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Hiking partner

By walking 2013.10.08 in Day hike

This hike on August 3rd was the first with a hiking buddy. Guess last time’s lost phone hike made chauffeur no 1 decide to check out what the heck I was doing while being gone for a whole day. Actually weighed my backpack before starting and with water it came to just over 6 kg. I know I’m not a light hiker but it feels alright when walking, especially when the water weight decreases km by km.
Beautiful forest walk

Beautiful forest walk

We started out parking one car at Dranstugan and then headed to Stättared. This we could do since my parents had left their car with us while being away on a trip. Parked the other car by the hostel and set off. Here we parked right up by the hostel since we figured it would be better “protected” from hooligans and wild animals there, or sommin along that line of thought. Wild animals seemed to be plenty that day around the hostel since there was some kind of bunny competition going on right by the parking area.
Walked up to where we left the trail last time and continued south. The first stretch goes along the lake with several nice view points looking out over the lake and surrounding areas. It was a beautiful morning and despite chauffeur’s concern we turned out to have a pretty similar walking pace. He had been worried about him getting frustrated from me walking too slow for his liking but it was almost the opposite at times. He’s stronger up hills but I’m better at walking long stretches at a steady pace.
The stone slab

The stone slab

In the middle of all this we found a stoneslab which had been inscribed by lovers centuries ago. It’s a nice feeling finding such memories knowing they were married long and had like ten kids. Sure, I don’t know if they were happy but the story is nice. As we turned away from the lake we ended up at a farm. Now this was where my concerns about the trail through Varberg kommun not being as well kept as through Kungsbacka kommun turned into reality. The stories started to show that they might be true. According to one map we were supposed to walk along a path outside the wall and another that we should follow the road inside the wall. We didn’t see any path outside the wall and stubborn me walked up the road. When we came to the other end of the wall we saw arrows showing how the path followed the wall but there was no path. Just waist high grass. This was not the last time we saw this type of thing during that day. After this mishap there was some road walking happening.
Clear cut with view

Clear cut with view

When we came into the forest again there was this awesome forest path with a high tree ceiling and everything was beautiful. The forest walking continued after this and about midday we passed by a viewing spot marked out on the map. We sorta climb-hiked up and found ourselves on a clearcut hilltop. Took a treestump each as chair and enjoyed our lunch. Lunch consisted of fresh baked buns from our local bakery the same morning which made our sammiches fresh and awesome. It was fun having a hiking buddy along even if we during lunch sat like 10m apart due to the stumps’ locations. The day so far was beautiful and we had a nice time walking along the trail. My thoughts started to drift off to the upcoming part through Veddige since I had seen discussions about that part in mountainbike forums. Mostly it had been about how the trail was not marked properly through Veddige.
One of the crossings

One of the crossings

After lunch we went down to the trail again following it through this amazing forest. Then came the part through Veddige which turned out quiet interesting to say the least. First we came to the slope down Veddige portar which was kinda steep but there was a staircase to help hikers along. Just watch your step on it since at least one step was broken when we went down on it. After crossing the road we followed a path down towards a railroad crossing. When we had passed the crossing unharmed the next marker was standing in the middle of a long patch of headhigh willowherbs. I was not gonna walk through that when we could just walk along the asphalted aread around the factory right by the railroad which was not fenced. Since it was Saturday the area was empty. When we had walked along the first side of the factory we noticed a marker that was accessible without fighting plants. From this marker we could follow the path as planned even if we found one marker laying on the ground hidden from view behind a pile of concrete poles.
Hidden pole

Hidden pole

After the factory we crossed the main road 41 and ended up on a road with very few markers along the sides. There were markers at every turn we had to make though up until the crossing by a gravel-pit. The only marking at this crossing were for the riding path which sorta pointed into the road passing right by the pit. But usually when there’s no markers one is supposed to just keep straight. And since we’re both kinda stubborn I went right and Hiker buddy straight. Straight was also uphill while right was flat. After having passed the whole pit I finally saw one marker and after that how the trail went into the woods again. Sent an sms to Hiker buddy and had to wait a bit for him to show up since he’s quick uphill.  Our theory is that the road along the pit has recently been moved and thus the markers where gone. After this the trail kept going a bit uphill and then a bit downhill through the forest and along fields.
Gravel pit

Gravel pit

When we were in the valley walking along roads the rain started coming down slowly. Felt very professional unpacking the raingear and my southwestern to keep on walking. We knew it was only one hill left to cross and then we should arrive at Dranstugan. Up till now I had been a bit suspicious about my Southwestern hat. It felt so serious and warm and just a bit too much all over. This all changed on this walk. Felt so great putting it on and keeping my head dry and warm while letting warm air escape by the neck thus letting my get a bit less sweaty inside my rain jacket. After awhile the rain subsided and we once again walked up a hill and then down  the same hill. Finally reached the crossing where the trail went one way and Dranstugan was to the left. Did my traditional sitting in the windshed ritual before going home to the now regular after hike pizza and wine dinner.
Windshed at Dranstugan

Windshed at Dranstugan

Really enjoyed having a hiker buddy along and I hope there will be more of those up ahead.

