Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 11

Maybe I can’t stop the downpour, but I will always, always join you for a walk in the rain.
– Unknown
Umbukta Fjellstue – Skjelbredtunet Campground
08 August 2017 – 21 August 2017
14 Days
324 km
TOTAL: 1820 km
08 August 2017 (Tuesday) — by the E1 path, about 7 km from Gressvasshytta
Distance: 25.9 km

After well slept night, we packed up, ate a big breakfast with boiled eggs and tomatoes. Marcin also called to ask about the compensation for the lost package and now we had to wait for an e-mail from them, in which they will send a form to be filled out and send back. We cleaned up the hut and said goodbye to our boots, which have gone through so much, but unfortunately their time has come to an end. Everything ends at some point, our stay in this wonderful place as well. We went to the mountain hut, gave some chocolates to the nice lady as thank you for their help, we talked for a while, drank coffee and has some fresh waffles. A few nice words before goodbye, and we were ready to move on.

The beginning was very rainy. Our new lightweight and airy shoes had a super difficult test at the beginning, because we were walking through the bushes and over marshlands, and to add to it, it was raining. However, the walk was going good, because we were rested, and somehow our legs were lighter. At lunchtime, we came to the Grasfjellkoia shelter. To our surprise it was still warm inside, and there were some embers in the fireplace. It looked that someone was sleeping there and left this morning. We started the fire and dried and warmed ourselves up while the dinner was being prepared. What a nice surprise, especially in such a miserable weather outside. Moreover, it was grey, foggy, rainy, and views were obscured by a dense layer of clouds. It didn’t look like it was going to be that way, but in the evening it cleared up, and we managed to set up the tent without rain and take a bath in the lake.

After the first day in our new lightweight shoes, we were happy with this change. Walking was much lighter, and the wetness… well the boots were also wet for the most of the time, and they were heavy as well. And most importantly, it went without any blisters or abrasions, which we were afraid of when wearing brand-new shoes.

Okstindan glacier in the background, Norway
09 August 2017 (Wednesday) — by the Steikvasselv Farm
Distance: 26.3 km

We thought we will have a nice and easy path along the lake at the beginning of the day, but unfortunately it exhausted us a bit, because it was rocky and wet, which made the crossing difficult. We still did not have much experience in low shoes, and we walked slowly, more carefully placing our feet. Later we walked through the marshes, which showed a great advantage of low and lightweight shoes over large and heavy boots. We did not try to avoid the puddles or marshes, we just walked straight through the water without even stopping, and the walking was much easier, and the water in the shoes did not bother us at all. During our breaks we made sure to take our feet of and dry them, give them a little rest from all this water. As it turned out, even after a whole day walking in the water in lightweight shoes, our feet looked much better than after a whole day in big boots.

Dark clouds were in the sky since morning, but it did not rain. At lunchtime, it cleared up, and we even had the chance to see the Okstindan glacier between the clouds. We met a hiker from England, who walked the NPL (Norge paa Lang), but from the south to the north. It was nice to talk for a moment.

It went very well and the weather and the views were getting better. Soon we saw a large lake in the valley, to which we were heading. We started to descend, and we quickly lose altitude (the climb takes so much time, and going down is so quick). We came to an asphalt road, and we walked it, looking for possible camping spots. Unfortunately it was not a good place, because it was a popular area and there were many cottages. So we arrived at Steikvasselv farm, where a parcel was waiting for us, and we asked for the possibility of setting up the tent on their meadow. They agreed without a problem, so we additionally made reservation for breakfast at their house. We talked for a while and went to set up our camp and sort our parcel, treating ourselves with some snacks in the evening. We added some weight to our backpacks, but we were prepared for it.

Hjartfjellet, Norway
10 August 2017 (Thursday) — by the E1 path, about 2 km from the road leading to Sivertgården
Distance: 17.4 km

In the evening it started to rain and it did not stop until morning. We packed what we could and leaving the tent, we went for breakfast, or rather a royal feast, beautifully prepared, with delicacies and there was so much to eat, that we did not know what to start with. Of course, we left a space for dessert, delicious waffles with homemade jams, yummy. Then we sat and chatted a bit with our lovely hosts. We also asked to use their computer and the Internet. With their help we have submitted a compensation form for the lost package. To add to it, we were given two frozen fishes, so that we could eat them for dinner. We could not even think about a better way to start of the day, even the rain did not bother us that much.

