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  • Writer's pictureRichard Mark Dobson

A River Runs Through Us

The Namsen river looking south towards Harran.

Our journey was guided by a grand river, leading us through to Namsskogen and then down to Harran. Riding mostly downhill, it felt as if the Namsen river, one of Norway's renowned salmon waterways, was our constant companion along the 60-kilometer trek.

Ajmal Samuel and Rimintas Navickas engage in a spirited discussion, carefully plotting their departure strategy from Mosjoen, intent on circumventing the labyrinthine network of cycle-restricted tunnels that posed a hindrance to their progress. After thoughtful deliberation, they ultimately reached a decision: a brief 100-kilometer car journey to Namsskogen would be their optimal route forward. The following day, within the inviting confines of the Nams Hotel in Namsskogen, they diligently prepared their bikes for the upcoming leg of their journey towards Harran.

This scenic river and the rugged, forested landscapes it cut through brought to mind Robert Redford's cinematic masterpiece, 'A River Runs Through It.' The film seamlessly weaves together timeless themes of nature and the human spirit against the backdrop of Montana's breathtaking wilderness.

The Namsen river at Namsskogan.

The village Namsskogen, is located in the Namdalen valley on an island in the middle of the river Namsen. The first element of the name refers to the river Namsen and the last element is the plural form of skog which means "woods". Therefore, the meaning of the name is "the woodlands around Namsen".

Through poetic narration and stunning cinematography, the film captures the river as a symbol of life's unceasing flow. It tells a tale of heartache and redemption, a testament to the enduring influence of nature and the profound impact of friends and family on our life's journey.

Hand painted mural of the Namsen river, decorates the door of room 24, at the Nams Hotel, Namsskogen.

Ajmal Samuel's current mission across the Baltics and Scandinavia reflects the themes of 'A River Runs Through It,' as it pays homage to the enduring currents shaping our existence. Quotes from the film resonates deeply:

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it." - A metaphor for the resilience of the human spirit, persisting like a river in the face of life's challenges.

"We can love completely what we cannot completely understand." - Speaking to the unconditional love humans feel for the natural world, even in its mysteries.

These quotes mirror the film's themes of inner strength, determination, and the complexities of human relationships. They emphasize the importance of shared resilience and understanding amidst life's trials and tribulations.

After breakfast at the Nams hotel, Namsskogen, and with the piano out of tune, he nevertheless performs a playful rendition of 'A River Flows in You' by South Korean pianist and composer Yiruma,

The Namsen river is nothing short of spectacular, a holy grail for salmon fishing. It calls to all our senses, a lifeline for both nature and the human spirit. Barry Lopez, a renowned nature writer, might describe it like this:

"In the heart of the land, lies the great river. Its waters flow ceaselessly, carrying with them the stories of time. This river, a lifeline for the Salmon, weaves its tale through the landscape, etching its path into the very soul of the earth.

But the river is more than a mere conduit for sustenance; it is a custodian of memory, echoing the civilizations of the past and the dreams of those who found solace along its shores. It has been both a sanctuary and a frontier, a source of life and a force of reckoning."

God the ultimate lighting cameraman. On cue, he trips the light fantastic.

Namsen river views, Harran, Norway.

A gallery of images of the beautiful Namsen river, at Harran, Norway. The Namsen is considered one of the best Atlantic Salmon fishing rivers in the world, and is often called the "Queen of Rivers".

This river runs through us, blinding us with its power of intent. In nature, intent takes on a fascinating dimension as we observe a great river's journey to the sea. The river possesses a purpose, a determined will to reach its destination.

The intent of a great river is palpable in the ceaseless flow of its waters. From mountain springs to underground sources, it surges through canyons, carves valleys, and meanders across plains, always following the path of least resistance—always downhill, always toward the sea.

The Namsen south of Harran.

This intent is seen in the river's unwavering persistence, its ability to surmount obstacles with patience and force. Ajmal Samuel shares this great intent—to prove to himself that he can complete his mission and inspire others to do the same. It's about forging your own path, your own momentum, your own goals. To get where you want to go, you must know where you're headed.

Ajmal Samuel takes a well-deserved break by the shores of Lake Snåsavatnet, Norway's expansive sixth-largest lake, spanning approximately 120 square kilometers (46 square miles). Today, a welcome change of pace graces their journey, with sunshine on their path, a stark departure from previous days of biting cold winds and relentless rain. A fellow team member playfully remarked, "It feels as though we've stepped into an entirely different country today."

TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED: 1,863.98 Km (26 September 2023)

Day 36 -Harran to Steinkjer 71.98km

Day 35 -Namsskogen to Harran 61.60km

Day 34 -Mosjoen to Namsskogen (Car)

Day 33 -Rest day Mosjoen

Day 32 -Nensa to Mosjoen 70km

Day 31 -Mo I Rana to Nensa 66.45Km

Day 30 -Rest day Mo I Rana

Day 29 -Meravan to Mo I Rana 98.01km

Day 28 -Slussfors to Hermavan 85.17km

Day 27 -Storuman to Slussfors. 62.00km

Day 26 -Lycksele to Storuman 102.9km

Day 25 -Vindeln to Lycksele 75.75 km

Day 24 -Holmsund to Vindeln 75.7km

Day 23 -Vaasa to Holmsund (Ferry Ride)

Day 22 -Rest day Vaasa

Day 21- Rest day Vaasa

Day 20 -Narpes to Vaasa 79.8km

Day 19- Merikarvia to Närpes 93.76 km

Day 18 -Pori to Merikarvia 52.8km

Day 17- Rauma to Pori 57.9km

Day 16 -Uusikaupunki to Rauma 47.4km

Day 15 -Turku to Uusikaupunki 73.5km

Day 14 -Helsinki to Turku (Car)

Day 13 -Tallin to Helsinki (Ferry ride)

Day 12- Tallin Rest & Recharge

Day 11- Märjamaa to Tallin 72.17

Day 10 -Pärnu linn to Märjamaa 64.1km

Day 9- Pärnu Rest & Recharge

Day 8 - Salacgriva to Pärnu 75km

Day 7 - Riga to Salacgriva 104.4km

Day 6 - Riga Rest and Recharge

Day 5 - Plieņciema kāpa to Riga 60.14Km

Day 4 - Kuldiga to Plieņciema kāpa 108.59Km

Day 3 - Liepāja to Kuldīga 97.34Km

Day 2 - Sventājato Liepāja 62.11Km

Day 1 - Klaipeda to Sventāja 42.89Km

Join the expedition, follow updates, and tag along on this inspiring adventure."

ASF has carefully chosen Resolve to be the beneficiary for 2023: Resolve is a charity founded in 2017 that helps create change makers in our community to drive a more inclusive city. Their signature program is a Fellowship that has so far supported over 70 emerging community leaders from diverse walks of life. There have been five cohorts of the fellowship on racial equality, ending gender-based violence, disABILITIES and empowerment, wellbeing and health and (E)quality Education for all.

Visit the following URL in order to support the "I Resolve Challenge" and visit the following URL in order to support the "I Resolve Challenge" and give:


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