Setting off for section two was a strange feeling. It really felt like if that was the point where the hike started. The first part was just a regular hike in the mountains, but now I continued into unknown grounds, starting the thru hike, entering a world I had longed to explore. Longing for the days on trail to become my daily life.
Day 11 part II│ June 28 │ Storlien – Skurdalssjön 8 km
After resupplying in Storlien I started to climb Skurdalshöjden. It was a beautifully warm afternoon, no wind and no insects. After a few kilometers I had a great view towards Snasahögarna and the mountains I had crossed the previous day. In fact I started to realize how far you can walk in one day. Mountains that you see in the horizon one day, are close the next day, and the day after, they have already disappeared…
When I arrived on the top, the view was breathtaking. A lake, some hills, snow patches and a valley with birches in the lush spring green. During the hike I came to love these valleys just below the tree line. It feels like a habitable area, and I always felt that people must have been here for a long time. Some sort of paradise. These would also be the areas I chose as camp sites whenever possible, I felt safe there.
I continued towards the lake, crossed the border, passed by a stone with rock carvings/petroglyphs, lost track of the path, found the path, crossed a bridge, arrived at a dam. Wait, was I really supposed to pass here?! (See picture below.) No trail markings to be seen on the other side, but I had mobile reception, so I decided to call Johanna, who walked this route last year. In the end, it was the right track, crossing was not as scary as it looked, and I had clean shoes after!
I started to become tired and at this end of the lake, there were several cabins. I finally found a camp site by the lake where I could enjoy the sunny evening, wash myself and some clothes. Well, I was not relaxed. A part of me was not feeling safe, and there was no other reason than that, within all this beauty, I felt quite small.
Day 12│ June 29│ Skurudalssjön – Angeltjønnhytta 16 km ?
The first day of hiking in Norway. Norwegian trails have their distinct reputation among Swedes, as do the Norwegians: tougher, longer, steeper and muddy (the trails, not the Norwegians ?). It was not particularly steep, but there was mostly no path at all. The trail was extremely well marked though, it must have been renewed very recently. My pace was significantly slower than the days before, and after only 6km I took my lunch break. The view was still breathtaking though, overlooking V Middagsfjället and Norder-Rensjön.
Most snow was long gone, but regularly there were snow field on the trail. Most of them were easy to cross, but I had already decided to walk around all snow field with water underneath. In the end it was end of June already, an the temperatures were high. And those extra meters would not make a difference in the end. Better safe than sorry, especially when being alone out there!
The second part towards Angeltjønnhytta became wetter and wetter, and the trail just led me right through the swamps… Beautiful for sure, but wet. And when I arrived at the hut, I realized that finding a campsite anywhere in this area would be a little miracle, and the hut was as beautiful as a Norwegian hut can be. Thank you DNT, you surely know how to build huts!
It was a really warm and sunny evening, but with a nice wind from the lake, which kept temperatures in the sun down and the mosquitoes away. I bathed in the lake, washed my sweaty clothes and cooked dinner on the stairs in front of the hut. And I felt that this is just life. Sitting in front of a little hut, with the naked feet on the wooden stairs, feeling the sun against my skin and listening to the sounds of nature.
Day 13│ June 30│ Angeltjønnhytta – Ferslia – NN 20 km
The third sunny day on trail in a row! (And this would be the only time during the hike with so many sunny days…)
I woke up after a not entirely good night in the hut. I was already so used to sleeping in my tent that sleeping indoors felt somewhat claustrophobic and too warm. It was beautiful outside, so I had breakfast on the bench, cleaned the hut and got ready to hit the trail again, which basically meant getting wet feel, as the first kilometers would lead me through the swamps until I finally had gained some height again. And again, great views, great trail (well, great trail marking, there was still not much of a path), great weather. When I reached Ferslia, I started to get tired though. I didn’t want to stay in the hut there, so I decided to continue up on the next fjell, and the map promised more wet areas.
