Images and day-to-day updates of my hike from the northernmost point to the southernmost point of Sweden in 2021
Text as posted on Instagram during the hike. More pictures will follow, later…
Treriksrøset – Woods above Golddaluokta
“Go. And if you are scared, go scared.” Unknown
July 21st around 9:30 pm I stood at Treriksrøset – Sweden`s northernmost point – to begin my first thruhike.
I met nobody at the monument, and continued walking a few km to camp in the woods above Golddaluokta.
Was I scared? A bit, yes. Enough so that I bought a silly bird in a giftshop to hold me company during my first section – a remote 110 km stretch of land where very few hikers venture. I called the bird Emma (after Emma Gatewood, the first woman to thruhike the Appalachian Trail solo). Talking to Emma calmed my nerves a bit, and made me smile. 🙂
Was I excited?
To be continued…
Golddaluokta – Harakkakoski
Walking up late between trees – and som blue sky!
Hiking up, view down to the lake, getting above treeline, wind and some rain.
Potato Chips, berries and amazing views brightened my day!
The sun coming out when I was on my way down to the next valley – that was just magical!
Found a nice campspot and enjoyed dinner after my first full day on the trail.
Harakkakoski – Vuolimus Ravdojarvi
Woke up to sunshine! It hardly rained that day. Trail conditiones on the first stretch varied from very wet to a nice ATV-track to an actual gravel road at Kummavuopi.
I lost the trail on my way up to the cabin at Hurvejåkka, ended up walking on the other side of the valley, had to wade through a river and most likely did some extra km.
Had a warm meal in the cabin and decided to hike on, altough the wind had picked up. It was too beautiful outside to call it a day.
From the cabin onward, the trail was quite nicely marked, and offered great views towards Norway and all around, really. I felt glad and thankfull to be able to have this experience. ❤
Because of the hard wind I pitched my tent a bit off-trail at one of the (closed) cabins used by raindeer-herders in autum/wintertime.
What an amazing day!
Vuolimus to Ittegielas
“Go outside – admist the simple beauty of nature … and know that as long as places like this exist, there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.” Anne Frank ❤
Still windy and a bit rainy also. The trail was quite well marked with stones and easy to follow. Only a few wet areas to cross that day.
I rolled my left ankle, but was luckily able to walk on without much pain. It made me walk a bit slower, though.
Wonderful open landscape with many lakes in different sizes. Even some easy rigdewalking!
At a metal bridge I met a few fisherman, at a distance. Ther
e is a fishing camp area where people fly in by helikopter. I didnt take the side trail to that camp, since I was enjoying the solitude very much.
I felt free. And happier than I had in a long time.
Ittegjelas – Giehpangielas
Today the summer trail often followed the winter trail that is marked with high metal markers. Bridges, vegetation and some wet areas as well, on this stretch.
Entering the “Rocket Zone” – kind of fun – but I think that is a thing of the past. 🙂
For the first time since starting my hike it became warm enough to only wear my hiking shirt and windpants! I was passing from winter into summer.
Soon after, in the lower parts, moskitos appeared. My special hat saved me. A very beautiful evening.
Giehpangielas – Woods below waterfall
A very different morning from the previous days. Warm, sunny, moskito-ish.
Walked a few km to have breakfast at the Kamasjaure rest shelter. Two people with fatbikes who had cycled there from Pulusujarvi were staying at the shelter. I met them a bit further south at the lake, where they had just caught a big salmon!
Also spotted tents at the other side of the lake, and a helicopter landed at a private cabin further away. I was getting closer to people once again!
It was getting quite hot and I dipped in a lake midday to cool off.
Before walking down into the woods I drank water from a small lake. A reindeer mother with her youngster walked by, it turned out I was resting at their water source!
Just before Vuoskojaure I had completed 100 km since Treriksrøset. I walked around between some nice cabins, down to the lake and by a very old hut, but didn`t meet anybody in that area.
Shortly before calling it a day I passed a waterfall. To exausted to walk on to find a better / flatter campspot I pitched my tent in the birch forest approx. 10 km north of Kattuvuoma. Another wonderful day came to an end.
Woods below waterfall – Kattuvuoma – harbour – boat transfer – Torneträsk shelter
17 km hiked
Walking through reindeer fences and on an old trail through the woods down to the small village of Kattuvuoma.
There, I met Helen @helenwol and Patrick who were going to bring me over the big lake Torneträsk by motorboat, later that day.
Kattuvuomaused to be a place where people lived off fishing and farming year-around. Nowadays the houses are used during vacation or when working with reindeer. No roads connect this area to the rest of Sweden, but there is a gravel road and some cars.
I stayed with Helen and Patrick for several hours, got to wash my clothes, swim in the lake, and was invited into their home for some food. So much kindness towards a stranger like me! I wished I could have stayed on even longer in this beautiful place.
Then, boating over the lake and meeting two other hikers on the other shore, who were going with Helen and Patrick back, the opposite way.
One of them was Peter @mywalkabout.se who`d given me many helpfull tips via e-mail while I was planning my hike. Peter is doing a flip-flop hike of the Green Ribbon / Grøna Bandet, now about to turn around at Treriksröset and hike south. So cool to finally meet in person!
Then I found myself alone once again, at the shore of Torneträsk. I walked to a rest shelter nearby ot cook dinner and figure out what to do next!
Day 8 & 9
Torneträsk shelter – Abisko
At midnight I began walking the road towards Abisko. Nice and cool, amazing vistas, still, after 12 km I was too tired to walk on, and stayed at a rest shelter along the road.
I continued walking in late afternoon. Road walking was much harder than I had expected. My right foot didn`t like the hard ground either.
A highlight though was meeting two Green Ribbon hikers along the road. They are about to finish their approx. 1.300 km long hike through the swedish mountains at Treriksröset very soon! Meeting @coolhike renewed my energy. Also, they could recommend a nice and affordable place to stay, in Abisko.
But first I slept one more time in my tent, at a paking / camping area along the road.
Next day I arrived in Abisko – finally – in the afternoon, quite exausted and ready for a zero day / rest day. The road had been wearing me down! Now awaited fresh food, showers and other luxuries! More about that tomorrow. 🙂
Zero day in Abisko Østra
A full day of rest, several trips to the nearby supermarked, eating fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, drinking milk and soothies….. 🙂
Sheldom luxuries for me, coming from Greenland. Showers and sauna too, since I live in a house without running water, back at home.
I enjoyed it to the fullest, while resting my feet, meeting cool people here at the hostel Abisko.net and catching up with friends online. ❤
Abisko Ø – Lake at sami hut area
Visiting 50 Alaskan Huskies after breakfast at @abiskonet was really cool.
Then packing and a late start towards Abisko Turist Station. Felt strangely misplaced at this luxurious, busy place – I had felt much more at ease in the dog yard that morning! So I moved on towards Kungsleden, by then it was close to 3 pm.
I felt quite a bit nervous, starting my 2. section was almost as if starting all over again … but walking helped. I passed a meditation stone saying: “The longest journey is the journey inward.”
I met many, many hikers, and after leaving the national park, plenty of tents. too. What a contrast to my first section, where I was all alone! Walked on into the evening until I felt ready to call it a a day and pitched my tent.
Lake w/ sami huts to 1 km south of Tjaktjastuga
It had rained during the night, and continued to do so a bit during the day, too. The shape of mountains and valleys in this area reminded me a lot about Greenland, and Iceland as well! The colour of the lake along the trail was so green – amazing!
Talked to a danish guy hiking Kungsleden at the rest shelter, where I was eating second breakfast. He had been to the national park in East Greenland a few times. Later, the sun came out for a bit and I could enjoy lunch and air my feet.
Arrived at Alesjaurestugorna in the afternoon, where most people stopped to camp or slept in the cabins. After eating a snack I moved on. Now I had the trail mostly for myself. Two guys from Switzerland catched up with me just as I spotted a herd of reindeer in the distance. Too far away to film. Bautiful to watch! The swiss guys told me it was supposed to snow tonight.
I walked on into the quiet evening hours until I found a campspot quite high up. It began to rain shortly after I was in my tent.
1 km south of Tjaktjastuga to 1,7 km south of Singistuga
Waking up late to the sound of wind and rain. Therefore I first started walking at 11:30 am.
And yes, there was fresh snow on the mountaintops around Tjaktja pass, the highest point on Kungsleden, where I had a snack at the rest shelter. There, I met a german family with 3 kids, the youngest maybe 5-6 years old. The kids were carrying tiny packs and had lots of energy. Out for several weeks as a familiy! So cool.
Decending into a approx. 30 km long valley that again reminded me so much of home – East Greenland.
Reindeer, wind, rain, sun. I passed two more cabins, Salka and Singi, that day, and hiked with a german girl, Steffi, for an hour or so. She stayed on to camp at Salka.
At the rest hut, I met two other Green Ribbon hikers, Frida and Henrik. They would end their long trek a few days later, at Abisko. What a treat to get to meet and talk! We forgot to take a picture of the three of us. With renewed energy I hiked on into the evening and found a nice spot to camp, a few hours later.
South of Singistuga to 5,5 km north of Vakkotavarestuga
Woke up to warm, dry weather! The trail continued on through the valley until it decended into the birch forest, past Kaitumajaurestugorna. Later, I walked beside a river and small waterfall, and the trail was quite rocky. Today I met fewer people, most had turned towards Kebnekaise at Singi!
Without distractions, and on this easy to follow path, today my mind often wondered into the past, circeling around the days before and after my late husbands death. Trying to find out what might have happened to him. Going through small details. Feeling so sorry for not being with him when he died.
Ingkasi died alone, out in his tent, while on a hunt with his sleddogs, and it was not possible to investigate the cause of his death. I felt so alone with the wish to get to know what happened, and still do.
This is a topic my mind returns to regularly, as soon as it is unoccupied. I believe it is natural, wanting to understand what happened to our loved ones. Why they died. How and why our world got turned upside down.
After a few hours I tried to stop dwelling on this topic. There have been many losses in my hometown the last few years. Still, there is new life too, and I am thankfull for all those people who are still in my life.
Later I listened to an audiobook to help me think about something else, and tried to again enjoy the landscape around me. Just being present in the moment.
Decending to Teusajurestugorna – what a lovely place, friendly hosts, I´d love to go pack there one day – to buy snacks and catch the motorboat to the other side. Human interaction felt good after a lot of time with my own thoughts!
On the other side, going up, I met Johannes @hikebikeworldwide who I´d been messenging with prior to the trail. He has hiked the AT and parts of the PCT, and had stories to share. Fun to meet in person! Uplifted by talking to another long -distance hiker, I hiked up into the mountains once again.
I spotted many reindeer that evening, even from my tent I could still see them feeding. ❤
5,5 km north of Vakkotavare to Naturum Laponia / Vietas
A short day! Decending into the woods and Vakkotavare, the cabin by the road. Hikers waited for the bus.
“It`s all in the head” said an elderly cabin host when I talked to him about hiking Sweden lengthwise. A saying I want to remember!
Then I walked 18 km on the road. Powerwalked, kind of, since I desperately wanted to reach the café at the Naturum Laponia before they closed. Because, Green Ribbon hikers get free waffles and coffe there! This knowledge fuled me on the road. Luckily there was some gravel at the side of the road, to walk on, most of the time.
One car stopped, offered a ride, or to take my pack. A swedish guy out to fish! I declined but we talked for a while, and he left me 2 packages of noodles. Trailmagic. 🙂
I reached my destination only 5 minutes before closure, and it turned out the café had closed earlier. Still, I walked a little to look and read the interesting displays. And was given advice on where to camp, on the half- island beyond the campground.
I´d run out of gas that day, so tonights big dinner had to be coldsoaked. Now I had yet another night of looking forward to waffles. “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude”. 😉
Vietas to Avtsusjvagge
Waking up to sunshine. Waffles and coffe at Naturum Lapoina while chatting with two northbound Green Ribbon hikers and their two dogs!
Around noon, on the road again, where I met yet another 2 GB hiker, @en_sommar_i_fjallen on of them 11 years old, hiking 1.300 km through the mountains with his dad. So cool!
Then I took the boat to Saltoluokta and resupplied at the Fjallstation where I also met Mats Jacobsson, who hiked “Sweden lengthwise” 6 years ago or so! I found his blog about the trip while planning mine.
Around 6 pm I hiked on into the mountains once again. Met a girl from Austria and we hiked and talked until reaching the rest shelter where we cooked dinner and camped nearby.
Avtsusjvagge to lakes east of Skierffe
Another day of contrasts. Sun, heat, a refreshing swim in the lake. Rain, hail and wind. I found shelter under a big rock! It was there, just when I needed it! At last, the rain stopped and there was a beautiful sunset beyond my campsite.
“Do stones feel?
Do stones feel? Do they love their life? Or does their patience drown out everything else?
When I walk on the beach I gather a few white ones, dark ones, the multiple colours. Don`t worry, I say, I´ll bring you back, and I do.
Is the tree as it rises delighted with its may branches, each one like a poem?
Are the clouds glad to unburden their bundles of rain?
