11 Sep 2007

The Benny experience, part 1

Posted by walterheck

I left Ricard’s place at about 9:00, reaching a first good-looking hitch hiking spot at about 10:00. From then on, it took me 4,5 hours to get 60 KM done. The two guys that picked me up during that time both declared me crazy 🙂 I was just about to lose all hope and was seriously about to start looking for  a dry place to sleep  (If I wasn’t going to make it I had to find a place to put my mattress and sleeping bag down and a warm place to get some food and I was in the middle of nowhere) . And then there was Benny. An old man in a run down Saab picked me up. He was apparently going to take me for about 100 kilometer (great, that left “only” 380 Km to Bergen :() to a place called Bromma. He told me he used to be a sailor and had also hitchhiked a great deal. Even he said “I have hitchhiked everywhere in Europe but I would never do it in Norway!”

Benny told me everything about his trip to Oslo and how this was the last time he would ever take his car there. He also told me that he lived in a small cabin up in the mountains in the middle of the forest just off the main road to Bergen. We talked and talked and finally he offered me to give me his tent. He told me he would get it and bring it to me at the gas station he was gonna drop me off at. Finally I went up there with him to get the tent and he offered me to stay there. I had seen this coming from a mile away, so I had already given it some thought. I said yes as I wasn’t looking forward getting stranded some 50 Km down the road when this man was so friendly, energetic and funny.

When we got to the cabin, I knew I had made the right choice. The whole cabin was about 4x5m, had no running water and no toilet but a stunning view to the valley below. As I just had been given a tent, I set that up outside and put my stuff in it.

When I got back inside, Benny started telling me all kinds of things that had happened in his life (usually accompanied by an exact month and year (I am 26 and couldn’t do that and this guy is 67!) and a whole photo album. He told me he worked with Bob Dylan before he became famous and he told how apparently everyone in the whole valley knew him. Judging from the people at the gas station and the flamboyant character he was, I believed him. We listened to old tapes he hadn’t listened to in years and this especially made him ecstatic. This got me thinking: I felt like I was taking so much of this man’s generosity, but at the same time he was very obviously having a wonderful evening himself. Nothing to feel guilty about I decided; moreover I was very happy with the whole experience.

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4 Responses to “The Benny experience, part 1”

  1. Hallo Walter,

    Wow, wat een verhaal. Het enige dat ontbreekt zijn een foto van Benny en zijn vallei!





  2. Hoi Waltertje,

    Zonder de mail van papa eerst te lezen was mijn reactie ook: mail eens wat foto’s.
    Mijn gevoel over moslims is ook: de meesten zijn als wij christenen: gewoon en normaal en er is slechts een klein percentage fanatiek en fundamentalistisch, maar dat is Geert Wilders ook en sinds kort Rita Verdonk ook. (komt er nog nederlands nieuws doorsijpelen in Noorwegen?)
    Liefs, je moeder



  3. Wauw… mooi stuk!



  4. Hi Walter!
    I am a friend of Benny, and i`m sad to tell you that Benny died last wedensday!


    Harald Holum