“Enjoying” a break in the rain

We packed up wet tent and with heavy backpacks we moved on. First weather window we used to prepare our dinner. Marcin’s leg began to hurt. It looked like an overstretched quadriceps muscle, due to the change of shoes. He got angry at the shoes, in which his foot moves to one side, and he overstretched his muscle because of it. He began to regret that he changed the shoes from lightweight, that he rather should stay in the big boots. I advised him to tie his shoe laces a bit tighter, as it helped in my case. We walked further on and his leg warmed up a bit, he started to place it differently, taking care not to twist it too much. And so we walked slowly. Seeing the dark clouds on the horizon, we set up our camp bit earlier than usual.

11 August 2017 (Friday) — by the E1 path, Krutvasshytta
Distance: 21.0 km

Marcin could not cope with leaving the tent today. The rain made the situation even worse. Staying in the tent for the whole day was out of the question, because we had limited supplies, and we had long way ahead. Finally, we managed to pack up, and we started to descend. We met two ladies that were on their one-day walk. One of them was particularly interested in our walking, she asked us with curiosity about various aspects. This moment of talk raised Marcin’s spirit a bit.

It rained all day, more or less. We drank our coffee hiding in our bivvy shelter. We had a quick dinner, standing by the lake and getting wet. We came to a larger lake, and we spotted an open shelter with a barbecue place. We were so happy, because not only it was a roof over our heads, but also it was perfect for preparing our fish. We made the fire and then when I looked after the fire, Marcin tried to catch a fish, but without any results this time. First we ate a small portion of pasta, while the fish was being baked, and then with great taste we ate our fishes. It got nice, because we warmed up a bit and dried ourselves. Although it was already getting dark, we decided to get to Krutvasshytta, as it was quite close and there was a chance of free accommodation. It was already warm in the jut, because o couple of tourists arrived before us. It was so nice to sit in a warm little room after the whole day of rain.

12 August 2017 (Saturday) – by the E1 path, about 3-4 km from Tverrelvness Farm
Distance: 26.8 km

It was hard for Marcin to leave the comfort of warmth and dryness. He was postponing this moment as long as he could, he lengthened our breakfast, and he was packing and repacking his backpack, unable to sort himself out. It was not a surprise, after all it was cold outside, it was raining and there was a fairly strong wind. We even learned that more strong winds in the mountains were coming for the next few days.

We started the day from the walk along the lake. Marcin, to get into better mood, cast a fishing rod a few times, but without success, as this side of the lake was very shallow. Then we started to climb, over the marshes again, through the forest and mud. It was getting darker and it rained regularly. We were climbing higher and higher, slowly and in silence. We decided not to be defeated by the weather, and we stopped for a coffee. It stopped raining for a moment, but there was fog all around. We prepared our seating place with backpacks and bivvy shelter, and despite the miserable weather, we managed to have our coffee in peace.

Our moods improved, we got some power, and we almost ran up the hill to about 900 meters. There, the terrain has improved, there were no bushes, not may wet areas, and the path was well-trodden so it went better. We have also crossed rivers more swiftly, as we did not have to take our shoes off. We walked quickly because it was getting cold. We came to the lake and a hut which we did not expect it here, as it was not marked on the map. The cabin was open, it had only basic equipment, but we could have dinner in peace, and we could take our feet off the shoes for a moment.

Later we walked along the lake and Marcin from time to time has cast the fishing rod, unfortunately without success. We started to descend to the valley and soon we came to the forest, where we also were collecting all the water from wet leaves. We passed Tverrelvnes and then along the gravel road we walked looking for a camping spot. As soon as the path got off the road and got closer to the river, we found a place and set up the tent quickly, because a big black cloud was coming in our direction. Everything around was wet, and we had work hard trying not to take too much water into the tent.