Most of the world sais no, it`s not possible.
I refuse to think to such a conclusion. Too terrible it would be, to be wrong.”
Lakes – Skjerffe – Jågge
The absolute highlight of the day was climbing the mountain “Skjerffe” with breathtaking views into Rappadalen / Sarek National Park. The weather was perfect!
Later I decended to yet another hut from where I could take a boat over the lake to continue hiking Kunglseden southbound.
After some 10 km I arrived at the idyllic area around the cabin Jågge, where I pitched my tent. What a day!
Jågge to Kvikkjokk
Warm and sunny morning, perfect for airing out my gear!
I met a russian woman living in France, and we hiked and talked with each other until reaching Pårtestugane. I enjoyed the company.
Another hiker we met said it would begin to rain in about one hour and continue to rain for the next few days. That`s what I remembered from the weather report, too.
The rest of the day I hiked alone in the rain towards Kvikkjokk. I met a northbound Green Ribbon Hiker, who almost jogged by, sporting shorts in the rain! I felt suddenly very old and slow, trudging my way through the rainy forest in full raingear. But, it was possible to find trees for shelter to eat a snack – and I frequently did. 🙂 There`s no reason to suffer, on a day like this!
Finally I arrived at Kvikkjokk and pitched my tent about 500 m north of the Fjallstation, looking forward to a rest day tomorrow.
Kvikkjokk to Tsielekjåkkstugan
When I woke, the rain had stopped. I packed up and headed to the Fjallstation. At the reception I found out that they did not offer camping & showers, and the cheapest bed was far above my budget.
After a walk around the village, I decided to continue walking the trail that day. I visited the old, beautiful church and then bought food for 4 days at the tiny ship inside the Fjallstation. The prices were very high.
At 2 pm – boat transfer by Bjørn, his wife came to take payment, and he gave us an extra tour around, a hiker from Cezechoslovakia, Jindras, and me. Then, he picked up two more hikers, and we headed towards Mallenjarka. It started to rain. I hiked with Jindras uphill for quite a while, in the rainy woods. Later he went ahead.
The landscape changed, flattened, with may bushes and very young, small birch trees. I really liked this area. It rained harder when I arrived at the small cabin, I cooked there and chatted with 2 other hikers. Then, I pitched my tent closeby and slept well, excited to be out on this more remote and wild section of Kungsleden!
Tsielekåkkstugan to Tjeggelvas lake
My plan was to get up very early to night-hike, in hope of getting a chance to see some wild animals … but when I woke at 3 am, rain pounded on the tent, and I ended up sleeping on into the morning. I was the last to leave the campsite.
When my outer tent is wet, I detatch the inner tent and pack it away into my pack, to have a dry home to return to in the evening. That has worked well, so far.
In spite of the rain, I very much enjoyed this stretch. Lush and green plants, up again onto the mountains, good views and even some sun.
Met a few people, one was doing 60+ km a day, with an ultralight pack! I decided to try to push myself a bit too, camp early and finally nighthike and go all the way to the next boatcrossing.
While washing my feet in the lake at my campsite, I cut my left foot on a rock. Not deep, luckily! But difficult to keep the wound clena in this muddy, wet conditions. I should have been more carefull.
Then I tried to fall asleep well before midnight, but, that didn`t really work, since I usually stay up late. At least my body got some rest, laying flat, with my feet up!
Tjeggelvaslake – via Vuonatjviken – to Riebnes
This time I was mentally prepared to get up early in spite of the rain – and my foot, that did hurt a bit while walking.
At 03:30 am I set out, and enjoyed the quiet morning and blue light. I did not spot any animals, though, apart from some birds, froggs and reindeer later in the day. But there were many fresh droppings on the trail!
I passed many tents with people still sleeping, or hiding from the rain. it was to become a long day, since I had only slept for maybe 2 hours or so. At 6 am I arrived at an old sami shelter, drenched from wind and rain, made myself a hot meal there, and dried up a bit!
Beautiful terrain and views all the way, the last many km to the houses at Vuonatjviken I was back in the woods.
Jindras passed me, surprised to see me here – he thought I was behind him. He is a strong and fast hiker. That gave me new energy. 🙂
Finally arriving at the small kiosk I bought coffee, icecream, chips and candy, and payed for the boat crossing of the big lake, Riebnes.
Then I hang out at the shelter with Jindras – we tried to dry shoes and socks, since the rain had finally stopped.
I camped early, after the boat crossing, tired, but glad to have reached my goal for that day!
Riebnes – Jackvik
Sunshine! First time in days packing up a dry tent! 🙂
I dreamt of fresh food all day, while walking towards the village of Jackvik with it`s (among hikers) famous supermarked.
Met 3 girls, two of them I had hiked with before, and we crossed the lake together in one of the small boats.
In the afternoon we arrived at our destination, “Kyrkans Fjallgård”. A wonderful hostel with campground and nice facilities. I decided to camp, since the weather forecast looked good.
Onward to the supermarked – sooo good – chatting with other hikers back at the hostel, then – shower and sauna. Wellness pure!!
To be able to use a washing machine made me very happy!
Some handwashing had to be done, too. Even my shoes are cleaner, now.
Found familiar hymns, in swedish, and enjoyed playing the piano.
Another walk to the supermarked.
Really enjoyed staying here. Consider staying another day, but, I am beginning to look forward to getting back on trail. Plan to head back out tomorrow. Time to sleep now!
Jackvik to Luvtavrre lake
I had more fresh food and yet another shower, before heading out of Jäckvik in the early afternoon.
Met 4 swedish woman at Pieljekaise cabin, one of them a northbound Green Ribbon hiker, @krigarn_ and we talked for a while! Then they continued north.
A hiker from the Netherlands, whom I had met at the hostel, catched up and suggested we`d camp together that night. It is his 3. time on Kungsleden, and he knew about a nice campspot.
I had planned to go to Adolfsstrøm that day, but, my stomach did hurt a bit from all the food I´d eaten in town, so stopping early was tempting.
We hiked together and spotted a moose. I did not get a picture of it. Chatted and drank dea into the night, by the lake. A beautiful evening!
Luvtavrre lake to bridge at Barasjuhka
Up early today! The famous store in Adolfsstrøm was closed, due to the owner being out on a hike. It looked very cozy, from the outside.
Onward to Bæverholmen, where I enjoyed soda and coffee!
The trail was easy to walk today, and I felt energized by the prospect of meeting another Via Suecia hiker that evening.
Constantin @cozy.conzi arrived shortly after I had pitched my tent, and it had began to rain.
He is out on a much longer walk than I am, actually, all the way from Munich in Germany to North Cape, and has walked approx. 4.000 km by now! I´ve hiked “only” 500 km, so far. 😉
While we were eating dinner, yet another hiker arrived, Peter @mywalkabout.se who is yoyo-hiking the Green Ribbon this summer.
All the while we talked about the trail and enjoyed each others company, there was a beautiful rainbow, and it remained there for a very long time, until we went to bed! Peter hiked on, and we stayed out in the light drizzle and beautiful light a bit longer, too.
Bridge at Barasjuhka to Rævfallsstugan
Packing up and drinking tea with Constantin in the morning before going in opposite directions – the rain started soon thereafter.
Still, some nice views and an easy to walk trail for most of the day. Meeting both Peter and Constantin, who hike very long distances compared to me, every day, inspired me to do a 30 km day!
I met a Green Ribbon biker! @sven2369 He slowed down and pushed his bike for a while, so that we could walk together.
At some point, the rain stopped, and the trail winded down into the forest.
At the cabin, I, and a few other hikers, got invited to sleep inside, by a swedish guy who had rented the cabin. And we also got to use the sauna!!
Ravfallsstugan to Ammarnas
Amazing views today! – I was very glad I chose to walk the loop to the cabin the day before, instead of going directly to Ammarnas.
I met quite a few northbound Kungsleden-hikers, who asked may questions about the trail. One offered me a cup of coffee at the rest-shelter. The shelter was sourrounded by reindeer!
Arrived in the village of Ammarnas 45 minutes before the supermarked closed….
Two guys from the US invited me to stay at a cabin they had rented! Since the forecast predicts heavy rain, this was an offer I could not resist. Shower and fresh food. 🙂
Zero day in the village of Ammarnas.
Breakfast, several trips to the supermarked and lot`s of coffee.
Handwashing some clothing and drying the tent, and everything else. Making phone calls.
Visiting the Naturum / visitor centre to look at some of the wild animals that live in the area we pass through. Nice to be out of the rain!
I feel ready to take on the last section of Kungsleden!
Ammarnäs to Vuometjåkke
The rain began 1/2 hour after I left Ammarnäs, and lasted for most of the day, on and off. It was muddy and I slipped andn fell several times, but was fine.
The trail winded up high, and I met other hikers I´d spend time with in Ammarnäs, at the first rest shelter, where we all took a break. It was very nice to have some company on such a windy and rainy day.
We went on. The trail was still muddy and wet. I was the last to reach the next rest shelter, where my friends from the US were just about to pitch their tent. Finding a camp spot close to theirs, I could hardly wait to get inside and take all of my wet clothes off! Hot noodles and cold pizza was on the menu. I slept well that night.
Vuometjåkke to Tärnasjön
Woke up to a little rain and some wind, and not much of a view, but the weather cleared up somewhat during the day.
Another day of hiking with familiar faces around – Will and Brenn from the US who`d shared their cabin with me in Ammarnäs, and Anders @andersnoren1 from Sweden.
Shortly before reaching the first cabin, we met @blackpatur who are hiking the Green Ribbon northbound and had to send their dog to the next town by helikopter, while he recovers from an injury. I´m glad we finally met!
We ate lunch at Servestugan and got some tips for campsites from the host.
Later I met another Sweden-Thruhiker – forgot to take a photo though – @lidj07 who started at Smygehuk 3 months ago! So cool to meet and talk about the trail we share.
At the next cabin I said goodbye to my friends who prepared to camp there, since I was to meet yet another long-distance hiker that day! @philine.hikes – who has hiked approx. 1.700 km through Sweden this year, so far. She`s documenting her hike on YouTube.
We met at a rather windy campsite, close to Tarnasjon lake. An opportunity to test the strength of my tent! Philine came to visit and we talked … and laughed … a lot. 🙂
Tärnasjön to bridge v/ Syterbacken
“We are now in the mountains, and they are in us, kindeling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. […] a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but, immortal.”
John Muir – My first summer in the Sierra
On my last full day on Kungsleden I walked through the mountains alone. I talked to the friendly cabin host at Syterstuga, where I ate lunch, and in the afternoon at Viterskalsstugan, where I again stopped to eat, just outside the main hut.
I particularaly enjoyed walking through the stunning valley Syterskalet, steep mountains on eitehr side.
Home for the night was a flat spot close to the trail, only 7 km north of Hemavan, where Kungsleden ends.
My last evening on Kungsleden I listened to John Muir and felt a bit nostalgic to leave this trail – and the people I met on it – behind, very soon.
Bridge v/ Syterbacken to Hemavan
After a chilly and windy night I was able to pack up a dry tent for the first time in days! 🙂
The last few km to Hemavan were sunny and warm. Finnishing Kungsleden on such a nice day was just perfect. The first trail ever I´ve thru-hiked, and a trail I`d definetely recommend to others!
Some hours later I happened to be back at the trailhead to buy a map, as 3 of my fellow Kungsleden-hikers arrived, and we snaped some pictures. I´m so glad I met you guys, and am excited to follow your coming adventures!
“But – what now?” – @brenn_cox asked. The dilemma of completing a thruhike – or any goal, really!
I am lucky – on my behalf, I´ve only just started. So far I´ve walked about 630 km since beginning at Treriksröset, and that`s not even 1/4 of the whole trail I hope to complete….
Luxury to have a “nero” in Hemavan. I was busy washing all my clothes, drinking coffe and planning and preparing for the coming section.
There`s a lot of rain on the way Tuesday – Wednesday. That made me choose an alternative route.
On my way to the grocery store I met a southbound GB hiker @filipcullin – who headed out of Hemavan this evening. Again, I forgot to take a picture, but, we hope to meet again further south, as we share wome of the same resupply-points.
Now it`s time to sleep in a soft and clean bed!
Hemavan to Høgås v/Stor-Bjørkvattnet
29,2 km (+5 km on the wrong road)
Treated myself to the breakfast buffet at Hemavan Fjällcenter – a very good choice!
A day of roadwalking in sunny weather! Had a break after 10 km.
When I walked on, I continued walking the main road to Tärnaby instead of taking the turnoff towards Tärnamo. I had earpluggs in, listening to Erling Kagge`s book “At gå”. Blame it on the interesting book – I forgot to turn right!
After 2,5 km in the wrong direction I luckily checked my gps, astonished to find out where I was. And walked back very quickly. I will learn from this mistake! Had to take another break to recover mentally from that detour….
The rest of the day I really enjoyed walking in beautiful surroundings – came to a green valley at a long lake. When I stoped to fill my water bottles at a creek, a man came out of the nearby house and offered me to camp there! His wife even asked if I wanted to sleep inside.
