Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 12

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
– Ashley Montagu
Skjelbredtunet Campground – Rötviken
22 August 2017 – 27 August 2017
6 Days
120 km
TOTAL: 1940 km
22 August 2017 (Tuesday) — by the Laksjøen Lake
Distance: 16.0 km

That was a total change of action. In the morning we finished drying our clothes, waiting for the Sun, which was forecast for today. The Sun did not come out, but at least it did not rain. Before we left, we made an early dinner, just as we planned.

We packed up slowly, and we moved on, knowing that there was a long cross-country section ahead of us. First, we walked along a gravel road, then along a path, and finally we got onto swamps and into the spruce forests, which were getting denser with every meter. And here the problems started. On our GPS we had only a line, straight like an arrow, on a blank background, without any additional information. We did not have paper maps (because they got lost with our parcel), so we did not have any information about the terrain and about what is ahead of us, we only saw what we had in front of our eyes. We were wandering around, between the trees, moving at a slow pace. We got discouraged with every step, knowing that we had about 60 kilometres of such crossing ahead. It was no fun at all. We stopped there in the woods. We walked only about 2 kilometres, and we agreed that this does not make sense, to force our way through bushes, thickets, in a difficult terrain, without maps, in terrible weather. The prospect of a few more days of such a torment, tipped the balance. It was not supposed to look like this, we were supposed to enjoy the walking and fishing, and at the moment the fishing rod was just catching on every possible branch.

Sometimes we find such nice places hidden among the trees, Norway

We turned back, as we have not walked that far yet. We came to the road and went back to the lake. There, sitting by a picnic table, we drank coffee in peace, discussing the change of specificity of the next stage. We wanted to spend more time staying by the lakes, in woods, to concentrate on mushrooms and blueberries, and not worrying about having to speed somewhere due to the lack of food. It worked out just well, because there were many large lakes in the area, and also roads that ran close to the lakes which we could follow. So we headed towards Sweden and the lakes. To start with we got onto a nice forest path, which was also a bike trail. We walked along the Laksjøen Lake, looking for mushrooms. We came to a shelter, and we stopped for dinner and fishing. And so walking slowly, enjoying the moment, we found a beautiful place for camp. We had to walk through the bushes, but we got to a nice headland, where we pitched our tent on a rock by the deep and dark water.

23 August 2017 (Wednesday) — by the Holden Lake, about 20 km from Mebygda
Distance: 30.0 km

We woke up early, but not to walk, but to go fishing. After breakfast Marcin went to the water, and I stayed in the tent, trying to plan our further route. It turned out that we have chosen such a good spot, that there was even free Internet! After a short time Marcin came back, unfortunately without a fish, so we decided to move on. We packed up swiftly and started walking. We stopped once more for fishing — the water was calm, dark grey and steely, like a mirror reflecting forests and hills.

Later, we left the lake, and after a long stretch of walking along the read, we went down to the Holden Lake, which from the road looked magnificent, and from afar we could see fishes splashing in it. We stayed there for the night, and Marcin had a successful evening catch.

24 August 2017 (Thursday) — by the Lenglingen Lake
Distance: 23.0 km

The morning catch turned out unsuccessful, but we already had three fishes, just enough for dinner. We moved on, we got back to the road and after a few kilometres of walk, we found ourselves by the Lenglingen Lake, where we turned into a side gravel road going along the lake on the south side. The break for coffee was, of course, combined with fishing, which added one more fish to our dinner. The dinner looked promising. Walking along the road, we were looking for mushrooms, and we managed to fill a large bag with boletuses. And each time we were going through the woods we ended up eating blueberries, which this area was full of.

We had a good and diversified day in terms of food. There was fish for dinner, blueberries for dessert, and boletus cream soup for supper. All delicacies! And that’s what it was all about, to get the most out of Scandinavian nature, especially that it was the best time for it.