13 August 2017 (Sunday) — by the E1 path, a hut by the Rotvatnet Lake
Distance: 23.8 km

One, who gets up in the morning, has a great day! We got up early and the day went very well. Despite the cold, wet and general unpleasant feeling of humidity we moved on being positive. First, a bit uphill, but soon we started to descend steeply. We entered the forest and started to descend to a beautiful valley with a large lake. The spruce forest was a nice change from the wetlands and birch forests. Dark clouds were in the sky, sometimes it rained a bit, sometimes it cleared up, but for the first time in few days, we saw some Sun. We went to Grannes camping and by the lake, in the shelter on the beach, we stopped for a delicious coffee. In the meantime, we recharged the phone and dry our tent, using the power of sun and wind.

After the break we started climbing. At the beginning we walked slowly, along a nice path through the spruce forest along the river. There were plenty of mushrooms around, so we were stopping now and then, looking at nice specimens. It was a pity that we did not plan a mushroom soup that day, because it was a shame to leave such nice pieces. Walking steeply up we went above the tree line and then it got noticeably cold, so that we had to put on thick gloves. The wind was getting stronger. We came to the Rotvatnet Lake, Marcin took out his fishing rod and moving along the shoreline, he cast from time to time, but the result was only frozen hands. Suddenly, a big black cloud came, and it began to blow and rain very heavily. We moved quickly towards the hut, which was at the other end of the lake. We were hoping for some shelter from the wind. There were two padlocks on the door of the hut. We almost wanted to leave, but I noticed that one padlock was open, it just hung there. I took it off, opened the bolt and the internal door was open! What a joy it was to find such a shelter in such weather. As it was already quite late, we decided to stay there for the night. It took us some time to warm the hut and ourselves, but in the evening we could enjoy the warmth, while behind the windows it was pouring down heavily, and the hut was shaking from the gusts of strong wind. A beautiful end of the day. Once again we could appreciate how such a small fireplace, fire and a piece of roof over the head could give a sense of security.

14 August 2017 (Monday) — by the E1 path, a hut by the fence close to Tiplingen
Distance: 28.1 km

As in the evening we fell asleep with a storm and rain outside, so in the morning we woke up to the same weather, only the wind calmed down. We left early, taking advantage of the comfort of waking up in a hut. We started the descent and at the beginning we were losing our way, because the faded markings of the path were not visible in the bushes. We came to a joint of two lakes, where instead of a bridge, there were ropes hung from shore to shore and a small plastic boat attached to them. Marcin first crossed it with backpacks, and then with me. We quickly got to a gravel road, where we spotted a small abandoned hydro power plant, and made a coffee break there, at least in did not rain on our heads.

River crossing using available equipment, Norway

Going further and seeing so many mushrooms along the way, we decided to start collecting them with a plan to use them for dinner. It was just a pity to leave such nice mushrooms. Soon the path ended and a cross-country section started for us, through the thickets, brushwood, swamps, downhill and uphill and through the cloudberry fields. All of this we crossed using our GPS, which only had a guidance line for this stage. As soon as we noticed that the path was more or less going along the reindeer fence, we began to walk right next to it. It was much easier, having a reference point and not having to meander between the trees. At the end of the day, we came to a hut, which we did not expect at all. It turned out to be open, so quickly we decided to stay there for the night. We had a chance to cook a mushroom soup. Such a nice thing happened to us, a hut in the middle of nowhere, and we inside it, with a delicious dinner and a warm fireplace.

15 August 2017 (Tuesday) — by the E1 path, about 15 km from Viermahytta
Distance: 29.1 km

Just as we planned, we got up early having a difficult cross-country section ahead. It was not raining in the morning, and it’s always a good start. We slowly climbed up, and we walked following the reindeer fence. Soon we left the fence, but as the terrain was good, without trees and forests, with good visibility, it went quite smoothly. We climbed up to about 900 meters. Our dinner we ate by the stone shelter Raentserenmehkie.

