasted until around 1910, when the emigration to USA started.
The trail is divided into seven stages: Kvinesdal-Snartemo-Konsmo-Laudal-Nodeland-Kristiansand- Birkeland-Landvik.
The trip started in Kvinesdal. This day we walked a total of 17 km on a well-marked trail. This area was a little wet due to the marsh, but the scenery was very nice! Already after the first hour came the first blister! I guess I hadn't worn the shoes well enough. We pitched the tent in a forest between Snartemo and Konsmo. It was a strange first night of bird sounds I've never heard before. It was almost a bit exotic.
On this day we walked 16 km. This was the hardest day for me. I had blisters on both feet and severe pain in my knee. In addition, I topped it all by partially stepping over so that parts of the ankle turned red / blue and swelled up. At this point I was uncertain whether I could complete the trip because of the pain. It looked bad! Fortunately, I had support bandage for my knee and ankle. It helped a lot!
We pitched the tent along the road between Konsmo and Laudal.
Church in Konsmo. Up to 200 child wanderers could gather here to go eastwards.
The next morning my knee felt a bit better. My ankle was still swollen, but I managed to walk on it. I was determined! I was going to complete this trip!! I patted the blisters and used sports tape to support my ankle, then I continued walking towards Laudal.
This stage was incredibly beautiful! Nice and green. It is my favorite stage from the trip. On this day we walked a total of 18 km. We pitched the tent along the river Marnar.
Church in Laudal
On this morning when we woke up, there was a lot of rime on the tent and the bags. It had been a cold night.
On this stage we walked 22 km. Much of the trip was on dirt road and asphalt. The stretch was beautiful and green! We camped at Trondstadvannet, which is near Nodeland. We pitch the tent by a pebble beach. We fished and I got a small perch and a trout that I had for supper. It was a lovely evening.
On this stage we walked a total of 25 km. We passed Nodeland, went through downtown of Kristiansand, past Lund and the University of Agder. Large parts of this stage was on asphalt and we felt the pain in our feet. It was very strange to walk through the center of Kristiansand looking like "hunters". On the way through downtown Kristiansand, we bought a milkshake and chicken wings. It tastes SO good! Further on we walked on a forest road to Jegersberg before we camped by the lake Grovannet.
Greipstad church in Nodeland
The lake Grovannet
This was the longest stage on this trip. This day we walked 31 km. The day started well! We walked on a forest road to Ålefjær, then we walked on the road to Bjåvann Golf Club and further on until we came to a place called Krossen. Here we went wrong due to poor labeling of the trail. We tried several times to find the right path without success. Finally, we had to ask the residents living in the area where to go. It turned out that the map was not correct. The map showed that we were suppose to walk on an old overgrown path that was no longer in use. Once we got back on track, we had lost about 2-3 hours. In the middle of all this we met three nice ladies who also walked the Child Wanderer Path. They had started in Kristiansand and were going to Landvik.
Further on we walked on a forest trail to Foss, then we went a long stretch on the main road before crossing Varpelia and on to Birkeland, where we camped.
On this day we walked a total of 23 km. We walked on a forest road from Birkeland, past Reddal and to Landvik which was the stop place. It was a very nice stretch in mixed forest and several places were idyllic! Along the way we passed several farms where the child wanderers worked.
This is a "Varp".
Varp means throwing. In the olden days you could find varps along the roads were there had been accidents or even murders. If you threw a stick or a stone on a varp, then you would be protected from evil.
Landvik church in Grimstad
When we arrived at Landvik church we met the ladies who we earlier had met on the trip. They had quitted at Birkeland. It was nice meeting them again.
We did it! We completed the trip!! It felt good getting back home, but at the same time we were a little sad that the trip was over. If I were to make the trip again, I would put in a resting day. I could feel the pain throughout my body and I spent about 2-3 days recovering. I am glad that I managed to complete the trip and for all the experiences we have had. We met a lot of nice people along the way and many of them brightened up our days.
I hope you enjoyed our expedition. More trips are in the waiting!