25 August 2017 (Friday) — by the Rengen Lake, about 7 km from the border with Sweden
Distance: 19.9 km

Although yesterday we pitched our tent in a nice place, unfortunately the ground was not that perfect, and we both did not get proper sleep, because we were sliding down of mattresses. The tent was all wet from the inside due to the condensation. It was another such a wet morning.

The kilometres were passing slowly today, even though the road was nice and the walk was pleasant. For a change, we stopped for coffee by a big river connecting two lakes. Marcin tried his fishing road in river waters, unfortunately without result. The dinner, therefore, was from the food packages, but already at the dinner break, two fishes got caught, and they got destined for supper.

In the evening, once again, we randomly have chosen a point to reach the lake, and we found ourselves on pretty cool rocks. Marcin cast his fishing rod straight away, and because he quickly caught the fish, we decided to stay there. I found a nice place between the trees, we had to remove few branches first, but we were nicely hidden from the wind.

26 August 2017 (Saturday) — by the 340 road, close to Valsjön Lake, Sweden
Distance: 20.5 km

The wind was very strong at night, but we had a perfectly shielded spot, where we did not feel that wind at all, we only heard it. Well-rested we got up eagerly and after breakfast, while Marcin was fishing, I started to pack up our camp. The fishing conditions were not the best, because it was blowing very hard. We managed to catch two more fishes in the Rengen Lake, but for the coffee break we moved already to Sweden, to another lake, Valsjön. After crossing the border the weather got better in a way. For the coffee break we walked down to a small lay-by, where Marcin tried his luck with fishing. Nothing came out of this, because the wind was blowing and the waves were very big. It was good though, that we could have a nice coffee break, basking in the Sun — a long forgotten feeling:) At the end of the day we came to an asphalt road, and we did not go far, when I spotted a picnic place by the river, on a pretty meadow with benches — perfect place for a stopover. The sky has completely cleared, a view we have not seen for a long time. It promised to be a cold night.

27 August 2017 (Sunday) — Rötvikens Camping, Sweden
Distance: 10.4 km

Sometimes the days take an unexpected turn. We woke up in the dampness and fog, although the Sun started to work slowly. We moved slowly, and it went well, it was chilly, and the air was clean and crisp. Soon, we reached Hotagen Lake, where, at the first bay, we stopped for fishing, but unfortunately without result. So we walked further, to the next bay where the jetty was. We got onto it and that’s how we had our coffee break on the lake. The lake was unbelievably cam, the water surface like a mirror reflected everything, and the boat on the lake looked like a painted one.

Boat on the Hotagen Lake, Sweden

Marcin found on the GPS, that there is a campsite in the nearby town of Rötviken, where we were heading. As we had to wait until Monday anyway, fo the shops to open, we decided to wait out at the campsite. The campsite was deserted because it was already after the season. We went around looking for somebody, when suddenly out of nowhere, a lady came on a bicycle, and she took us in. She wanted to give us everything for free, because, as she claimed, she like walking tourists. However, we agreed that we will pay as for a tent, but we got a cabin, with bedding, a shower with hot water, access to a washing machine, and even life-jacket if we wanted to use the boat, which she also offered us. Full service, and the campsite was very lovely, well-kept, beautifully located by the lake. In addition, we had access to well-equipped kitchen and common room with leather sofas, TV and a wonderful view of the lake. And all of this was just for us. That is to say, at that moment it looked like that.

We used a sunny afternoon to wash and dry everything we could. It was a pity that we could not connect to the Internet, and so we had a difficult task of planning the next stage.

In the evening we took a kayak, and we got onto the lake. But as Marcin did not catch anything from the shore, he did not catch anything on the lake. Somehow, these Swedish waters have not been lucky for us. And especially now, when we had all the facilities for preparing potential catch: there was a kitchen, pans, outdoor grill, fireplace. We also had time and weather, only the most important ingredient was missing — the fish. Well, you can’t have everything. After all, we spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening.