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Wrong turn

By walking on 2013.12.10 In Day hike Hallandsleden

Morning of August 17th I set out to hike Dranstugan – Gälllarpesjön. Since we still had two cars at that time I parked one by Dranstugan. Here I was surprised to see people at the windshed. Turned out it was a German couple aiming to walk as far as possible towards Malmö before their vacation ended. They had slept in the windshed and were getting ready when I arrived. Felt weird but also fun to finally meet someone else out on the trail.

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It was a lovely day and I set out back down the road. During the first hour I passed several Skvaltkvarnar which had been restored in order to show how they functioned in the olden days. One of them you could walk inside and here unfortunately I found some evidence that someone had used it as sleeping quarters. I try to live by the motto “Take only memories, leave only footprints”. This person, who had slept inside the mill, had not followed the same motto since I saw garbage scattered around. Kind of sad how people treat the outdoors and everything that’s available there.

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While walking along this part, where Skvalkvarnarna were present, I tried to picture how they would work together to make these mills work. Would one wake up really early and walk/ride to the dam? How would they know when to let the water flow? What if someone didn’t make it to their mill in time? You didn’t have cell-phones or mountainbikes back then. But everything aside they did use these mills and they managed to work through quite a bulk during just one run. At least to me it sounded like a lot to get done in just one release of water from the dam. I think the sign mentioned 5 sacks of flour per mill and run.

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It was really an amazing walk along the trail in this forest and smaller roads. While following on of these smaller roads I suddenly saw a pond up ahead. It looked like a small handmade one and it was so tranquil. Approaching the pond felt as from a fairytale and I imagine my feelings were similar to how Mary must have felt in “The Secret Garden” when discovering her garden. I wanted to stop at my secret pond and happily I found a table with seats around it just by the pond. It felt so special to sit there having my snack and checking out the rest of the walk. So far I felt totally in control of the day’s hike. Unfortunately I forgot my little seat pad at this spot but I hope the next one who came along could use it.

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The walk continued along smaller forest roads till it became a short stretch of regular road walking. After this short stretch I walked up a hill following some signs for ArtTrail/LandArt. I had read about this and it had made me a bit excited to finally see what it’s all about. The artist here is Kerstin Gustafsson and I think the ageing of the art actually made it more interesting. Usually one sees art in closed rooms where air and weather can’t affect it. Sometimes it’s extreme and the item is behind extra glass like Mona Lisa or the textiles from Peru at Världskulturmuseet in Gothenburg.

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Both before and after the LandArt the trail crosses some fields. The cows looked tranquil and checked me out just as I checked them out. The fields were left behind as the trail entered the forest again. Along this path I happened on something named Offerkista (place of sacrifice). I’ve never seen one in the middle of the forest before and the spot felt weird. I don’t know if it was a true one or just a hoax of some kind. There was no sign about it nearby and no mention on the map either. The fence around felt homemade so I have no idea what to make of it.

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Kept walking through the forest and it felt good. I had no problem following the markings and if an arrow pointed downwards I saw markings on the nearby trees as well. What did happen was me taking a wrong turn cause of over-thinking a signpost (the one below). The signs were just by a Y-crossing and I came from the top left path. After having decided the signs confused I tried getting help from the surrounding markings. The only problem here was that all three paths out from the crossing where marked with the same red/orange bands. So, that was no help. Then tried to understand where on the map I was. Found two potential spots for my present position and the one I thought I was at told me the top right path should be right. Thus I set off that way.

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It didn’t take long for me to get uncomfortable with my choice. My hiker buddy at home mentioned the same thing when reading my text messages. He also tried pinpointing my location with the various maps we had at home, but with little to no success.  After walking for about 20 min I decided to head back and decipher the signs again. A lake should be on my left side at this point and there were no lakes in sight. When I came back to the signs and decided to imagine coming for the other two path as if to continue north. Then I deduced I had taken the wrong path and thus went down along the Y. Here a lake soon showed me I was on the right track.

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At about halfway along the lake one happens upon a cluster of summer houses. Just when I passed there was some kind of yearly meeting in one of the gardens. After Jutatorp, as the cluster is named, the trail continued along a gravel road straight through the forest. I don’t like walking on these coarse gravel roads. Hurts the feet and the sound disturbs me since the sounds of the forests get fewer if I make too much noise. Found a lot of blueberries though and I took a well-deserved pause to refill myself with these energy boosters. Apart from my mishap I really enjoyed my walk this day. Most of it went through forests and very little walking along roads happened. Some of the later legs are mostly road walking so this was a really nice leg.

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 The walk after my break continued along forest-paths and -roads. As it came closer to the correctional institution the path geared off the road and into the forest to make a wide turn around the institution. Here I came across a really odd contraption on the path.  It looked as if it was a huge trap that had caught the tree but I suspect it’s something else. Maybe an old fallen gate and the tree just grew through it after it fell. One of those odd things one gets too see while out hiking. The path continued to meander around different stables and there were a lot of horses around. This was followed by a short road walk and then another nice forest path came along.

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At Gällarpesjön one was given the option of either going right or left. Since I knew the right turn would take me along a main road while left would take me through nature I opted left. The trail follows the lake closely and I once again got the image that the trail here is mostly geared towards hikers going northbound. Me going southbound ended up in a marsh which after a few steps showed to have a narrow footbridge through it. The start was hidden behind a bush which I didn’t think of going around since the marker was a on my side of the bush. But I went up on the footbridge as soon as I had realized my mistake. And it didn’t take long to come upon the windshed at Gällarpesjön. While resting here and asking to be picked up by hiker buddy the German couple came walking through. I thought they had gone north since I hadn’t seen them all day despite my wrong turn. But they were headed south and had one more week to walk before having to head home. I wonder how long the came before having to quit.

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Walked along the road back to where the trail came upon it at the other end of the lake. And this is where I was picked up.

Today: 21 km
Total: 80 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 73 km
Left: 194  km

 

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