I tented, but visited this friendly couple in their kitchen after I had my dinner, and we talked. He had grown up on this farm.
Now it`s time to sleep.
Högås to 1 km north of Stentræsk
At 8 am I found myself having breakfast in a cozy kitchen, learning about life in northern Sweden and this particular area, from my kind hosts. What a lovely morning! Then, I walked on swiftly along the country road.
Peter Bergström had texted me a few days ago, about a family living in this area. He`d had coffe at their house last week, and told me that I was welcome to visit them, too.
A cute vehicle at the roadside showed me where to turn off from the main road, and I arrived at a beautiful old house and other buildings. Katharina, Kalle and their two kids @livet.i.stugan invited me inside – and to sleep in the nearby cabin that night!
I decided to stay. Besides hiking I also hope to connect with and get inspired by people I meet along the way. Also, it rained – a lot …
The afternoon passed quickly. Katharina and I went out to pick mushrooms, played with the kids and prepared dinner. Later, the sauna!
Now I`m lying on a soft bed, listening to the woodstove cracking and the rain dripping on the roof. Life is good. ❤
North of Stentrask to Øvre Vapstsjön
Yet another breakfast inside a cozy house, in good company!
The rain had stopped, apart from some drizzeling later in the day.
Katharina and her youngest boy bid me goodbye at the road. Little Zacharias is used to being outdoors in all kind of weather, and loves it! Thinking about his curious, joyfull, wide open eyes, still makes me smile. I am very thankfull for my stay at @livet.i.stugan .
First I had to roadwalk until I reached Virisen, where I got to peek into a stable. The owners of the farm were out birdhunting. I met 3 hunters at different locations, one informed me that the bird hunt had started that day! None of them had catched any, yet.
The trail was quite wet at times, but I was glad to be finished with roadwalking for now.
I walked until it began to get dark, and found a spot between some trees, close to the trail.
Øvre Vapstsjön to Åtnikstugan
Got a late start. The trail was wet, but, that was to be expected in this area. I enjoyed this stretch with various landscapes.
I met 3 people today: two women picking mushrooms and a farmer at Vardöfjäll. He told me that the farm had reindeer, sheep and horses in the mountains.
I only met reindeer and a few birds, plus – I believe – a beaver, close to Åtnikstugan, where I stopped for the night. There was a lot of noise and a “splash” at the peacefull creek, and I spotted what I think was a small beaver down in the clear water. Several trees were lying along the creek.
To sleep inside was really nice. Many Green Ribbon hikers come by this way, but I was alone in the cabin this night. In the Guestbook I read that another southbound GB hiker had eaten lunch here, only 6 hours prior to my arrival. It would be fun to catch up to him and a few others, who are in front of me!
Åtnikstugan to north of Sunjerethjålhte
What a day! One of my favourite days on the trail, so far!!
Walking quite close to the norwegian border all day, on the “Norgefararleden” trail. In my 20`s I lived in Norway for 7 years, and loved it very much. Now, I could almost smell the mountains and wildernress area of Børgefjell National Park across the border. One day I hope to hike there, too.
This area, in Sweden, is more tamed, with bridges and cabins. I enjoyed the open landscape and idyllic scenery very much, especially around Tjåkkelestugornar, where I took a long break inside the nicely rennovated main cabin.
I met a northbound GB hiker – Dan, I think, Nr. 85 on the GB homepage, he said – and we talked for quite a while, both astonished by this beautiful day in the mountains.
Cooked at Durrenstugan and walked on a bit, until I pitched my tent in the twilight.
Suenjeretjålhte – resupply in Klimpfjäll – to 1 km south of Jalkentjahke
Another warm and sunny day. The plants around me are slowly changing their colours. Maybe I am changing a bit, too!
Bought food for 4 days at the supermarked in Klimpfjäll and hang out eating and texting friends at the picnick table, while the friendly lady allowed me to charge my powerbanks inside the store.
In the afternoon I was back on the trail. At Slipstikstugan I met 3 young woman and a toddler. They`d been pushing him up the trail in his trolly, and he seemed happy and content. 🙂
I ate dinner at the cabin and then walked on into the beautiful evening, enjoying the sunset and silence around me.
South of Jalketjahke to Ankarede
Stopped to make coffe for second breakfast to just sit and take in my sourroundings. Summer is slowly turning into autumn. And I am here to witness the transformation!
Met a man with a dog, from Borgafjäll, on a ATV at Raukasjön. He said: “It will get very wet, soon!” (refering to the swamps) I said “I`ve heared about that… ” and he also said: ” Take it easy!” (I reminded myself of this advice throughout the day.).
The rest of the day it was me and the swamps, and the sun – plus some reindeer, froggs and birds. And – silence.
In the evening though, I came close to Akarede and ended the day on a nice, dry trail along the river.
Ankarede to Väktarmon
Slept in, did some sightseeing at Ankarede, where I also got free waffles and cofffe 🙂 before I finally hit the trail in the early afternoon.
Lot`s of ups and downs and beautiful vistas today! Cooked dinner on the high pass at the emergency hut Balkesbourke. Because of my late start, it was getting dark when I arrived at my final destination for the day, Vaktarmon, down in the forest.
I had played with the idea of sleeping in the hut there, but it was occupied by two german hikers, who had almost gone to sleep already.
I pitched my tent in the dark, not far from the hut, and slept well. Forgot to take my campsite-shot, and did not want to crawl out again. [I posted a picture of my tentsite on Instagram every day when camping, but have not always included those shots here on my blog]
Vaktarmon to Gäddede (via Bleriken and Stormyrhøjden)
Today, the weather changed – rain and wind on/off. And lot`s of swamps! My waterproof socks (they did serve me well, so far) must have developed some small holes during the last 1-2 weeks. So, wet feet are the norm, right now.
After 2 hours of hiking in solitude through the rain, wind and swamps (listening to music to keep my spirits up) I suddenly spotted another human being! The vision disappeared quickly. Had I really seen it, or maybe it had just been another reindeer?
I walked faster – almost running – to find out who or what I had seen. 🙂
Then I catched him – @filipcullin – also hiking the Green Ribbon southbound! We`d briefly met in Hemavan, and I thought I was 1/2 day behind him, still.
Filip suggested a shortcut via a summer trail just south of Stormyrhøjden, in order to aviod the swamps further south. That turned out to be a good idea.
Time passed with trail-talk (and lamenting about the wet trail) until we reached the small town of Gäddede, in time to buy food and dinner!
Rest day in Gäddede.
Zero day chores, sightseeing, eating and relaxing. It`s beginning to get quite dark at night, by now!
Gäddede to Hellingsåfallet
Late start from Gäddede on the road – first paved, then gravel – in the rain.
I said goodbye to Filip, who decided to take an off-trail route over the mountains!
Walking alone on a long, winding gravel road, in rain and wind – wondering about the many wooden seats and other structures along the road. Nice to pass through farmland!
Finally I reached the end of the road, where a few camper-vans were parked, and the waterfall. I found a small hut, unoccupied, where I decided to spend the night!
Hellingsåfallet to Renvaktarstugor
The rain stopped during the night!
The 2 nights at Gäddede campgroiund I had problems sleeping, but this night I slept well, and long into the morning. The air was cold and clear – autumn is here! I had second breakfast with coffe in the sun, and enjoyed being back on an actual trail. First, it winded through the woods, later onto the mountains, where I passed quite a few private huts at Lobbersjøn.
Because of the wind, I camped behind an old cabin.
This day I began to think about my life after the trail, – the reality of my life situation, that I left in July, and that is waiting for me back home in Greenland. My thoughts made this a hard and lonely day. Since I still have no idea how to find a way forward into the future, after the trail.
I felt worn out, but glad to get to lay down and rest, after pitching my tent. And I learned that I need to have patience with myself, and keep my focus in the present. Where I am, right now.
Renvaktarstugor to Valen Vandrarhem in Valsjöbyn
When I woke up during the night, the tent was covered in a very thin layer of ice!
The sun came out and melted everything away, later on, heating the tent to a comfortable temperature. That made it difficult to get up! So again, I started out late – buth with a dry tent.
It was a perfect, sunny autumn day. I loved the view from the hill “Vinklumpen”, before the trail winded below treeline. The last stretch, I walked on the road, to the small community “Valsjöbyn”.
There, I got a bed at a cozy and budget-friendly hostel, when I arrived at around 8 pm.
I´m a bit low on food, since the small supermarkeds in this area are closed on Sundays. A package of rice, left by someone else, helped me out. Then, a soft, warm bed.
Valen Vandrarhem at Valsjöbyn to Rötviken Camping
Today, I only had to walk on the road to the next village, in order to buy food at the small supermarked tomorrow morning. Therefore I had half the day “off”.
At 2 pm, I finally left this nice hostel – clean, rested and with perfectly dry shoes!!
Soon, there was a sign to a goat farm, “Branna Getgård” up the hill. It said, they had a shop. I´ve always been fascinated by goats, so I wallked there, to buy som goat-cheese and bread!
Took a break at Hotagen church. The building was under rennovation.
When arriving at Rötviken, I pitched my tent at the campground, close to the supermarked. Other guests felt sorry for me, when I unpacked my Ramen Noodles in the kitchen – and offered me loeftovers from a tasty stew. 🙂 The trail provides!
Rötviken to Krokom Cottage, close to Ansätten
When the store opened at 10 am, I bought food to last until Åre, for 5 days. Lot`s of food, – and as always after resupply, my pack felt quite heavy when I left town.
During the last few weeks I´ve added some luxury items to my pack. I might show you what they are, another day. I´m thinking about what I could leave behind, in order to lighten my load a bit, now that the weather is getting colder and I carry a few more clothing items.
Roadwalking is always a bit of a challenge for me, maybe living 15 years in a nearly roadless part of the world has something to do with that. Listening to an audiobook helped me through, today as well.
15 km of todays walk was on mostly dirt roads. But for part of it I was on the road / trail “Ansattåleden”, that parallels the Ansatten Canyon. Cool to see this small canyon and river – if temperatures were higher, it would have been fun to swim in the river!
I actually walked by the open cottage / shelter, since it – in my eyes – very much lookoed like a private hut! After searching around it and down the trail, nearby, I returned, found the hut open, and a sign stating that hikers were welcome to sleep here. What a treat!!
I´m going to share some of my favourite poems on my daily updates, from now on. Many of them won`t be in English. Sorry about that!
“Livet” af Hans Børli
“Mit liv er så fattig, siger du, en fortrolig stund hos en ven.
Mit liv er så vanskelig. Mit liv er ditt, mit liv er datt.
Men sannelig sier jeg deg: Du burde falle på kne i ordløs takk fordi du i det hele tatt kan si
Krokom / Ansätten to Oldens Bystuga
Rain dropped on the roof of the hut, when I woke, it was cozy inside my quilt, and I did not get up until 09:30 or so. When I opened the door, @spiralblock was standing not far away! He had started out early, and came inside to eat a snack. We had some coffe, and I packed up.
Then we hiked towards Jänssmässholmen Fjellhotel, and later onward ot Åre together.
Fun to walk with another Green Ribbon hiker! The km always pass more quickly, when I hike with someone else. Certainly on a rainy day like this. At Jänssmassholmen, the friendlly guy working there served us a free hot meal, and coffe! 🙂
3 white, beautiful dogs lived there too, one of them sat at our table for a while.
The swamp further south wasn`t as terrible as I had expected. Then – dirt roads, until we hit the main road, where Stig, @stigoffon , the most famous Trail Angel of Grøna Bandet, I believe, drove by, and later welcomed us warmly at Oldens Bystuga – home for the night, and a refuge from the rain.
“We shake with joy”
by Mary Oliver
“We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two, housed as they are in the same body.”
Olden to Djupsjøn
Chatted with Stig in his office at Olden Bystuga, after a good breakfast – he had offered me some delicious food from his fridge! Stig has met many – very many – Green and White Ribbon hikers throughout the years, and has many stories to tell. At 10 am, I finally left.
Roadwalking today through the forests and a short stretch without any trail – known as “Svante`s vej / shortcut”. Wet feet, again, after that… Passed many interesting houses and cabins today!
Yesterday I had completed 1.000 km, but forgototen to “write it down” into the dirt, did that today.
Close to the lake Djupsjö, where I had planned to camp, a woman stopped her car and offered a ride. I declined. She was part of a moose hunting party, I´d heared dogs and shots in the distance, earlier. 1 hour later, I was sitting in a warm cabin, with a dozen hunters, eating a tasty hot meal with nice drinks! I could hardly belive my luck. 🙂
Spirits were high, the hunters had shot several moose that day, and would continue the hunt tomorrow. There were songs, stories and a lot of laughter. When it began to get dark, I said my goodbyes. After walking on a bit, I pitched my tent in the dark, and crawled inside – thankfull for the unexpected turn, this day had taken!
“Din veg” af Olav H. Hauge
“Ingen kan varda den veg du skal gå ut i det ukjente, ud i det blå. Dette er din veg.
Berre du skal gå han. Og det er uråd å snu.
