So there we were, at the sign of the national park, ready for the hike and a night in the tent. We had the official map and a small printout of the bit we wanted to walk, which looked easy enough. The backpacks were about 10 kg (me) and 14 kg (my friend) and seemed to be perfectly suitable to walk for some time in the glorious sunshine. 😀
Our first direction was of course the Njupeskär waterfall, Sweden’s highest after all at 93 meters! The trail there lead us through some bogland and then through the forest along the little river that came from the waterfall. At the huts close to the waterfall, we had 3 options and tried them all. Up on a steep rock to get a good view (and a geocache), down some stairs and a wooden pier to the bottom of the waterfall (close enough to feel the spray from it), and finally upwards following the trail.
The trail was fine, pebbles held in place by wood in some construction between a stair and a ladder – constantly leading upwards. But then it happened: it came to an end just at the bottom of a big field of rocks, where we could see the orange markings… I was ready for hiking, but climbing with 10kg on my back? Hm…
We didn’t really have a choice though, so we started climbing. Good thing my friend was able to find a way around the rocks easily (Icelandic horse came to mind), I just had to follow. I was scared shitless of course: never done such a thing before and with my funny ankle, not sure if it would hold. It was fine though and by the time we had reached the top of the waterfall and seen the amazing view, I felt relieved that we had made it. 🙂
How was I to know that again, we would not take the easy way, but opt for some more rock climbing, equally steep as before? 😉 Finally we had made it across the top and reached a small lake where we took a well-deserved break. The water was absolutely delicious, not only because of the climbing before! From there we walked on and at some point managed to find the actual trail we wanted to walk again – this must have been one of the first times when we actually used the map 😛
Once we were on the yellow trail, the walking was a lot easier! There were still rocks, but smaller ones and easier to avoid than before – much better for little me! However, I was beginning to feel tired and we decided to walk the yellow trail halfway and then try find a campsite, so the walk back the next day wouldn’t be too long. By campsite I mean a flat place to pitch the tent, ideally next to some water 😉
Eventually, we did find such a place and prepared the tent quite quickly, despite the wind trying to make it fly away all the time. What next? I needed a nap and it was the best nap ever 😀 After that we cooked water on the gas burner and poured it into our bagged meals. These were surprisingly delicious, no extra spices or anything needed!
For a moment, I had been tempted to have a swim in “our” lake, but I changed my mind very quickly once I had put my feet in. Probably was a good idea, especially because of the mosquitos which were very happy to see humans they could hit on. They were so bad that at some point we retreated into the tent, even though the sun hadn’t gone down yet. And when I dashed out one more time very quickly, they were all over me – I’m guessing 15 bites in not even 5 minutes…
Other than the bussing mosquitos though, there was no sound, we didn’t see any other people and just enjoyed the calmness of the place. I never had that feeling before, but I understand now why camping is special 🙂
Part 2 will follow soon 😉