Kungsleden 2016: Heading Home

20th & 21st August 2016

It’s an odd mixture of feelings this morning as I pack down my tent. I’m definitely excited to be heading home and seeing the family. I’ve always known that I like my own company and being ‘on my tod’ for these two weeks has been great. But yes I’m definitely excited to see the family.
On the other hand this has been such an enjoyable adventure that after two weeks on the road, my legs feel great and I feel like I could walk for days and days.

Packing down for the last time ... on this trip at least!
Packing down for the last time … on this trip at least!

Packing away is slow. I’m once again packing for ‘flight mode’ with poles and non-cabin items in the main pack and a dry bag for hand luggage. I’m also making sure that everything is bone dry so that the damp doesn’t fester and so it doesn’t weigh too much on the flight. Tent and sleeping bags draped over the trees. Coffee brewing. I’m in no rush.

Once packed away I take a brisk walk down to the local supermarket for gifts and nibbles. I’m surprised that a large supermarket is not really any cheaper than the smaller cabins out on the trail.

Back at the Fjallstation I slip into the restaurant and once again, for 110 SEK indulge in the buffet. I’ve had little breakfast and just have a few snacks for the train this evening so I make the most of the excellent spread. The food is not only plentiful but delicious.

Back in the foyer I bump into John and Janna. It’s good to see them again and we exchange tales of the routes we have taken. They have had a great few days walk although didn’t quite make the full circuit they had planned and took a diversion as an alternative. They also have ‘news’ that they are engaged to be married. Its very exciting and so great to see them enjoying each others company and working so well together. I had wondered whether John might have that little trick up his sleeve. It explains why his rucksack was so heavy … all those diamonds!!!
Congratulations guys … very exciting!

We wait ...
We wait …
And off we go ...
And off we go …

By 2pm I’m heading for the train station and standing on the platform with a gaggle of fellow walkers. The train rolls in on time and I’m soon gliding through the Swedish countryside. I doze on and off before pulling down my bunk and drifting off to the gentle rhythmic rolling of the train.

Gliding through the Swedish countryside in the early hours of the morning.
Gliding through the Swedish countryside in the early hours of the morning.

My alarm awakes me early next morning and I slip down to the buffet car for a coffee and cake. I chat at length with the Dutch family and before long the train pulls in at Stockholm Arlanda. I’ve a few hours to wait so fight my way through the packed departure lounge and slip upstairs onto the observation deck where it is almost deserted. A few chapters of my book later and I’m boarding the Norwegian Air flight. Landing in Gatwick I’m pleased to see my rucksack and head for the exit. My family are there waiting and it’s exciting to see their smiling faces and hear about the adventures they’ve been having.
I’m home!

 

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