Og ikkje vardar du vegen, du hell. Og vinden stryk ut ditt far i aude fjell.”
Djupsjö to Stortjarn
Woke to rain dripping on the tent – and it lasted until early afternoon. Found shelter in front of a cabin at Djuptjarnen, when it was raining hard – what a nice place that was! From there, I had to follow a creek through forest and swamps, to another gravel road.
I didn`t talk to another human being that day. But quite a few animals along Kallsjön wanted to have a conversation with me (cows). 🙂 Fine, as long as there was a fence between us!
At Bonaset, I turned west, and stopped for the night close to a windshelter at Stortjarn. It had no good benches to sleep on, so I pitched my tent once again.
On the gravel roads, I often listen to audiobooks. That night I finished Halldor Laxness “Salka Valka”. Could hardly put it down, since I´d started.
Can any of you recommend audiobooks by swedish authors, maybe historic novels, describing life in Sweden in past times? Let me know.
“A Lesson from James Wright” by Mary Oliver
“If James Wright could put in his book of poems a blank page dedicated to “The Horse David Who Ate One Of My Poems” I am ready to follow him along
the sweet path he cut through the dryness and suggest that you sit now
very quietly in some lovely wild place, and listen to the silence.
And I say that this, too, is a poem.”
Stortjarn to Åre Camping / Såbøle
This morning was challenging. I often don
t feel motivated to get up early, in order to reach a town, or re-supply point - in spite of comforts and food waiting for me there. Maybe its because towns also bring me closer to my “normal” life and remind me of the fact that the trail will end, eventually. Often, I feel quite exausted when leaving town, after a Zero Day.
I coudn`t find the unmarked summer trail I had planned to take – so did some bushwalking and then followed a winter trail. These few km felt for some reason very difficult, to do with the state of my mind, and also the weather, I believe.
Finally, I reached the road to Björnen and ICA Björnange, to buy food and pick up my new shoes and socks, at the post office. Then, another 3+ km to Åre Camping, where I´d booked a hut. It`s actually situated 7,5 km south-east of the town of Åre, but was the only affordable place to stay that I could find online.
I got a nice, big hut for myself! The reception was closed. I guess camping season in Sweden is coming to an end, soon! I met nobody at the common kitchen, either. Hot showers and a warm hut, while it continued to rain, felt very good. I
m glad to have new shoes, but a bit worried about if they`ll fit as well as my old ones. Because of the weather and dropping temperatures I went with a more waterproof and higher Altra Lone Peak. But I find it hard to part with my old trusty shoes that have been with me since Treriksröset! – I was glad to be “in town”, anyway. 🙂
“I go down to the shore” by Mary Oliver
“I go down to the shore in the morning and depending on the hour the waves are rolling in or moving out, and I say, oh, I am miserable, what shall – what should I do?
And the sea says in it`s lovely voice: Excuse me, I have work to do.”
Såå & Åre
0 km (but 10+ bonus km)
This was supposed to be a rest day, at Åre Camping, but somehow I didn
t get much rest. At least my feet didn`t…
I needed to buy a few things, and, most of all, wanted some real food! So I walked a bit and then catched a bus for part of the 7 km or so, to Åre. The biggest town I´ve passed on my hike so far!
I switched into turist-mode and actually enjoyed to slender through the streets and visiting different outdoor-stores. Bought a fanny pack, and gas. In the afternoon there weren`t any busses, so I had to walk back all the way, through the rain, and resupplied at a supermarked along the way.
I felt very exausted and my feet hurt, when I finally was back at the hut. Well, at least I´d “broken in” my new shoes. 🙂 Then, laundary, more food, and another rainy evening spend inside the warm hut.
Åre Camping / Såå til Ø. Vålådalen Camping
Today, the reception was openn, and I had a nice chat with the owner. It still rained in the morning, and I was slow, taking my time packing up and cleaning the hut. The weather improved! At noon, I finaly hit the trail.
There`s a really nice trail to Undersåker, along the river! I even met some sleddogs in that area. From Undersåker on, I walked on the road. Had a break to eat a soup at the wind shelter at Edsstaden.
Shortly after 8 pm, I reached Ø. Vålådalen and decided to tent at the campground, since it was getting dark soon. So, I got to eat and hang out inside the Service Building. At midnight, I was finally tucked away comfortably in my quilt, feeling the soft gras underneath my tent. When you use a foam pad as I do, so far, different types of ground really make a difference!
Ø. Vålådalen to 1 km southwest of Vålåstugorna
Today, I first walked to Vålådalen, where I had cake and coffe, and bought a few snacks at the Fjellstation. Then, I was back on the actual trail, first through the forest and later above treeline.
I ate a snack outisde Vålådalstugorna, but felt an urge to walk on a bit, although it was getting late, and also windy. I just wanted to pitch my tent and enjoy the solitude. Luckily, I found a sheltered spot by a few trees, to pitch my tent. I am so glad to be back in the mountains!
Southwest of Vålåstugorna to northwest of Vitvattnet
A perfect autumn day in the swedisch mountains!
I had to cross two rivers today. First Vålån, where the water reached slightly above my knees, but there was almost no current at that spot. Later, Ljungan, at the rest shelter, where it was less deep. At Ljungan I took a long break, sitting in the sun outside the cabin.
I met many reindeer today. I love to watch their gracefull movement through the landscape. They truly belong here! The joungsters are much bigger now than when I began my hike. The males are beginning to wrestle with each other.
In the evning, I passed Helags Fjallstation, below the impressive Helags mountain. I ate a snack and talked to a woman and her dog on the bench outside the station. Then, I walked for 5 more km, passing the highest point of this section at about 1.300 m, and decended to 945 m or so, where I pitched my tent, close to a stream. What a beautiful day it had been!
Northwest of Vitvattnet to Klinken
I was awake for some time, before crawling out of my tent to pee at 6:30 am. What a morning! I went down to the creek to fill my water bottle, so that I could make myself some tea. Took a few pictures of the stunning, half-frozen landscape. Then I went back into my quilt and, instead of making tea, fell asleep again. .-)
It was almost 11 am and a lot warmer, when I finally was ready to start walking. – A hiker was sitting at the trail, close to my campsite, enjoying the nice view. He was swedish, and out for a few days. We met again at the cabins I passed later that day. This was to be another crisp and sunny autumn day!
At Fältjägerstugan, I took a long break. The view from this cabin is fantastic. When I left, I met a young hiker from Skåne who was carrying a japanese flute, strapped to the outside of his pack. We chatted, and wished we weren`t going into opposite directions. I´d love to hear him play. I carry a small musical instrument myself, that I bought in Gäddede. 🙂
Took a short break at the hut Svaaletjahke, where I met yet another northbound hiker, before I decended into the forest. When I reached Klinken, I decided to camp down there, in the valley. It would be warmer and less windy here, compared to last night.
Klinken to Fjällnäs Camping
17,3 km (+ 6 km bonus to ressuply)
I slept like a baby, down in the valley – it was much warmer, compared to my last night in the mountains! When I packed up, two bird-hunters with their dogs came by, both Norwegians. I also heared dogs bark, when I climbed back up into the mountains.
The weather had changed, but was nice for walking. I am now wallking the “Southern Kunglseden” trail, the little brother of the Kungsleden Trail up north! The small hut at Kroktjarnen was very cozy, it would have been nice to spend the night there. But I needed food…
When I reached the road at Fjällnes, I therefore walked on to Tänndalen, a tiny ski-town with a nice supermarked, where I bought food for the next section. I also tasted a local lemonade before walking back the 3 km to the only campground that was open (the one in Tännadalen didn`t take single-night campers, I found out).
I spend the rest of the evning in the small sitting room and kitchen, while it rained on my tent outside. At midnight, I finally went outside, to go to sleep.
Fjällnäs to Gaalovenjohke
During summertime, Fjällnäs campsite offers a “Hikers Breakfast”, but it`s off-season now, so I had to make my own. Nevertheless, I ate and drank A LOT.
My throat hurt a bit this morning. Maybe I was getting a cold? Taking a hot shower and sitting in a heated room before going to sleep in a cold tent, like I´d done last night, is maybe not the best way to go any more, in this season. It can mess with your body.
When I left, it was raining a little, and I resumed to walk slowly and steadily all day, and only take breaks in sheltered spots, to avoid getting cold. After 1-2 hours, I met 3 young german guys, hiking in the same direction, taking a break. The wind brought their voicese to me long before we met. I hoped they would catch me later in the day, but I didn`t see them again.
I was now entering Rogen Nature Reserve, and in spite of it`s many rocks – some of them are on the trail 😉 – I really enjoyed hiking through this landscape! It felt untamed, wild, more remote than it actually is.
At Broktjarnskojan, I made hot soup and ate a late lunch. My plan had been to walk 7-8 km more, but I stopped early, less than 3 im south of the koja, at an area with many firerings and flat spaces to camp, close to a bridge. I felt that my body needed to rest. And I had this spot in Rogen all for myself! ❤
Gaslovenjohke to bridge 1 km east of Rogenstugan
It had rained during the night. I had slept for many hours, and began the day by heating water for coffe. Usually, I woudn`t do that until later, during the day. Autumn changes my rutines!
The many stones on the trail today were wet and slippery at first, and after a somewhat controlled fall, I continued slower and more carefull than before. I would take my time, not risking injury, so far into my hike!
Stopped for lunch at Skedbrostugan, where the host was preparing to leave and shut down tomorrow, Sunday. One side of the cabin would remain open, though. There was cell reception at the cabin!
Refreshed, I walked on, taking the southern route – just a few hundred meters to the norwegian border at some point – and tehn along Rogen lake. At Rødviken windshelter a belgian couple camped, and had a nice fire going, they had canoed there! We talked about tents and trails, and when I walked on, I felt motivated to keep going a few more hours, even if it would get dark. Conversation with other outdoor enthusiasts along the trail always fill me with new energy!
For the first time on this hike, I walked by the light of my headlamp, the last km or so, to my campsite. The only flat spot I found then was very close to the water, but it had to do! It was too dark for the nightly tent-picture, 8:45 pm by then. It had been a good day!
Bridge east of Rogenstuga to lake Havlingen
Although I´d camped only a few feet away from water, my tent was completely dry, when I packed up this morning for the first time in many days. Perfect! It had been a bit windy, but dry, all night.
The view from the Tandsjøvålen at 993 m was fantastic! In the afternoon, I reached Storrodtjarnstuga, where I took a break. Good to be out of the wind! Hiking on, I was soon to enter Tofsingsdalen National Park.
At Slagusjon emergency hut, I met a young woman from Germany, we talked for a bit. I wish we`d hiked in the same direction, since we had a lot to talk about! But it was chilly up here, and I wanted to hike on, to camp below treeline.
There were many stones on the trail as well, today. But this area through the national park was very beautiful. Down in the forest, I smelled firewood, and found a young swedish couple and their dog a the shelter, whereabout I planned to camp.
After I´d set up my tent, I joined them at the fireplace, and we talked, while it got dark. How nice to have company and a warm fire closeby, on my last evning hiking Grøna Bandet / The Green Ribbon! Tomorrow, I hope to reach Grøvelsjøn, and thereby complete Grøna Bandet – the first leg of my Thruhike. It feels unreal, that I´ve come that far, already. I´m so glad my hike doesn
t end yet! There`s still a lot more waiting for me, here in Sweden. 🙂
Lake Havlingen to Grövelsjön Sjöstugan – via Grövelsjön Fjällstation
My final day hiking Grøna Bandet! I took it easy, slept in, took my time hiking along the lake, through the forest and above treeline once again. On the mountains it was much colder and quite windy. At the hut Sarsbjøbacken, I ate second breakfast.
When I was ready to move on, two swedish hikers entered, and we talked about Grøna Bandet, and lightweight gear for a while.
Finally out in the open again, it began to snow! I felt a flush of adrenaline, and enjoyed these last km. The Weather reminded me of autumn in Greenland. Where I live, we are always “above treeline” – exposed to the elements, year around.
Then, I was suddenly close to Grövelsjön Fjällstation, and soon thereafter standing at the station`s blue door, completing the Green Ribbon. 🙂 You can read about this swedish hiking challenge at http://www.vitagronabandet.se
62 days and 1.275 km since I began my hike on July 21st, at Treriksröset! I´m gratefull for every single day.
After visiting the shop inside the station, I walked to “Sjöstugan”, where I had booked a room, and got free waffles and coffe as a GB hiker. 🙂
Tomorrow I will have a rest day here, before continuing my hike through Sweden. To lay on a soft matress in a heated room feels absolutely amazing, right now!
0 km (2+ km bonus)
Last night, I had a hard time falling asleep. At 2-3 am I finally realized how hungry I was, and ate trailmix and a few bars. Is this how “hiker hunger” feels like, I wonder? I can already feel it again now, tonight, close to midnight….
This morning, I therefore walked through the rain, 1+ km, to eat breakfast at the mountain station – since they offer a big breakfast buffet. 🙂 🙂 Instead of walking another 3-4 km to the supermarked and back, I resupplied for only 2 days, right there at the station.
