I am now part Viking – But which parts? She didn’t recognise me with my clothes off. Northern Lights and my 50th long-distance walk completed.

Post 101 : 5 February 2017. 1,000 Mile Walk Challenge

Yes it’s official I am part Viking. My recent DNA tests, the results of which were given to me on my big birthday on the cruise ship, Fred Olsen’s MS Balmoral , revealed the following.

Great Britain  38%

Scandanavian (Viking) 32%

Irish  25%

Europe West 4% 

Europe Jewish 1%

Iberian Peninsula 1%

Italy/Greece 1%

So it was only appropriate that with these results I was on my way to Norway, to hopefully see the Northern Lights again.

In order to carry on my 1,000 mile walk challenge I decided that despite five storms at sea including two force 10/11 violent storms (force 12 is hurricane), (videos to be added on Facebook and You Tube later), 


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paths on land that were sheet ice and significant  rain on lower ground and snow on higher ground I must keep walking on the trip, sometimes around the deck of the ship and sometimes on land.

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Plenty of snow. Marks in the snow left by early morning skiers are evident.


Sheet ice.


Deep snow


As well seeing the Northern Lights I also wanted to photograph them.

I succeeded in walking 34 miles over two weeks, which just passed the criteria to be classed as a long-distance walk. This was my 50th completed, which was my target I set to do in the 1990s by the time I was 85. I had reached my target 20 years earlier than planned.

In order to complete the various tasks, particularly seeing the Northern Lights, I had to dress accordingly for the cold and to spend hours on the deck of the ship waiting for the Northern Lights to appear. The clothing included thermals, a Rohan goose down jacket, winter lined trousers, a Norwegian Dale woollen jumper, two hats, two pairs of gloves, Yaktrax hand and foot warmers, two pairs of socks, a neck warmer and over-trousers. This turned out to be a mild two weeks in Norway!

In addition, when walking on land, micro-spikes were essential. I saw three other passengers from the ship slip on the ice.

When on the way to dinner one night, dressed in more smart casual attire, a lady who I had previously met whilst photographing the Northern Lights, replied when I said hello to her, that “she hadn’t recognised me with my clothes off”!

I think she meant to say she didn’t recognise me with my outdoor clothes off!


Sometimes I was on deck until midnight, 1am, 2am and between 3am and 7am and some rest outside in the cold was necessary.


However, despite a number of disappointments due mainly to cloudy skies, I did get to photograph the Northern Lights from the deck as below:







Well worth all the effort!





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