Stop at Raiderserenmehkie shelter, Norway

In the evening we still had a steep climb up the saddle to do. Then through the rubble valley, we came to the next, smaller pass. After we crossed it, we found a convenient place for a tent and set up a camp. It got quite cold. We were very pleased that we managed to walk so many kilometres, without even a meter of a designated path. Unfortunately we did not have paper maps with us (they got lost with the package), so it was hard for us to “see” what will be behind the pass. For now, we went cross-country almost along a straight line, just as it was marked on the GPS, but we managed, as the terrain was easy to navigate.

Cross country part of walk through Børgefjell National Park, Norway
16 August 2017 (Wednesday) — by the E1 path, about 3 km from Fredheim
Distance: 17.0 km+17 km by boat

We started yet another day in the rain. It was so cold, that we had our breakfast sitting in our sleeping bags, because the wind was blowing all the heat out of the tent. We packed up early and continued our walk over the rocky rumble, but this time we had more difficult task, because the rocks were wet and slippery. Up and down the hill until we reached the river — one of the largest we had to cross so far. We crossed it straight away, in the shoes, and because we have chosen a good place for crossing, the water was up to our knees only.

Later, we walked parallel to the river, having it on our right side. We have already lost altitude, and that unfortunately meant going back to marshlands, forests and trees.

Navigating became harder, we could not go in a straight line any longer, as we had to bypass clumps of trees or larger swamps. We agreed, that it was better for us to walk through the marshes than through the bushes, because we did not have to force our way through, and our shoes were wet anyway. We thought that we had a fairly quick pace, but the lake we saw in the distance was still far and far away. It was raining stubbornly, and it did not bother us as long as we kept walking, but there was no chance for a longer break.

In the end, wet all through, we arrived at Viermahytta, where we met somebody by the hut. We asked about the possibility of crossing the lake with a boat. The gentleman told us that the boat was to arrive at 17:00. He recommended us to go a bit further where, near the lake, there was an open shelter with a place for the fire, where we could wait. It was only 12:00 o’clock, and we have already walked 15 kilometres! After all, we had a fast pace. We settled in the shelter, there was already fire on, as the sons of the gentleman staying in the hut, were having fun in this rainy day, chopping wood and playing around the campfire. We prepared our coffee and took our raincoats off, to dry ourselves and dry the jackets. 

Then, the gentleman from the hut came, asking if we were not hungry as he had freshly caught fish. Why not? Before we even noticed, he brought over a big fish, some butter and spices, he seasoned it, wrapped it in the foil and put it in the fire. The coffee did not even finish cooking, when the fish was ready to eat. We ate it with pleasure. We were so nicely surprised, not only we were warmly welcomed by the fire, but also we got the dinner. We talked with the gentleman for a while, and he was so nice, that he called the boat operator, making sure that there would be room for us. Additionally, it turned out that the boat was to arrive at 14:30, which was an even better option for us. Before the boat came, Marcin cast his fishing rod few times. Meanwhile, the rain turned into a downpour.

Soon the boat arrived, such a small motorboat, we packed ourselves on, and we raced across the lake. Unfortunately the boat did not have any roof, so we were in the rain all the time. From the nice gentleman staying in the hut, we also found out that there was a building on the other side of the lake, where one could wait, dry and even take a shower. And there we went after leaving the boat. We had a hot shower, turned on the heater, and sat there, drying and warming ourselves up, while it was still raining outside. We ate dinner, drank some tea, and it was still pouring down outside. We charged the phones, and we had no more things to do to postpone the moment of going back on the path any longer. However, we decided that we would wait till the evening, then we soul leave and somewhere close to the lake we will set up our camp. While we were having our supper, it began to clear up, so we were setting our camp without the rain, but everything was wet anyway. All the time we could not believe how well the day went, and we were very happy that we managed to cross the lake so swiftly.