Today, I simply wnated to rest as much as possible, and also, I needed to wash all my clothes, when that was possible, and wait for them to dry outside. It`s too cold by now to walk around town in only my raingear!
Thursday I should be able to buy more supplies at the small shop in Flötingen, if I time my arrival right! I hang out here at the place I´m staying, Sjöstugan, the rest of the day. The sauna here is open and I enjoyed that very much.
I met a woman working here, Kristin, who hiked GB with her two dogs, last year! Cool to meet another hiker and dog-owner. – Somehow I feel very exhausted after every zero day, more so than on my hiking days. It
s often difficult to find sleep inside the heated room, in spite of enjoying its comforts. – The trail, nature, everything out there, seems so far away. Almost like I´ve only dreamt it!
I have to remind myself – it
ll get real again soon enough, tomorow morning! I´m definetly not a morning person... I miss the bright midsummer nights, where I could hike whenever I wanted. I have to learn to adapt my hiking style to the changing seasons! Lets see how that goes. 😉
Sjöstugan at Grövelsjön to Stupsjön
This night I slept well. At Sjöstugan`s reception I said goodby to Kristin @adventurepaws_soffiliadori – gratefull for my stay here. If you ever come by Sjöstugan, try the waffles!
It was much warmer, and sunny, compared to the day I´d arrived here! A perfect day to continue my hike through Sweden. For the first stretch, and the sidetrail to the small waterfall “Silverfallet”, I shared the trail with many day-hikers. Later, I passed the old buildings of Valsdaldbygget. I grew more and more hungry, exausted and tired, dreaming about all-you-can-eat-bufffets, while dragging myself along the trail. It was time for a propper break! – So, I stopped at one of the many windshelters I passed that day.
Feeling stronger and more hopefull, I then walked on, reaching forest and gravel roads and passing the cabin Guttudalskojan, until setting up my tent close to the road, when it got dark. I craved to ly down and feel my muscles relax into the sleeping pad. Tired, but glad and thankfull to be back on trail, I cooked dinner and fell asleep by 10 pm.
Stupsjön (via Flötningen) to Busjön
The rain had just stopped, when I exited my tent, and the sun came out while I walked on gravel roads and trail to the store in the village of Flötningen. When the store opened, at 2 pm, I entered, and bought supplies to feed me until Sälen, and the end of Southern Kungsleden. There is an outlet for charging phones outside the store!
My pack was heavy when I left – I bought extra food to deal with the hunger I´d experienced the last few days. But the trail was fairly easy, through forest and swamps, although wet in some areas. When I reached the old shelter at Busjön, it was soon to get dark. Other hikers had adviced me to stay in the much nicer, next hut, 4 + km further south, instead. Still, I decided to stay here, hanging all my food, since there clearly had been mice around the hut. Again, I was quite tired and coudn`t wait to stretch out my legs. The wind was picking up outside, and the moon shining through the window, as I tried to fall asleep.
Busjön to Drevfjällsstugan
This morning, I passed “Rævehølet”, a shelter build into the forest by the resistant-movement in 1944, approx. 2 km from the norwegian border. Visiting this place gave me a lot to think about. – How privileged we are, who live in peacefull times and places.
Reaching the cozy Röskåsen cabin, I took a long break. When I packed up to leave, the landscape outside had changed into a wintery shade of white! 🙂
For a few hours I walked through wet snow. Slowly, as I decended into lower elevation, the snow turned into water. Wet and cold feet were unavoidable today, in spite of realtively new e-vent shoes (they already got a few holes) and waterproof socks. The trail was wet. As long as I was moving, though, that wasn`t really a problem.
When it got dark I arrived at Drevfjallstugan. My plan had been to camp, but, there was long, wet grass and uneven ground all around, and I therefore made the cabin home for the night. It was a lot more comfortable here, then last night at Busjön!
Drevfjällstugan (vai Gördalen) to Rörsjöstugorna
An amazing day in the mountains!!
“(…) I don`t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down into the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done? Doens`t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
From “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver
Rörsjöstugorna to Björnholmsstugan
Slowly, my time in the mountains is coming to an end. The forest is waiting for me!
I feel very lucky to not have encountered too much snow or cold rain, for the past few weeks.
This second day through Fulufjallets National Park was cloudy and windy at first, later sunny and almost – warm! For a long time, the trail followed a creek, where it was green and easier to walk than on the rocks and cliffs. I passed several cabins.
To take advantage of the beautiful weather, I walked through the sunset and into the dark. By the light of my headlamp i reached Björnholmsstugan, a cabin open for hikers, where I found a comfortable bed for the night.
Björnholmsstugan to south of Skarsåsen
After a good nights sleep in the cabin, I met 3 german hikers, who had camped closeby. After seeing their names in cabin registers since Grövelsjön, I finally catched up with them! It was really nice to talk, and I slowed down, just to have a chance to talk to them again, when I ate lunch.
The sun campe out when I started hiking, and the autumn colours exploded around me. My backpack was light, and hiking was fun!
At Skarsåsen, I called Mark at Sälens Vandrarhem, since he had offered to pick me up. Other hikers had recommended this place, and it certainly is really cozy, nice, and quiet. Unfortunatly, there is no supermarked within reach. At least I got some trailfood, send to me by a friend from Denmark, together with some gear I left at her place in July. So, I won`t starve. Also, the hostel has a bit of trailfood and some frozen pizzas to buy.
I´m going to switch out some gear, so I´ll have a slightly different setup for the forest, compared to what I brought for the mountains.
The weather forecast predicts lot`s of rain this week. I´ll have a rest day here, and continue my hike on Wednesday!
Vandrarhem Sälen / Gräsheden
For me, today feels like the halfway point of my hike, on matter how far I´ve actually come. I´m almost out of the swedish mountains (about 30 km left). Somehow it seems as if I´ll be on a completly different trail, when I reach the forest.
It`s been 15+ years since I´ve lived close to, hiked and camped in the forest – apart from the foresty areas I´ve hiked through the last weeks. Therefore, I´m actually quite curious how the second part of this hike will work out for me.
Today, I sorted through all of my gear and took pictures of all I had, when I arrived here, yesterday. I can add descriptions in the comments later, if any of you want to know about the items I carry. Some luxury items and some additional clothing, I bought along the way. So, my packweight had increased since I started. Now, I´m trying to pair it down again, a bit. Tomorrow I´ll continue hiking with a slightly different setup. Still, many things will stay the same as well.
I want to challenge myself by bringing a smaller shelter. It makes sense, since I plan to sleep in wind shelters when available. At the same time, I find it difficult to part with my comfortable tent! Also, I want to do more km each day, from now on. I´d like to see how far I can go, while still taking in and enjoying my sourroundings.
I´d love to spend time with family and friends before I have to go back home. That also requires me to hike faster / longer each day, from now on. Let`s see how that will go! 😉
Meanwhile, I´m enjoying a quiet afternoon at the hostel.
South of Skarsåsen to Myrfloddammen shelter
Today turned out different from what I had imagined!
The trail was wet – that didn`t come as a surprise. It was raining, and I walked up, up through the forest, took a short break at a shelter and climbed further above treeline. It got more and more windy while continuing to rain, and the going over slippery stones and mud was slow, wet and cold.
Finally, I reached the next shelter, Narfjällstugan, where the wood stove was still warm – someone had left here, recently! Under these conditiones, it didn`t make sense to continue walking Sødra Kungsleden above treeline for the remaining 20 km or so. I therefore decided to bid the mountains goodbye and decended on a sidetrail down to Myrfloddammen.
It felt too early to stop walking when I arrived there, but the only shelter within reach this evening was just there, by the lake. There was no firewood and it was a bit damp, but I could get out of my wet clothes and hang them up, to hopefully dry a little. I was very thankfull to be dry and warm in my sleep clothes and rapped up in my quilt as I devoured my dinner!
Myrfloddammen to Smågan
Hiker hunger is real – I woke up at 2 pm, feeling as if I hadn
t eaten dinner. Ate a bar and some nuts. I dont sleep very well inside, after many nights in my tent. Hope I`ll adjust, with time, since there are many huts I can use, on this section.
My hiking outfit was still wet and cold when I had to put it back on in the morning. But, supermarkeds and a lot of food was waiting for me along the roadwalk to Sälen today, so I had something to look forward too!
It felt amazing to still my hunger. 🙂 Also, to spend some time in heated buildings, like the church, allowing some of my clothes to dry. I bought new socks and a foam sleeping pad in an outdoor store. The inflatable pad I thought I wanted to use from now on isn`t working very well for me. So, I might send it away soon. Later, I resupplied at the ICA store in Sälen.
In late afternoon, I reached Vasaloppsleden trail! It was still raining and already dark when I arrived at a nice hut at Smågan where I could spend the night. Temperatures are noticebly higher down here, than in the mountains! Cozy. Now, I just have to figure out how to fall asleep. Maybe a midnight snack will help.
Smågan to Mellansjön
Walking in the seemingly never ending rain today, I felt so miserable that I concluded “this is the most difficult day on my hike, so far”. But – there was nothing to do, other than to keep walking down the forest roads and trails. Listening to an audiobook helped. After second breakfast with coffe in one of the windshelters, I felt better, and also the rain got less heavy, once in a while. Still, it felt like this was going to be a long day.
I have to filter water now, or boil it, but there are a few water stations with drinking water along the trail, too. The day actually ended very well. It was dark and still raining, when I arrived at the hiker cabins at Mellansjön, but there was plenty of firewood, and I got the wood stove going and could dry my clothes!
There were other hikers there, too, a couple out for the weekend. They stayed in the smaller cabin. I was glad to have reached my goal for the day, and ate lot`s of food while listening to the cracking of the woodstove.
Mellansjön to Österdalälven
This night I slept very well. The rain continued, but was less intense at first (until it got worse, in the afternoon). Vasaloppsleden is very well marked with signs for both skiers, hikers and cyclists! There are even signs telling you how many kilometeres you have left, to Mora, the end of the trail. Also, there are the hiker huts, making this trail a real treat to walk, when the weather is not ideal!
In every hut there`s a thick guestbook. I found the names of quite a few long-distance hikers in those books. One or two of them I´ve met in person, others I´m familiar with through social media, some not. These guestbooks make me feel connected to a larger hiking community. ❤
I passed through several villages today and had a brief conversation with a man out to fetch his horses. By then, I had 6 km left to the cabin I wanted to sleep in, and was quite exausted. Exchanging a few friendly words felt very good! I made it to the cabin before it got dark, for once. My last night on Vasaloppsleden, I was again dry and warm. 🙂
Österdalsälven to Mora
My last night on Vasaloppsleden, and in one of it`s hiker huts, was warm and cozy … how am I going to cope now, after beeing spoiled by sleeping inside? 😉 I´ve actually send my trusty tent home and am now carrying a pyramid poncho tarp (the “Gatewood cape”) and a bivi bag instead. To save weight, and to challenge myself to sleep closer to nature. Maybe some “Cowboy camping”, when the forecast predicts clear nights? We´ll see.
Today, the walking felt easy, in spite of the rain – motivation is an interesting factor in hiking – because I would be able to sleep in a real bed tonight!! The “trail” was a gravel and a forest road on this last stretch to Mora. – On Kungsleden, back in August, I met @fridaochhenrik who walked Grøna Bandet this summer. They have recently moved to Mora, and invited me to stay with them!
After a little sightseeing and buying fresh food, Frida and Henrik picked me up with their car. At their appartment, I could do everything a hiker dreams about after a few days out in the rain: take a hot shower, eat lot`s of tasty food, do laundry, dry my shoes and gear, eat more food, and best of all, spend time with other long-distance hikers! 🙂
First, I got to eat lasagne, and later we had taco for dinner. I was in hiker heaven! A dry oasis after days in the rain. Thank you so much, Frida and Henrik, for being my trail angels here in Mora! ❤ ❤
Mora to Åsen
This morning started with “real” coffee!! And – no rain!! 🙂 🙂 I was so very glad that the rain had stopped, that I had a big smile on my face for most of the day. From Mora, I followed the Via Suecia route along the western shore of the big lake Siljan. The first 10 km or so were nice – small roads, forest roads and even a little trail. Then, I walked along the busy main road to Sollerön, where I visited the church and then the supermarked – some of my favourite places to visit in small towns… The Coop was great – groceries, hot dogs, coffe, etc., and even with a corner to sit and eat inside! Onward, along the road to Gesunda. There, by the old church, I talked to a man who recommended not the walk to Ekkorberget, but a forest road to Mångberg.
Between Mångberg and Åsen I finally joined Siljansleden – enjoyed this part along many old buildings and then through the forest to Åsen, where I arrived at a wind shelter, just as it was getting dark. The benches are too narrow to sleep on, so I made my bed on the floor. 3 buckets are standing beside me, smelling funny, and it looks like there`ve been mice around, but, when it began to rain really hard, I was happy I´d stopped here.
