In Four Months
Ever since a few years ago, with friends, we went on a short trek in Wales, hiking has become important part of our live. To start with, few times a year, we explored different corners of Wales and the Lake District, and later on, more and more often, we organized short, but intense hikes close to our home. During one of such trips we came up with an idea of a long distance walk. We wanted to test ourselves and our equipment, but first and foremost, to take up the challenge and have an adventure. We have chosen Scandinavia, because after the first visit in 2008, we always wanted to go back there and explore this beautiful region while hiking. As the guiding route we chose the Scandinavian part of the E1 path, a long-distance route leading from the north to the south of Europe. We started the research, determined the route, completed our equipment, worked out the logistics of the food supplies and after several weeks of preparation we started our trip. From the north of Norway towards the South, from Knivskjellodden to Røros in 124 days. Across the mountains, valleys, meadows, forests and marshes; across the rivers, streams and lakes; in the rain, in the snow, in the sun; along the roads, tracks, paths and wild blue yonder; through winter, spring, summer and autumn. Through the Four Seasons, we were discovering the wonderful and wild areas, drawing energy from the gifts of nature, interacting with nature and admiring the amazing views and images of Scandinavia.
COUNTRIES: Norway, Finland, Sweden
DATE: 16 May 2017 – 17 September 2017
DURATION: 4 months
ROUTE LENGTH: 2348 kilometres
ACCOMMODATION: wild camping, in a tent at a campsite, in a campsite cabin, in a mountain hut, in a semi-open shelter, in a railway station waiting room
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 14
The morning sun did not wake us up, but only because it was hidden behind the trees. The day ahead, however, looked promising. Most importantly it was not raining in the morning, and we had a lot of things to do. We ate breakfast in our tent, and then we started sorting out our parcel, rationing the nuts, packing and repacking.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 13
It was nice and good to wake up in the cabin. We ate a light breakfast, packed up, cleaned up, and we waited for the opening of a nearby store. At that moment we also found out that we were not alone at the campsite, because two men working in the nearby forests were staying at the campsite during the season.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 12
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.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 11
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.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 10
After the wet night came the wet morning, so we ate breakfast in the tent. About 9 o’clock we went to the reception hoping it would be open. And there, a dead silence, everything was closed. We stood for a moment under the roof, trying to call the phone numbers of the information board, but nothing came of it.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 9
Ritsem is quite a big tourist centre and there were many people here, so we had a challenging task in the kitchen this morning to prepare scrambled eggs, which we planned for today. Today we had a boat crossing to the other side of the Áhkájávrre Lake. The Sun was shining from the very morning and it promised a beautiful day ahead. The boat was leaving after 11, so we managed to have a coffee in the hostel beforehand.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 8
After a few days of break, we returned to walking and finally we got onto the E1 path! We left the campsite quite late, as we had to repack, pack our food supplies and change our way of packing the bags. In the end, we decided to have a coffee as well, as it was already time for it. In Abisko we bought one pair of walking poles, Marcin, after talking to other walkers became convinced to them, and decided to try it. We walked with sticks, one for each, and we both quickly got used to them, and we both agreed that it was a good purchase.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 7
Sometimes days turn out completely unexpected. We packed up in the rain falling on our heads. We walked a bit through the villages, then along the E6, stopping at bus stops to drink and eat something. Although it rained most of the time, we were lucky, and we managed to prepare and eat dinner in the only weather window on that day.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 6
The previous day we dried everything nicely, only so that today we could pack everting in the rain, all wet, but this is life. We had our backpacks loaded with food, so we moved slowly on. It was raining constantly, so we could not even stop for a coffee because we couldn’t find any shelters.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 5
We packed our camp and went back about 5 kilometres to the village, because we got information, that there were people who deal with shipping parcels between Norway, Sweden and Finland and will be able to help us. Finally, we managed to find the right person. A nice lady from the supermarket, on our behalf, called Russenes post office, explaining the situation, and asking them, as soon as our parcel will arrive, to send if forward to one of the post offices located further in the south of Norway, to which we will be able to get during our walk.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 4
Starting from Kautokeino, as we decided, we got on to the E1 trail. As the path at this stage goes at fairly low height, we hoped, it would be less snow, and we will be able to move forward at reasonably peace. Just in case we had the option to retreat or change the route. We started on the road, then moved to a muddy path and finally we walked on the snow as well.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 3
With food supplies we moved on towards Kautokeino. We have long considered the option of trying to get on to the trail that was an old post road at this stretch. However, we managed to call one of the shelters and a lady quickly dispelled our hopes, saying that getting on foot through this stretch is impossible. So we followed the roads. The traffic was heavy, but we got used to it a bit, and the farther from the city, the fewer cars there were. People sounded their horns and greeted us, and from time to time someone stopped by and offered us a ride. We politely rejected, it was a walking expedition after all :)
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 2
There is no doubt an advantage to leaving for the walk of the campsite, you can pack in peace and have breakfast somewhere else than in a tent. We had to find new ways of packing our backpacks, as now we had less equipment and more food. The backpacks weighed roughly the same, but this time they were packed with “good” stuff, which will disappear in time.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 1
Expeditions have this thing about starting with minor or major misfortunes. And so it was in our case. After arriving in Honningsvåg we didn't buy any food supplies, because we decided to do it next morning without rush. Unfortunately it turned out that next day was a national holiday, so everything was closed: shops, tourist information, even buses were not running. Our last chance was petrol station, the only open service, which served us as a point of information, supplies and our eating place. Later it turned out that this “unlucky-day” last until the end of our trip.
Four Seasons in Four Months – Part 0
And it happened, we left everything behind us, to face ourselves and the challenges of long distance walk. After many months of preparation, the day has come when we got onto the plane with two backpacks to start our adventure.