As I got to bed a little later than usual I slept till around 07:30, waking up rested and feeling great. Soon thereafter I heard the first helicopter fly in over my tent and realized that I could very well could have had my sleep disturbed by civilization even in this remote area.
Thinking about sleep I definitely need to take a look at my sleep hygiene back home, I always thought I was woken up by the light in the morning, sneaking in through melt black-out curtains, yet here it’s really light all night and I sleep like a log.
Maybe it’s the physical activity, and actually that might be a part of the matter, though I think I need to get of my devices earlier in the evening and start really unwind and relax quite a few hours before bed time.
Easy enough to check, screen curfew after 19:00 when I get back home.
The weather this morning is, again, just amazing. Mostly sunny, with some clouds passing over the blue sky and a slight breeze blowing just enough to keep mosquitoes down most of the time.
This normally not being a high season for mosquitoes has been thrown off by the late spring and summer and apparently they hatched less than two weeks ago. So what normally occurs in late June and early July is now coming at us. Still, as long as there’s a wind blowing everything is good and I’m becoming increasingly more distinguished at ignoring them even when they’re around in droves.
I’m having a slow and easy morning here, cooked breakfast with the bacon and cabbage I got yesterday and plan to leave rather soon. The plan is to cross through Sarek to Saltoluokta fjällstation, probably a 4-5 day tour totally off the beaten track.
Knee feels ok and up to the task, there are a few river crossings that might be a challenge and I have alternate plans to follow if I can’t get over at some point. Good thing is that I have a lot of time still and don’t need to hurry the slightest.
As social an animal as I normally am, I really look forward to these days in solitude before hitting the Kungsleden again in Saltoluokta.
20:20 Camp at Alajavvre
I lingered at the cabin until 12:15 when I finally left for the trail leading east. I don’t know if it’s the extra food this morning, the worn out socks and underwear I threw away yesterday night of the repacking of the backpack for better balance – for the first time the pack felt comfortable! Still heavy, yes, but comfortable!
To say I’m happy about this would be an understatement of biblical proportions!
The trail I chose to start by ascends from behind the ‘Kyrkokåta’ and leads up the hill. Though unmarked, its very easy to find and follow and soon leads through a birch forest you definitely don’t want to fight your way through outside of the trail.
There are a few forks, just make sure to stay left and you’re good!
I left the trail once out of the forest to gain some elevation and get more wind, the mosquitoes in the wood were rather obnoxious. The trade of was going slower and finding my own line until I was back on the trail again by the lakes way on the other side of the hill.
From there I stayed on it until it was time to leave it behind and turn east towards Alajavvre. The area held a lot of scrubs and low bushes and I found a reindeer track to follow through the thicket. If you ever go of trail here and find your own way, just make sure to follow these tracks as much as possible, they usually mark the easiest route – not always the shortest one, though.
Passing the lakes on the plain before ascending for the last part of today’s hike, I found a beautiful, sunny spot, with wind, where I had a decent break. This time I tried PF mixed in cold water, which worked great, and I didn’t feel any adverse effect in my belly like after the nuts yesterday. So, from now on I’ll add the nuts to my fat coffee in the morning and up the fat intake that way. Then I can stick to PF during the midday break and boast energy without getting slowed down.
Anyway, the valley leading up the Alajavvre was wonderfully green and lush, some tricky bushy areas further down, then opening up and really easy to walk. There was only one real river to cross and from the hillside I spotted a place where it was doable without changing and all went well, though the stones were quite slippery.
Remember, if you know you need to cross a stream and don’t known what it looks like farther down the trail, as soon as you spot a good crossing place, just go for it. You might not get over as easily later on!
At some point after my map was printed someone set up a reindeer fence in the valley and I had to follow it for some time before I found a part that was slightly folded and I could get through without causing damage.
Soon after I met a party of four coming down the valley and asking for tips on the fence and river. I must admit I was rather surprised to meet someone at all, it turned out they’re hiking from Aktse, through Rapa valley and now heading to Staloluokta.
After chatting a bit we parted and I continued on. Soon I reached the top of the valley and Alajavvre showed itself in the sunlight, beautiful, and with some Sarek mountains in the background.
I decided to continue on until I find a good spot and soon after I got this hill to camp on, a breeze keeping the mosquitoes away and I didn’t need the extra abside to cook. Just raised the tent and got settled in, temperatures have been falling quickly since the sun disappeared behind the mountains and I’m going to bed soon.
Tomorrow it’s time to enter Sarek!
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Peace // Claes
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