Still, there are noises coming from nearby houses – maybe a generator of some kind – and I can
t fall asleep. There seems to be people in at least 2 houses up and down the road. But, I CAN watch the sky and listen to the rain, and maybe sleep will come at last? - My feet and legs still burn and hurt a little in the evening, if I walk for more than 25 km or so. Whats all this talk about “trail legs” all about, really? 😉 I´m still so glad I didn`t have to walk in the rain today!!
Åsen to Alvik via Siljanäs
This first night in a wind shelter here in Sweden went quite well! And as I´d hoped, I was waking up closer to nature, compared to in the cocoon of my tent. I could watch the sky slowly getting brighter, and a black and white bird (Skata in swedish, I´ve learned) had been sitting less than 2 meters from me, and flew away, when I sat up!
I packed up and left, had breakfast later at Svarttjaernen, where I was surprised to find a nice shelter called “Pilgrimskapellet”. That
s because Romboleden, a pilgrims trail, passes by here. I followed the trail further south, but later took the road for a detour to Siljanäs, to buy food at the small supermarked. By then, I´d found a place to stay in Alvik! @dontommazo had set me in contact with his brother, who came to meet me at their families cabin! He brought fresh vegetables from the garden, bread, cheese, homemade jam, water, firewood … and we sat and talked for several hours. We talked about loss and grief, among other things, since we both have recent firsthand experiences with loosing a partner.
It didn`t rain today, but is supposed to rain at night and tomorrow morning. I was so thankfull I could stay here, in this beautiful old house!!
Alvik to Ljusbodarna
This morning, I had a luxurious breakfast, by thruhiker-standarts! – My throat was hurting, I´d been sweating a lot this night, and had felt feaverish. Therefore, finally, I got to use the thermometer I´ve been carrying all along, but my temperature was normal. So, hopefully, I´ve just got a bit of a cold.
As it was raining outside and supposed to stop mid-day, I stayed at the cabin until noon, planning my route, writing e-mails and – drinking real coffe!
It still drizzled when I left, and did so for most of the day. I felt a bit weak and had to blow my nose often, and therefore walked slowly – up a ski hill and then down, back on Siljansleden, and the trail was wet. So, walking slow made sense, in any case!
Later, I decided to rather walk on forest roads, to avoid the wet trail. At 06:30 pm, when it was about to get tark, I found a stuga open for overnight stays, at the summer farmstead of Ljusbodarna. I´ve now made my bed on the table, because there seems to have been mice anywhere else in this cabin, also in the beds. 😉
Ljusbodarna – ressuply in Dala-Floda – to Kallbacken
I hardly slept at all, this night, since my nose was constantly closing up, so I could not breathe through it. At 4 am I moved from the table to one of the beds, mice or not, maybe a softer place to sleep would help? Not really, but, lot`s of hot water and tea in the morning revived me enough to pack up, and by 10 am I was finally ready to walke on.
At least my pack was lighter than ever, with just a little food and my gear, that I´d tried to minimize recently. And – it was a beautiful day, no rain! Cool to see the old fences and buildings at Ljusbodarna in daylight. I followed the trail to Sången lake and then a forest road. Just before reaching the small town Dala-Floda, with it`s old wooden bridge, it got very muddy. But I got to say hello to horses! 🙂
There was a restaurant offering lunch-buffet! My huge appetite has not left me, so I had to take advantage of that. Afterwards I went to the ICA supermarked and bought supplies for 3 days. Tired, and with my nose constantly running, I was longing to lay down. And so I did lay down to rest several times, on my walk onward. The trail followed the river southward.
Approx. 9 km south of Dala-Floda there`s a cabin that hikers can use for free! I´d decided to take a rest day there in hope of getting better. A friendly man living in a nearby house welcomed me, and showed me the facilities. The electrical heating was on. 🙂 In a small kitchen in another cabin I could prepare dinner. I went to bed very early. Thankfull, not to have to walk tomorrow….
Kallbäcken / Prästbuo
This is where I spent my day – mostly lying down on my sleeping pad on the carpet of the big cabin. Reading, listening to audiobooks and often times dozing off. Once in a while, I walked over to the smaller cabin, where the kitchen is situated.
Sven- Erik, whom I´d met last night, and Birgitta, came by with two small dogs, to say hello. I kept my distance, so as not to smitten them with my cold, but it was nice to talk a little. Otherwise, I had a very quiet and peacefull day. Cell-service is very weak just here, so only sometimes I managed to send and recieve messages from friends. 50-100 meters away, the connection does get a little better, but I did not want to spend too much time outside.
Hoping to get better soon!! Meanwhile, I am very gratefull to have this warm space to rest and recover. ❤
Källbäcken / Prästbuo
Waking up, I felt better than yesterday morning, but the cold had definetely not left my body yet. So, time for yet another quiet day with tea, ginger, honey and relaxation! I did go for a short walk around the vilage, in the afternoon.
Also, I´ve been looking at what lies ahead! According to my math, I´ve walked 1.655,6 km towards my goal, Sweden
s southernmost point, Smygehuk, so far. Depending on what route I take further south, I believe that I have roughly 1.000 or maybe up to 1.100 km left to go. So, this adventure is far from over, yet. And I´m glad, because I don`t want it to end!
I have not experienced any homesickness and no desire to be anywhere else than on the trail, even when it rained nonstop. That is in part because I very much enjoy to live in nature – I always have. But, it might also be due to the fact that home is not what it used to be.
The life that I had with my late husband and the hunting and guiding tours we embarked on together with our sled dog teams – this is the home I would miss, if it still was a reality. But that time will never come back. It is but a memory. A memory I treasure incredibly much. ❤
But, it is over. And while I still feel at home in Greenland, and with my dogs – I will return home in December – I am definetely searching for alternative ways to go on living my life. My intention while walking through Sweden was in part, to figure out how I want to live on. But most of all, to find a way back to the joy of being. The joy of being alone in nature. To re-learn to be content with being alone, and to take good care of myself.
One of my friends often talkes about the possibility of becoming our own best friend. That is something I`m working on, right now. The reality of death has teached me that the only person that will be in my life through thick and thin, for sure, is myself. All others come and go. ❤
A thru-hike is good practice in self-reliance and self-care. Certainly in Sweden, where you don
t have a "trail-family" or meet lots of other hikers. That does not mean that I don`t want or need the support, encouragement or company of others. I have recieved much support already – both from friends I´ve known for years and from new connections and other hikers in Sweden, as well as strangers along the way! And soon, I´ll get company on the trail!
Still, my goal is to come to make peace with myself and the life situation I find myself in. With the things I cannot change. I have no idea what my life might look like in a few years from now. In what country I´ll live, and how I´ll make a living. And that`s ok. One day at a time.
“The best destination is a night`s rest, lightening a fire and breaking bread in haste” writes Karin Boye in her poem “In rörelse”.
Long story today, but, well, I´ve had a lot of time to think!
Källbäcken – Ekotemplet Prästhyttan
This morning I felt much better and was soon ready to get back on track! Actually, I would get to walk on an old railway track through the forest, said Sven, when I said goodby and thanked him for letting me stay at the cabin for the last 3 nights. Yet another trail-angel, who helped me out when I needed it the most! ❤
I felt energized and motivated today. The trail was flat and easy and my backpack light, with almost no food left in it. Again I walked on Romboleden, the pilgrims trail, at least for most of the day. And I passed 2 supermarkeds, in Nyhammar and Grangärde. Via Suecia often passes through small towns and villages, right now.
Naturkartan app said, there`d be a outdoor church space close to “Gamla Prästhyttan”, and I thought it would be cool to camp there, and that there must be some nice flat ground to pitch my tarp. It was already dark, when I found the spot in the forest that I´d been looking so forward to. But – the “Eko-templet” was build into a small steep hill with absolutely no flat area whatsoever!
A few hundred meters further on, I found a semi-flat spot and finally got to pitch my SMD Gatewood Cape for the first time on this hike! It`s definetly much smaller then my Tarptent!
Prästhyttan to close to Hötjärnen
It had rained during the night. There were small snails everywhere – on my clothes and gear – even in my cookpot, and I found out only after I´d began to heat water on the stove. Poor snail!
I felt rested and was looking forward to reach the town of Ludvika. Arriving midday, I ate the best lunch buffet I had, so far, at a Thai Restaurant. It tasted amazing, and I stayed there for almost 2 hours. 😉
At dusk it began to rain as I arrived at a small industrial town, Grängesberg. Many big trucks drove by me, as I made my way to the ICA supermarked. I was tempted to rent a room and get a hot shower – it`s been over a week since I last had one – but I decided against it. Afterall, my gear was dry and I would get a shower later this week.
It took a few kilometers before the vibes of this noisy town with its many big vehicles and roads left me in peace, and I again felt safe, alone in the dark. I then pitched my tarp at the end of a forest road.
Hötjärnen to Stjärnfors
What a morning! I met several people walking their dogs, since I´d camped at the outskirts of town. All day, I walked more or less close to small villages and / or farms. I like to look closely at the homes I pass, imagining who might live there, and what kind of lives they might have.
Had to cross railway tracks several times. I didn`t cross at the place where Via Suecia goes across, since the sign there kind of discouraged me – opted for a place with better views, that felt safer. I liked the local trail, “Kyrkstigen”. In the afternoon, 2 moose crossed the forest road i was walking on! So cool to see them.
5 minutes later, I heared a rifle shot coming from the direction they dissapeared into. Shortly thereafter, I passed a mosse hunter sitting very quietly on a chair in the forest, a bit off the trail. In late afternoon I bought food in the town of Kopparberg, before walking on south, to a windshelter by a lake.
Stjärnfors to Smedsjön
My first full day on Bergslagsleden did not dissapoint – it was what I had hoped for!
So nice to be back on an actual trail, after days of with many forest roads and roadwalks. The hard survace made my hips ache, recently, and I longed for the soft forest under my feet, and to be sourrounded by nature, once again.
The trail was wet at times, but beautiful still. I did take a shortcut down to Dammsjön, where I found a place with many benches to rest on. Passing quite a few old house ruins made me think about how comfortable our modern homes are, compared to how generations before us used to live.
The enclosed shelter at Smedsjön was a big surprise. It wasn`t marked on my map! A perfect place to spend the night.
Smedsjön to Uskavi
This day started at 6:40 am with a loud “bang!!!” It sounded as if a big stone had landed on the shelter floor, just beside me. After the initial shock, I switched on my headlamp and felt something strange under my feet. Turned out my sleeping pad had “popped” on the inside! I never got used to sleeping on it anyway, those last 2-3 weeks that I´ve been carrying it. It`s just too narrow and slippery for my sleeping style. Luckily, a friend of mine, who would be able to bring a replacement, was on her way to meet me today.
I had a short day hiking, since Benny from Via Suecia would pick me up at Uskavi and bring me to Nora, where he provided a place to stay for me and my friend. It had rained during the night. But nice hiking weather today! At the house in Gyttorp, Benny and I had a look at a map of the rest of the trail. Then, Malene and I hang out, I washed all my clothes and showered. Absolutely amazing, after 10 days without showering. 😉
Later, we went to a small shop and then to a pizzaria down the street. Tasted so very good!! Now, it
s well past midnight and I still have things to do - town stays are so busy - but they`ll have to wait until tomorrow. The plan is to get back to the trail by noon.
Uskavi to St. Gålsjön
At 11 am, Benny from @via_suecia drove Malene and me back to Bergslagsleden – after a brief stop at the post office. We are very thankfull for Benny`s support, and the chance to talk some more with him in the car!
Then it was time to say goodby, and hike on! We had decided to take it easy today and only walk a few hours to a shelter marked on the map. The trail was nice and almost flat, the forest beautiful. Arriving at the shelter in the afternoon, we made tea and then worked on building a fire.
Later, we made our beds in the shelter, cooked dinner and looked at the moon and the flames. Needless to say – we talked – a lot – all day, and after so many days of hiking alone, I enjoyed this opportunity to talk and walk and hang out together with a good friend so very much. ❤ ❤
St. Gålsjön via Nora to Kvardammen
We woke to an amazingly beautiful autumn morning. Crisp and clear air. Sunshine.
Followed the Via Suecia Route to have another look at the town of Nora and to buy more food. Loved to look at the many old wooden houses downtown. Coffe, lunch and resupply for 5 days, then we were ready to get back into the woods! Again we passed many historic buildings.
At dusk we arrived at yet another Bergslagsleden shelter. Malene made a fire and we ate and relaxed in the shelter, thankfull for this beautiful day!
Kvardammen to Tomasboda
Camping with an early riser is beneficial for me. Malene got up right at 7 am, when my alarm clock rang. Hearing her stirr and climbing out of the shelter motivated me to get up, too. “Get up” for me on the trail means sitting up, still in my quilt, to warm water for breakfast. 🙂
We lingered at the shelter, drinking tea and coffe, before hiking out into the frosty morning. We took a shortcut down a forest road to Björngölen, but otherwise followed Bergslagsleden / Via Sueica. By lunchtime the sun had more power and we relaxed on the soft grass at Vinterhagen. From there on, the trail got wetter and a bit more difficult to walk, slowing us down.