17 August 2017 (Thursday) — by the Limingen Lake, about 3 km from Røyrvik
Distance: 16.6 km

We changed our plans a bit, and instead of going further along the path, we decided to go a bit along the roads, as they led along large lakes, and Marcin wanted to do some more fishing on this trip. It was getting lighter with every hour and when we arrived at Røyrvik, it was nice and sunny. The area around was beautiful and the walk was pleasant. In the town we went to the store, and to start with, we bought brioche — which has already become the hit of this trip. Right next to the store there was a small park with benches, and there we set our temporary camp. We got out our tent and sleeping bags, so that the sun and the wind could dry them. In the meantime we made some supplies, repacked our bags, ate sandwiches with cheese and tomato, and we sat down for a moment, being in no hurry.

Eventually, however, we packed up and moved slowly without specific plans. Just outside the town, I spotted a sign pointing to the path leading to the beach. We decided to get on it and see where it will lead us. A fantastic path took us to the beach by the fabulous, large Limingen Lake. There were picnic tables, a fireplace spot and a barbecue. There was access to the water, the weather was great…everything we needed. We decided to stay for the night. So shortly after 15 o’clock we finished our walking day, but such places and circumstances do not happen very often, so you have to make use of them, especially that the backpacks were full of food. We had the afternoon for ourselves.

Eating paradox — when you need it, you do not have access and you have to limit yourself to small portions. When you have access to the food, you just can’t eat, because your body does not need that much at once.

18 August 2017 (Friday) — by the 342 road, by the Tunnsjøen Lake
Distance: 30.3 km

We woke up to a nice and dry morning, which we had not seen for a long time. It was nice to put our feet into dry shoes. We ate breakfast and we moved on. We had a section along the road today. For the beginning, along the Limingen Lake, to which unfortunately there was no good access. It was only when we got onto 764 road towards Skorovatn, we walked into the forest at the side of another lake and there we stopped for coffee and fishing. The first one worked out perfectly, and the other one a bit worse, because after few minutes Marcin has lost another bait.

After the break, we moved on and for a few hours we left the lakes. We were heading toward the large Tunnsjøen Lake. It was going well, there were some clouds in the sky, but it did not rain for now. The road was nice, quiet with little traffic, so we could concentrate on looking for the mushrooms which grew by the road. And the area was perfect for it, as we walked along beautiful pine forests. Just before we came to the lake, we spotted a signpost for Nordli. The road went on the other side of the lake than the one we planned to walk. We did not see this road on the map yesterday. As a matter of fact we intended to reach Skorovatn, but we quickly recalculated our supplies, the number of fishing bites, and we decided that instead of going to Skorovatn and then further on the E1 path, we will go straight to Nordli, where we had to go anyway, because there should be another package waiting for us. 

So we got into this side road, and we stopped for dinner. Of course, exactly at that time a big cloud came over and it started to rain. It was not raining for the whole day, and precisely at this moment it started….ehhh. For a few kilometres we got a new travel companion, a dog joined us and followed us for some time.

An unexpected travelling companion wandered with us for several kilometres

And so we were walking and looking for mushrooms, blueberries and a good fishing place. We walked quite long distance, the water in the lake got deeper and deeper and at some point Marcin got off the road, made his way through the bushes, reached the lake and found a nice place on the big rocks. He started fishing right away, and I was supposed to prepare dinner in the meantime. I did not even manage to take out the cutlery, when I heard that the fish was on the hook. First cast and such a big fish. We decided to prepare it for our dinner. Happily, I took out the aluminium foil which I had intentionally bought in the store yesterday, and I was a little surprised when I saw it. Well, the foil had some special plastic coating. Oh it won’t do for the fire, I thought, as the plastic will burn. We decided to sacrifice one piece of fish to see how it will bake and what will happen to the foil. The fire was already burning, so we wrapped the fish twice and put it into the fire. At the beginning there was some smoke coming from the burning plastic, but it did not affect the taste and appearance of the fish. We baked the other pieces, and so unexpectedly we had a small feast.

