8th August 2016
8:15am-11:45am (no stops) 12.5km
I awake to the sound of heavy persistent rain. 10 more minutes in bed I think. An hour later I wake again. The rain has died off a little and I pack my gear away and make breakfast in the tent. It’s not the ideal way, but it’ll do in the circumstances!
The rain has thankfully eased and I head off into the fog. The rhythmic swish swoosh of my waterproof trousers sounds so loud and when I stop all is silent. I press on walking fast, longing to rid myself of these damp, smelly clothes that I have been wearing for a few days. I’m heading for Kvikkjokk where there is the option of a bed, shower and a chance to dry my clothes.
Due to the weather I have little to report of, apart from lots of dense forest, a few ups and down and one decidedly sketchy river crossing.
Descending steeply as I neared Kvikkjokk the trail crossed a river which was in full spate. The options were an assortment of haphazardly lain tree trunks or a couple of logs between some slippery rocks. I opted for the latter. Placing my foot on an already submerged log I was prepared for the possibility it might move a little. Instantly my leg disappeared into the water well over my calf. I recoiled backwards and was surprised to find I was completely dry. I can only assume my waterproof trousers must have sealed themselves around my boot with the pressure of the water. Making a secondand more cautious attempt I gingerly crept across and made my way down to the lake.
Inside a wooden cabin by the lake there was a solitary mobile phone. Following the instructions I made a quick call to a Bjorn and headed out onto a jetty to await my ‘taxi’.
I was soon speeding across the lake towards Kvikkjokk. Scrambling out onto the bank to my horror I realised my trekking poles were still in the cabin. I mentioned about the couple following and Bjorn promised graciously to return my poles when he picked them up. I was extremely grateful when he turned up later with them. Phew!
There was an option of using a cheaper Turistation at 200SEK for a night. I was however swayed by the STF Fjallstation which for 345SEK also had a restaurant, bar and drying room. The thought of a hot meal and a cold pint were a powerful incentive! I did however feel guilty at choosing the latter when I’m always trying to save money at home. I’m also conscious that trying to keep cost down is going to be difficult once I’ve used up my UK food supplies as food here is so expensive.
I indulge in a shower, drying of clothes and a quick wash of a couple of items of clothing. As I do so the rain hammers down outside. My arrival here was certainly well timed.
The afternoon disappears surprisingly quickly. It I nice to be able to send messages home and chat with Ida and Andreas, and John and Janna.
The options for the evening meal are fewer than I had expected. I had noticed John and Janna had devoured an amazing looking burger each and I was initially disappointed to find that this is only on the “afternoon menu”. So it fish, vegetarian or Elk. I opt for the latter and choose to forgo a beer due to the cost. Once the meal appeared my disappointment disappeared in an instant. The Elk burger was beautifully presented on nicely cooked wedge style potatoes, with cranberries and parsnips. The Elk was delicious and really succulent. A little like beef but with a good hint of ‘game’. The sweetness of the roast parsnips and the dry bitterness of the cranberries matched the dish perfectly. Here was something I had not unexpected . Compliments to the chef indeed!
After dinner I phoned Nat. It was lovely to here her voice and hear how supportive she was of me being here. I could tell however that the children were not behaving as best they can – but she wouldn’t admit as much.