Around 5:30 pm we found a small “Hiker Chapel” at Tomasboda, close to Kilsbergsstugan. What a nice surprise! There was drinking water closeby and we decided to spend the night here, in this cozy building.
Tomasbodsa to St. Tväggelåten
Breakfast by candlelight in the hiking chapel. The ground outside was still frosty and the sky blue, when we left. At the windshelter 5 km later, we met 3 dayhikers who made a fire to grill sausages. We unfortunately could not wait long enough there to yogi anything, we wanted to move on. 😉
At Ånnaboda ski resort, the cafe was open, and of course we took the advantage of that, sinking down into the soft couches for a little while…. Then, the sole of Malene`s old hiking boot got loose, and she had to apply first aid. Hopiong the boots will keep up until she goes home!
We passed many idyllic lakes today. Bergslagsleden at it`s best! In the evening, we had to night-hike an hour or so, by moonlight and the light of our headlamps, to reach the shelter we wanted to sleep in. In spite of our late arrival, Malene build a fire again. I could get used to this! 🙂 My fingers are getting quite cold, typing this on my phone.
St. Tväggelåten to Sixtorp
When packing up this morning it began to snow, and we walked under snowflakes for a little while, before the snow turned into rain. Luckily, the rain soon stopped. I discovered that the seams of my brandnew bivy bag are falling apart. I rely on the bag to keep me cozy, during colder nights. So, I decided to e-mail the outdoor store about this, later today.
We walked through a long, green, tunnel, with lot
s of ups and downs, but fever views compared to earlier sections of Bergslagsleden. But the green forest is beautiful, too! Again, we ended the day walking in the dark, in order to reach a shelter. Since we werent sure if we`d find water close to that shelter in Sixtorp, we rang the doorbell at a house closeby. A friendly lady welcomed us, urging us to come inside, and filled our water bottles!
Now we are tucked away in our sleeping bags, listening to the rain falling on the roof of the shelter. Or, rather, I´m listening to the rain, while Malene is sound asleep!
Sixtorp to Guldsmedstorp
The rain had almost stopped when we left the shelter. We`d both been very warm – almost sweating – during the night, as temperatures rose considerably! Cozy. How nice it was to not get cold hands, also, when doing things around camp without gloves on, in the morning. 🙂
A few challenges presented itself today – I`m really itchy and wondering if I should shower more often, or, perhaps, I got some kind of bugs on me. – Malene had more serious problems, – back pain that got worse today, in spite of our backpacks getting lighter. Still, she was ready to go on, even when the sole of her right boot fell off, in the afternoon! We aren`t far from a road, so if any of these issues cause more trouble tomorrow, we can find a way out, to take care of them.
Tonight, there wasn`t any windshelter we could reach. We wondered a bit off-trail on a forest road, hoping to find a roof to sleep under, maybe at an abandoned cabin somwhere. When that plan failed, there was nothing else to do – we had to pitch our poncho-tarps. 🙂
We did just that, behind a big building, to get some whelter from the wind. Malene crawled under her tiny tarp first, determined to not crawl out again before tomorrow morning! I have a lot more hearoom under my pyramid tarp. The tarps are definetely flattering quite a bit when the wind pichs up. But at least it`s warm again this night, not raining right now – and we hope to get some sleep!
Guldsmedstorp to Laxå
We slept surprisingly well under our tarps, in spite of the wind. At around 6 am, Malene decided to move her head and pillow from under her tarp to the outside. There, she kept looking at the moonlight and enjoyed breathing in the fresh morning air. She also took a beautiful picture of the moon! – Meanwhile, I was slowly waking up, too…
Today the trail was flat and easy to walk, and mostly dry. We had a late breakfast sitting in this nice weather – mild temperatures and no wind. Later, we passed a windshelter. These shelters along Bergslagsleden are really cool, I liked this one in particular, places at a creek. In the guestbooks I found notes by other long-distance hikers!
A few km later, we left the trail to follow forest roads and then the main road to Laxå, our resupply-point. Finally, we arrived in this small industrial town and got a motel room. Time for showers!! And dinner. 🙂 To happy hikers with full bellies then collapsed onto their beds. 😉
Laxå (trail trip to Örebro and back, during the day) to Kråkssjön
First, another shower, and then breakfast buffet at our trucker motel. Later, resupply at the “Dollar Store” and trying to find a pair of shoes for Malene in Laxå. Planning to be back on the trail soon!
The shoe hunt was not successfull. So, an hour later, we were sitting on a train to a larger town – Örebro – to buy shoes there! I dreamed of good food and a real good coffe (and I got to drink one in Örebro!) while looking at the landscape flying by so very quickly.
A few hours later we were back at the railway station in Laxå and more ready then ever to get back into the woods! Eager to reach a shelter, we quickly walked along a big highway – kind of scary (we didn`t know that there was a bike path on the other side..) to get back on the trail.
When it got dark, we walked on a forest road in the most amazing moonlight and clear sky with many stars.
What a day – unexpected trail rides, Café Latte – and – a pair of Altra Trail Runners had replaces Malene`s old hiking boots. By 8:30 pm, we reached yet another beautiful lake to sleep by. And the moon kept on shining bright.
Kråksjön to Kölnavattnet
What a morning! Chilly, yes, but also very beautiful. Malene got up early while I was still tucked away under my quilt. Then, a bird came to wake me up!
Today, the trail was dry and quite easy to walk. And that was good, since we wanted to make it to the shelter at Kölnavattnet, close to Tiveden National Park. This was our last day on the trail together, and we talked a lot while hiking, eventually hiking under the light of the moon, just as we did the day before.
At the shelter, we were warmly welcomed by 4 people, among them a Green Ribbon hiker class 2021! 🙂
We ate some tasty cheese and enjoyed the company – and fell asleep to the flickering flames of the campfire.
Kölnavattnet to Ängagärdet
Last time waking up in a Bergslagsleden shelter, last morning with Malene, and first time having a campfire in the morning, on this hike! It was GB hiker @ftuvesson who made the fire, and he and his friend cooked breakfast on it, and invited us to eat with them! We`d texted this week, about possibly meeting up. So cool that it worked out!
Then it was time to say goodby to Malene, who was going to walk to Tivedstorp to get picked up by a car. I´m very thankfull for the days we hiked together!
After hanging out with the guys at the shelter for a bit longer, I hiked on, and the trail led me into Tivedens national park – a magical place! Later, I found myself in great company, sitting in a trailer, at Stenkällegården Camping. Finally, I was again alone, digesting todays human encounters. Reached the huge lake, Vättern, just before dark. The trail got steep and the going slower. It was pitch dark, no moonlight today!
Around 7 pm, my eyes met a pair of other eyes on a forest road, in the dark. They looked like dog eyes (I´m used to see the eyes of my Greenland Dogs in the dark). A loose dog – the owner somewhere behind it, I thought. Then, two other pairs of eyes appeared beside the first one and they were all staring at me!!
My tiny ultralight headlamp was not strong enough to see their bodies. I found the whistle I carry and blew in it. Made some noise with my trekking poles, too. Finally, the eyes disappeared almost loudlessly into the open forest, looking back at me once, for a second.
At first, I was too scared to walk on in the direction where I´d seen the animals, but, there was really nothing else to do! So I did walk on, singing and blowing my whistle until I felt safe again.
Not much later, I decided to pitch my tarp behind a house, where nobody seemed to live, since the wind had picked up. Texting friends to tell about my experience, I ate dinner and stretched out on my sleeping pad. What an eventfull day this had been!!
Ängagärdet to Skogeryd
I slept well, in spite of last nights excitement! While I was packing up inside my tarp, I heared a car approaching. I hurried outside, expecting the owner of the house to arrive. But no, it was someone working on measuring / registering electric cables underground! He informed me that nobody lived in the house I´d slept by.
I am now – since yesterday – walking on another trail, Vänstra Vätterleden. Via Suecia follows this trail for the most part. When it makes sense, I take some shortcuts on forest roads instead. Today, a shortcut led through a military training area, where several cars were parked and dogs were trained! Vänstra Vätterleden does not have the same infrastructure as Bergslagsleden – I already miss it`s nice shelters, firewood and toilets!
In the afternoon I reached Mölltorp, where I send msome stuff away at the post office – the bivi- bag, I don
t really need it anyway - and some clothing. Its warmer here in southern Sweden, then I expected! I also bought food. Then I walked to a house in Skogaryd – while enjoying a beautiful sunset – where I was warmly welcomed by Via Suecia trailangels, Monalie and Lars, to sleep in a small building on their property!
Skogaryd to Hjo ( + Hjo to N Fågelås to Hjo)
31,7 km (+8 km)
“Fear of the future no longer exists, when the past has been healed.” David R. Hawkins
Walking alone through the forest once again, I have lot`s of time for contemplation. And for listening to audio books, so this is a quote from a book I listened to, today!
I liked Västra Vätterleden today and took several long breaks to just look at the sky and listen to the trees swaying in the wind. My plan was to only hike about 23 km to a shelter I could sleep in, or, maybe, hike 9 km further into the town of Hjo, where I´d resupply. When Benny from Via Suecia called, to tell me that I could sleep in a cabin owned by the church in Hjo, I made up my mind to opt for another night with heat and electricity! Now I had to walk quickly on country roads towards town. Then, I resupplied at the supermarked.
For some reason, Google Maps guided me to a church several km south of Hjo centrum. I did find that a little odd, but, oh well… When I arrived at my destination it was 8:30 pm, I was tired, and my hips ached from the long roadwalk. And I could not find the building or adress. A man who lived in the area informed me that I had walked 4 km too far. 😉
At first I looked for a place to pitch my tent. I just wanted to lay down. But I had no water, and the man had already disappeared. I didn
t feel like knocking at strangers doors that late. I therefore decided to retrace my steps. A few tears fell, while I walked, angry at myself for having mad this mistake.
Still, after a while I felt much better and began to enjoy the moonlight and stars, while listening to classical music. After all, it`s only 4 km, easy, flat, I told myself. By the time I reached Hjo – once again – and found the cabin I could sleep in, I laughed at my mistake, in spite of my hurting body. I´d found my home for the night! 🙂
At 9 am there was breakfast at the big church community house! I got to sit and talk with women from Eritrea and other far away countries. They said I was brave for hiking through Sweden on my own. I also got to talk to a church musician! Only later I thought about how brave they were for starting a life, working, raising kids, and learning a new language in a country so very, very different from their own.
I wanted to buy some medication at the pharmacy in Hjo and walked there after breakfast. They didn`t have what I needed, but could order it to arrive tomorrow. Since I need the pills, I decided to take a zero day in Hjo to wait for them to arrive. I´m not ill, but need the medication to deal with the mysterious itching I mentioned some days ago — I´ll spare you for the details! 😉 🙂
The weather had changed to rain and some wind, and I ate a lot, took a shower, made phone calls, wrote e-mails and so on…. At 7 pm, I attended a choir concert at the nearby church. That I enjoyed very much. I felt so lucky to be able to be there and just listen! To just be. ❤
Hjo to Store Grubben
The ladies at the community centre handed me several leftover sandwiches and hardcooked eggs for today
s walk, and offered me coffe, when I came to say goodbye! The red building is the cabin I slept in. Ive experienced so much kindness and support on this hike!!
Then, I had to roadwalk out of Hjo, ended up on smaller roads and fainally was back on Västra Vätterleden. It ran paralell to a Pilgrims trail, for some time. I walked by a tiny house, that one can rent, cool to see that! I passed a nice shelter by a lake in the afternoon. But I wanted to hike far today. That meant several hours of nighthiking, since I got a late start.
The trail was a little steep and went up and down a lot, then. Later it flattened and lead through beautiful and very dry forest. I was now in Hökensås, and really liked this area! When I finally reached water I decided to camp right by it, since it was almost 9 pm. The stars were out and the lake was calm and clear.
Store Grubben to Mullsjö
“… the wildest thing of all is to come to terms with your situation, to come to grips with it, to trust and to accept and to have faith. ” Cheryl Strayed
I woke to a beautiful day – warm and sunny! Didn`t sleep very well this night, since it had gotten windy and my tarp rattled quite loudly. Met many fisherman and talked to a few of them. Today, Vänstra Vätterleden went through some very nice forests and lakes! What a treat to walk through here on such a day!
Again, I wanted to hike 30+ km, since I had booked a room in the town of Mullsjö for tonight, to do some much needed laundary! – Many Thruhikers know Cheryl Strayed as the author of the book “Wild”. Today I listened for some time to one of her other books I enoy, “Tiny beautiful things”. I had to bushwalk at some point, to get around a cow-pasture, luckily it was not dark yet.
Finally, I rolled into town. Just looking at the washing machine and the dryer and at the shower gave me a feeling of intense joy. 🙂 Then it was time to get to work! And to eat. 😉
Another zero day so soon? Yes. Because I finally had access to a washing mashine. Last time I could use one was 17 days ago, in Nora. Even my quilt and my down jacket got washed, for the first time since I started my hike. It was time to finally kill ALL the bugs. 😉 😉
Today arrived a swedish hiker, Ola @akerstromola who is going to accompany me on the trail for 1 week! Since Ola often hikes with a SUL (super ultra light) gear setup, I was curious to see how tiny of a backpack he`d arrive with. It turned out he did bring som extra layers for this trip – and even a big pyramid tarp! Still, his bag is significantly smaller then mine.