This might have been the longest 6 km so far. It was warm, it was wet, but still there was no drinking water around. And also no great camp site. Finally I found a tiny little stream and a flat, reasonably dry area where I could squeeze in the tent. As soon as I had put the tent and cleaned myself, my mood changed and I was happy again. As if the painful few kilometers had never existed. Strange how fast the mood can change, but also a great lesson. And knowing that I would become dry and clean as soon as I pitched my tent would save my mood many days during the hike – rain or heat was much easier to accept, knowing that it is a temporary state.
Day 14│ July 1│ NN – Bellingstua 22km ?
The fourth(!) sunny day! And it felt like I was getting used to this life… Hiking, taking in the views, drinking the clear water… The first hours were rather easy, flat and very enjoyable, despite the heat.
After my lunch break, the trail entered an area with a lot of hills and canyons. It was beautiful! But with almost no wind, and after the first warm days of the year, the insects, and particularly the horse flies were out hunting! And they definitely liked me. At some point here I was wondering what the h*ck I was doing here, when I could instead sit in a light dress on a terrace somewhere and sip champagne. But there I was, standing in a swamp, being bitten by horse flies, starting to feeling the pain in my feet and having some 10km to the hut I was heading for. I also had not really met anyone since Storlien, and this was the first stretch where I was really alone.
Well, I didn’t have much choice. Taking a break accompanied by horse flies was not really an option, so I kept on walking, and at some point the trail arrived at the road. My happiness to see the road didn’t last that long though, because I realized quickly that this was not great for sore feet… and the 5 km to Bellingstua felt incredibly long.
But as every day, I eventually arrived at the goal, saw a moose and her calf, washed myself and some clothes, ate, and went to bed. The forecast promised heavy rain in the morning, so I could fall asleep knowing that I could calmly sleep in the next day.
Day 15│ July 2│ Bellingstua – Anjan fjällstation 25 km
The morning was indeed rainy, and with an entire day on the road, I was not too eager to get out in the morning. I expected a total hiking time of 5-6h, so I was not in a rush anyways. Eventually I got ready, the rain stopped and those little biting insects black flies/knott/svidan appeared for the first time. So stopping was not really a great idea. After 3h I found a little rock by the lake and could at least sit down for the time it took to eat my lunch, but then the insects found me again and it also started to rain lightly. With only 10km left to Anjan mountain station, I just continued to walk. Looked at all the orchids by the road, the mountains that were hiding behind the clouds, the lake in the rain, the gray-scaled landscape.
And, again, eventually I was there. And Henrik and the two girls working with him welcomed me into the warm and dry mountain station. I could dry my clothes and take a shower, I had a waffle and could just sit down inside. Such kind and warm people, I just couldn’t really understand how lucky I was to be there.
I started to speak with two couples that where at the restaurant for Sunday lunch. They came from the area, but one of them had moved and nowadays only came for holidays and weekends, and then they had the tradition to come here for Sunday lunch. I told them about my hike and we spoke about life in general And when they left, one of the women came to me and asked me, if she could give me a hug, because ”as a solohiker you haven’t had a hug in quite a while”. I was baffled. And touched to tears. So much love and care from a person I didn’t know. Trail magic in its purest form, and it left me speechless and with a warm feeling of gratefulness.
Day 16│ July 3│ Anjan fjällstation – Kallsedet 19 km
In the morning it had stopped to rain, and I packed the tent surrounded by insects. Cannot really say they bothered me. They were there, and I just ignored them…
I had a great breakfast prepared by Henrik and his girls, spoke to a few fishermen, who felt reeeeeally sorry for me, who didn’t have any fishing gear with me, so they gave me an arctic char. Thank you! I can live with being felt sorry for if that is the result!
Back on the road again, I walked and felt rather anonymous. Me, the road, clouds and even some occasional sun rays. And orchids. Thousands of orchids by the road. And hurting feet. Hurting more and more for each day
I arrived at Kallsedet fjällcenter, where Marian greeted me with a ”Are you walking the green ribbon?”. And there were also two brothers from the village in the café who had seen me walking along the road earlier. It was a peculiar, but nice, feeling to not have been that anonymously walking along the seemingly endless road… I stayed there and had coffee with them and spoke to Marian and her husband Jörgen for a while, until I went to put up my tent, do laundry and cook my arctic char for dinner. The best dinner one could ever cook on a hike if you ask me! ❤️