Then, when Marcin continued to fish, I was looking for a camping spot in the area. We set up our camp on the rock with a marvellous view of the immense lake with clear and deep water. What more could you want? Maybe just a good aluminium foil:)

19 August 2017 (Saturday) — by the 342 road, by the Tunnsjøen Lake
Distance: 7.3 km

We planned an easy day, dedicated more to fishing than walking. We got up early and after breakfast Marcin went fishing and I started to pack up our camp. It did not take long until I heard first shouts about the first catch of the day. Shortly afterwards we packed up and started walking along the road, looking for another place for fishing. The walk was pleasant, the road nicely winded along the lake and spruce forests. There were plenty of mushrooms and berries around, and we also found some wild strawberries.

We stopped for coffee by the rocks. Marcin was fishing and I was reading a book. It wasn’t raining, but the wind was quite strong. After the break we walked some distance looking for another place. Then we saw people in the distance bustling by the cottage. We decided to take our chances. We talked to them and after a short chat, we kindly asked them for a piece of aluminium foil, if they had some. And they had! Such a surprise! Soon, we also found a nice place with rocks and a beach. Marcin was fishing, and I was looking after the fire. The fish was ready in no time and quickly disappeared in our tummies. After dinner Marcin continued fishing, and I went to search for a camping spot. The view was magnificent, the ground was a bit worse, as we had to set up our tent on a soft and high moss. However, we managed it.

20 August 2017 (Sunday) — by the 342 road, about 4 km from Nordli
Distance: 35.3 km

As promised, it was raining heavily at night. In the morning we managed to use the weather window and pack up without the rain falling on our heads. Everything was wet anyway from the intrusive moisture. Today we had a road section ahead, the way to Nordli, so no attraction for the whole day. It drizzled, rained, then it stopped for a while and over and over again, generally it was a wet day.

There were more and more settlements and buildings. We were already quite low in the valleys, so the water in the rivers did not look encouraging for drinking, but we managed to organize the coffee, hiding from the rain under the spruces, like under an umbrella. We entered Sweden for a while, and there unexpectedly we saw quite large and deep lake, and on one of its shores there was an open shelter and a picnic table. Obviously we went there, because it was a perfect place for dinner. Marcin went fishing, not being discouraged by the rain, and I was sitting under the roof, reading a book and preparing the dinner. All day long we were walking in the raincoats, and we camped by the lake close to Nordli.

Holmtjärnen, Sweden
21 August 2017 (Monday) — Skjelbredtunet Camping
Distance: 20.0 km

We got up early, and dressed in everything we could, we packed up our camp. It was very cold and our hands were freezing. We set off quickly and soon we arrived at Nordli, even before the shop was open. So we went to a petrol station looking for fishing bites.

Then we stopped for longer in the store, first w collected the parcel that fortunately was waiting for us here. The lady was so nice that she let us to take the corner with a table and chairs. She also offered us coffee and biscuits, because we were on a long walk. That’s for a good start to the day. In peace, we could work out what we needed, do the shopping, unpack the parcel and repack our backpacks. We bought few more things for today’s decent dinner and loaded down, fully packed up with some bags in our hands, we moved towards the campsite about 10 kilometres away.

Walking along such a busy road, we decided to do few more kilometres, get off the main road and get onto the side road going for some time along the lake. We were considering the option, that if there would be a nice place, we will stop for fishing and maybe overnight. Unfortunately the lake was very shallow, so there was no point fishing, but we stopped for a short break to eat brioche and drink yogurt (obviously:) and thus make lighter our backpacks, which already were giving us hard time.

Going further towards the campsite, we were walking along a very nice road through the woods. There were plenty of nice mushrooms, including boletuses. We could not just leave them there, and we started collecting them. We forgot about the weight on our backs, because our minds were occupied with observation of the roadsides and finding nice specimens.

A bit later than expected, we arrived at the campsite. Unfortunately, there was no washing machine, but we stayed anyway. It was a very nice place, and we had the most flat spot for the tent ever. We had a bath, made a hand wash, we made some clothes lines for drying which we hang out between the trees, and then we could get down to making dinner. We had our down jackets on and everything else possible, as it was quite cold and windy. For dinner, we prepared pasta in boletus sauce, with meat and tomato sauce. Yummy!