We spend the day hanging out at the B&B. In the evening, we walked down the hill and into town to buy food and eat dinner at a small Thai Restaurant. Ola had brought some movies, and we watched one. I hadn`t watched any movie or TV for 3+ months, so that was fun!
Mullsjö to Mulserydssjön
This last day of October was sunny and quite warm, and having company on the trail again felt great!
We mostly had to walk on forest roads, but a few places on a trail. In the nature reserve south of Bottnaryd we ended up on a trail going in circles through the reserve, and had to bushwalk our way out in the dark. Finally we found a place to spend the night, after a few hours of hiking in the dark. Nighthiking is almost unavoidable now!
Mulserydssjön to Hestra
During the night it began to rain, I felt my quilt getting damp from the first drips and had to quickly retreat further under the roof. But then the sky had this amazing colour when it was time to get up. And the rain had stopped.
Our plan was to walk all the way to the next small town that had a supermarked and a hostel, today. Ola is a hiker who
s used to do 40+ km days when he`s on the trail, and I´m curious to try to hike bigger miles now that I am in the shouthern and relatively flat part of Sweden! Therefore we only took a few short breaks today.
In the morning we exchanged backpacks for a while. Fun to try Ola`s small pack and talk about gear – a lot. We encountered different animals, walking through farmland most of the time. I love saying hello to horses! The hours went by quickly, and when our feets and legs began to get tired, we listened to music to help us keep our pace up.
At around 7:30 pm, we finally rolled into Hestra, just in time to resupply at the supermarked. Then, we got to sleep inside at Hestra Guesthouse. 🙂
Hestra to Våthultsån
This morning we took full advantage of having a dry and warm place to hang out, and therefore stayed at Hestra Guesthouse almost until noon. 😉 By then, it had begun to rain, and continued to do so pretty much all day.
Therefore this ended up to be a short day. We managed to find a few places to rest and eat with a roof, – at one point sourrounded by two cats in a garage.
In the evening, we came by a place with 3 wind shelters close to a lake. Perfect for spreading out wet gear and cooking food in one of them, sleeping in another. So, this is where we stopped for the day. Glad to be out of the rain, warm and cozy in my quilt after eating dinner, I hoped the weather would improve a bit tomorrow.
Våthultsån to Hemb.gård
The rain had stopped in the morning. We got up early and passed by a beautiful lake a few hours later.
Since Mullsjö we mostly hiked on Gislavedsleden, sometimes taking shortcuts on (forest) roads when it makes sense. At one point we asked for water at a house we passed, and the dog barked at us while we wiated. The rain started midt-day and lasted almost until we found a place to spend the night.
Our plan had been to walk to one of the wind shelters along Gislavedsleden. Unexpectedly though we found a small cabin, open for hikers, not marked on the map apps we use. 🙂 Getting inside an enclosed, dry shelter was more then we had hoped for, so we decided to call it a day and stay there.
Hemb.gård to Ylasryd
Rested after a dry and comparetively warm night, we started walking just before 7 am. Ola is definetly having a good influence on me, when it comes to getting up early in the morning! 😉 I´m usually a night-owl, but ny now it`s getting dark around 5 pm, and therefore it really makes sense to start hiking as early as possible.
There had been no water close to the cabin we`d slept in. We therefore had breakfast at a wind shelter by a lake, 4 km down the trail. Finally, a day without rain!!
Again, Via Suecia followed Gislavedsleden for the most part, and we went through the small town of Kinnared to eat lunch buffet. 🙂 🙂 and to resupply. By the time we left town, it was getting dark
A few hours later we did set up camp somewhere along the road. Ola had brought his MLD Duomid XL pyramid tarp. Cool to see that and try it out! We left the doors wide open to aviod condensation. The stars were out and candles lighted. Still full from eating loads of food in town, we bypassed cooking dinner, eating a few things we`d purchased intown. I had to open a bag of chips during the night in order to be able to fall asleep – ” hiker hunger” has come to stay. 😉
Ylasryd to Simlångsdalen
Me packing up in the morning… I usually spread out my gear on whatever surface there is available, when I unpack. It kind of looks like a big mess. Ola called it “Ruth
s gear explosion". Mysteriously though, everything finds its way back into my backpack in the morning! By now, every single gear item has it`s designated place in my pack.
Today we reached Hallandsleden! Via Suecia followed the old trail (there is a re-route) through Ingemansbo south of Skavsjön, where we passed a house with many animals walking around. We talked to the owner, a swedish woman living there with her two kids. she said that she`d met many long-distance hikers coming by here, throughout the years. What a cool place and way of living!
Later, we walked mostly on forest roads, reaching the small town of Simlångsdalen in late afternoon. It began to rain a bit, just then, and we were ready to treat ourselves to some good food and wine at the local pizzaria/restaurant! It tasted amazing. Too tired to walk to our accommodation, we covered the few km up the hill in a fascinating car, driven by a local young man. A fun experience! I would walk this bit tomorrow, when going to the store to resuppy.
PaulssonPaleo / Simlångsdalen
This was basically a zero day. I only walked the short distance between the grocery store and the place we stayed at. A really cool place, by the way, that I´d definetly recommend! @paulssonpaleo
Today we had a visitor! Long distance hiker Peter @mywalkabout.se came by, ate breakfast with us, and he and Ola @akerstromola gave me a gear-shakedown. 🙂 Peter took the gear i would not need any more home, to bring it back to me when I reach Smygehuk, where we`ll meet up again.
Later, I resupplied at the supermarked in Simlångsdalen. It began to rain while I walked back home and kept raining and blowing for the rest of the day. I was ver, very glad I didn not have to walk any further today. 😉
PaulssonPaleo to Börsjö/Mästocka
After breakfast, Ola left to catch a buss to Halmstad and to eventually get back to Stockholm. For me, it was time to put one foot in front of the other, once again. Just me and my backpack. It was 11.30 before I made it out of the door…
How would it feel to be back on the trail, with no-one to talke to? I had enjoyed first Malene
s and now Ola`s company so very much. – It felt good — until the rain showers got more frequent and intense, that is. But even then, it felt ok to be on the road again, and to digest all I´ve experienced so far on this long hike through Sweden! Luckily I had an umbrella – that really saved my day.
A few km before reaching Börsjö I met a danish hiker coming towards me on the other side of the road. I was very excited to say hi, and we exchanged some infor about the trail. He did not know yet how far he
d walk on this trip, he said, and didnt say where he started, either. A bit mysterious!
When I found an enclosed changing room a the lake – it`s a bathing place in summer – the decision to stop early was easy to make. It kept on raining heavily and I was extremely thankfull to be in a dry and sheltered space. These small surprises really make a difference on such a long hike! It is now 8 pm and almost ” hiker midnight”.
Börsjö to Koarp
Today I began hiking at 7:15 am, determined to take full advantage of the good weather the forecast had predicted! A few hours later I arrived in the small town of Knäred. There, I found a surprisingly big Coop Supermarked with a coffe machine, a corner to sit down, a sink and electrical outlets. 🙂 Important details for a hungry thru-hiker!
This last day on Hallandsleden was a brilliant autumn day. I did some shortcuts, walking on roads, when it made sense. After Knäred I only took one short break, other then that I ate and drank while hiking. Passed many dogs barking and cows and horses starring at me! 😉
At 17:45 pm I arrived at the shelters in Koarp. The water was turned off – after all it`s November – so I decided to ask at the nearest house for water. That went well. My fingers get cold while typing this on my phone, although I´m wearing gloves. Hoping for a good nights sleep!
Koarp to Lärkesholmssjön via Örkelljunga
This night I slept in all of my clothes – including raingear – since temperatures were supposed to drop below zero. This kept me toasty! 😉 Then, I was at a crossroad – I could either follow the Via Suecia track and have only 140 km left to go. That would mean I could finnish in approx. 4 days. Or, I could walk the long and winding Skåneleden and would there have almost 300 km left to go. Or, a combination of both. This third option is what I decided to go for!
I´m curious to hike on yet another local trail. And I´m not ready to finnish my hike just yet…
I did walk away from Skåneleden mid-day, though, to eat lunch and buy food in Örkelljunga. The lunch buffet even included sushi!! And I ate a little too much. 🙂 It was beginning to get dark when I reached a shelter at 4:30 pm – and it rained a bit and was supposed to rain some more. Therefore, I stopped early. Temperatures had risen during the day, so I had a relaxing evening here. Just me, and the spiders. 😉
Lärkesholmssjön to Hässleholm
At 6:30 am, I began walking, feeling good after a long rest at the shelter. Earliest start on this hike, so far!!
Skåneleden followed forest roads and sometimes it was an actual trail. I did not walk north to Hårsjö, but crossed over directly to Olastorp, where I ate lunch at the shelter. It felt good to be in the forest today – enjoying the different shades of green and red/brown, although the weather wasn`t the best – a light drizzle most of the day. For the first time I felt some kind of a pull towards Smygehuk, – and therefore I decided to go all the way to Hässleholm today. Got a good deal at the Youthhostel. That meant some roadwalking in the afternoon.
The last 5-6 km, my body felt really tired, and I had to dragg myself forward. It was getting dark, and I think my system kind of wants me to rest, when the light fades. I lay down under a tree before the final stretch into town. That helped a little! Finally in my room, I collapsed on the floor before taking a hot shower. I think I´m slowly beginning to feel ready to reach the end of my hike, next week!
Hässleholm to Ullstorp
The hostel in Hässleholm was great – there was free “real” coffe! 🙂 And a spacious living / dining area. After buying food at a big grocery store, I had grilled chicken as a second breakfast at 10 am! Finally, I was ready to walk out of town. First on a bikepath and roads. Then, I re-joined Skåneleden, and I really liked walking that trail, today! In fact, I liked it so much that I almost didn`t want to stop. So, I hiked in the dark for several hours. Also, I felt strong, with lots of energy. One night inside and hot showers must have re-charged my batteries!
Walking on narrow paths through the forest, in the dark, felt a bit like being in a fairytale land. Just the trees and me, and the damp earth underneath my feet. At around 7 pm I made camp close up to a forest road. There weren
t any other flat spaces in this area. An hour later, two men with their dogs walked by. There are several houses, a few 100 m away, so I guess that was to be expected. Now, I want to enjoy yet another night in the forest - there arent too many of them left on this hike!
Ullstorp to Rövarekulans Naturreservat
by Mary Oliver
“One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice –
though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn`t stop.
You knew what you had to to, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations – though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do –
determined to save the only life you could save.”
Rövarekulans Naturreservat to Glamberga v/ Sturups flygplats
Today I´d planned to start early, so I woke before 6. But then, just when I was ready to pack up, it began to rain. A lot. I decided to wait it out. Finally, at 9 am, the rain had stopped, and I was on my way!
First, I did some roadwalking. After 10 km I felt already tired, longing for a warm place to rest in. And I found one! In Harlösa I got a great coffe at the supermarked and there I re-joined Skåneleden. Today, the trail was easy! Also, it did not rain again, a fact that I really appreciated. A few km south of Genarp I left Skåneleden once again. At this point, I´m not patient enough to walk all it`s loops. I just want to head south!
Now I´m lying in a shelter, back on Skåneleden, close to an airport. I did not expect it to be so quiet and peacefull here. Nature is quiet, too. No wind. Silence. Only a few birds singing in the forest.
Lilfe is good! 🙂 And this adventure is going to be over, soon. And that`s ok, too.
Glamberga v/ Sturup to Smygehuk
2.636 km walked
This hike has been both an outer and inner journey. The outer – physicall – journey with it`s variable challenges has been incredible enjoyable. It was easier than I had expected. I woud not call it a walk in the park, 😉 but, still, perfectly doable for anyone with resonable health and enough motivation to keep going!
I never wanted to quit. I felt safe and at home, first in the mountains and later on in the woods.
Every day felt like a precious gift. Nature has been kind and welcoming, embracing me in many different ways. People I´ve met have hugely enriched my life, and will, I´m sure, continue to do so.
My true challenge from the very beginning, therefore, has been the inner journey.
I felt quite miserable and also depressed last winter and spring, before I started my hike. Worn down by loss and grief, I was unable to take steps towards re-building my life – apart from planning this thru-hike. I coudn`t feel much joy ore enthusiasm for anything in a long time.
I came to Sweden to heal my wounds. To make peace with what happened in the past. To take responsibility for my owhn happiness – under all circumstances.
While the outer journey – this hike – has come to an end, it feels as if my inner work has only just started. Only time will tell, where it will lead me. One thing I want to continue to do – I want to say “yes” to life.
Birth and death, I´ve come to understand, are part of life`s natural circle. To resist them is to fight life itself. I want to learn to flow with life instead of resisting it, no matter how painfull that might feel, at times.
I want to live life to the fullest – wild and free – until the day of my last breath.