Today: 16 km
Total: 59 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 56 km
Left: 211  km

Tell it on the Mountain

By walking 2013.10.03 in Inspiration

Inspiration is found everywhere. This time I found it in the documentary “Tell it on the Mountain“. Found information about it and saw the trailer. Fortunately it got the option of downloading as digital which worked great. Could see the extras same evening and saved the full documentary till the next evening.

This documentary has a different twist than most others I’ve found on YouTube about thru-hiking. Here they both interview the hikers at different stages along the hike but the hikers also have their own cameras with them. Thus we get to find out how silly one gets when exhausted. How amazing it is to run into a fellow hiker on top of a pass. But also see how scared and freightend some parts can be.

I’ve seen the movie about three times now and everytime I see something new. First time was before a sleepover hike we did and second time after. Suddenly we saw it from a totally different viewpoint since then we had the experience of sleeping outside. Sure, I might be a real green beginner but this whole experience of learning new things and getting to use other peoples’ experiences to make mine better is great.

Several of the participants in the documentary have blogs, websites, wikipedia entries or articles written about them:
Sauerkraut and Alina – website; PCT journal 2006; PCT journal 2008;
Billygoat – The trail is his destination
Scott – Wikipedia
Jackalope & Eagle Eye –PCT journal 2006
Inaki – website

Gear part 4

By walking 2013.10.01 in Gear

After the latest hike I decided three things would be nice to get.
1. A water system kept inside the backpack instead of my regular loose water bottles.
2. Wool socks to keep feet as dry as possible and to have a second pair of hiking socks.
3. Something to protect my boots and feet from wet grass. One idea I had was long trousers.

After some research on the Internet and watching the movie “Tell it on the Mountain” I started to figure out what I wanted. That’s how no 3 went from thin water proof trousers to gaiters. Both Jackalope and Alina used gaiters in the documentary which got me intrigued and did some research. Turned out to be just what I wanted.

After hearing how other people thought Naturkompaniet is expensive I tried to locate other stores. That’s how I found Fjällsport. Thus chauffeur no 1 and I took an evening out into town checking for hiking stuffs. Chauffeur was looking for boots which he found that evening.
But first we went to Fjällsport which was small and more geared toward climbing. They seemed to have a nice variety of clothes so we added it to our future-checking-for-stuff-stores-list. This is where I found a water system I liked; a 3l Platypus with a bite valve. Chauffeur looked at some boots but none were good enough.

Then we went to Naturkompaniet since I wanted gaiters and the only kind Fjällsport had was the big stiff winter type. First I didn’t find any at Naturkompaniet but after asking for a pair the gaiters turned up in a corner by the shoes. Everyone I’ve talked to so far at Naturkompaniet knows what they talk about and you always find what you’re looking for. AS in if they don’t know much about what you’re asking about they get a coworker who does. They also had the kind of socks I wanted so my list was then complete.

After this we had a really nice lowkey dinner and then hit XXL in search of boots. That time Chauffeur finally went home with a pair.

As to the items I bought.
The water system has been used on every hike since the purchase and I’m very happy with it. My small day backpack can’t fit it fully filled but having more than 2,5 l is good enough for me.
My gaiters are loved and get totally dirty on my hikes. They keep out debris and rain but they can’t really help me when my foot disappears into a waterhole or such. Didn’t expect them to be able to handle that either truth to be told. They do their job.
Now the socks. I got blisters from them on my first hike but after adding a thin liner sock underneath everything turned fine. It’s a lot nicer having two sets of good socks to switch between when water gets inside the boots. There is some spot on my boots that are not 100% sealed against water. My suspicion is aiming towards the area where the shoestrings start by the toes but I’m not certain. Have to investigate further.

Gear part 3

By walking 2013.09.19 in Gear

Guest blogger – Chauffeur no 1

I’m very particular about my footwear. I’ve had my share of trouble with my feet, let it be due to my pronation, my weight, my feet’s width, or simply bad footwear. Ended up with my big toenails ingrown due to low quality working boots in Switzerland.

When it came to choosing hiking footwear, it was clear to me I would want boots. High boots, total height averaging around 30cm. I had a pair of high working boots from Germany for over a decade which were, despite their weight due to the steel toed tip, some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Even now that the soles broke, I’m still determined to keep them and try and get them fixed eventually.

So, boots it was. Narrowed down both the available selection as well as the price range significantly. After having learnt it makes more sense to look for them in hunting sections of stores, I found a pair of Meindl Dovre Extreme GTX – wide at XXL. Tried them on, walked a few steps, loved them. Didn’t love the price though, at 2400 SEK they were about twice as much as I was willing to spend seeing I wasn’t even sure I’d enjoy hiking. I’ve done my share of trips during my youth and didn’t mind them, but I suppose having grown up pretty much in the woods as a son of a forester, the outdoors weren’t anything that special to me.

Back to the boots. I took a picture of them as well as the price tag, and planned to put them on my wish list for Christmas. My lady got her shoes that day, and that was it.

A few weeks later it became more apparent I needed at least something to hike in. So it was back to the Internet, searching, comparing, even considering lower boots or shoes, and once again heading back to the store. This time armed with way too much information, going through a whole range of footwear, just to leave again empty handed having gotten nothing else but a mind blowing headache and blistered fingers. Well, and the knowledge that it definitely was high boots I wanted. Sure, boots are heavy, and seem to be hot as hell in summer, but honestly, I never had that issue with the working boots I mentioned earlier. Also, socks can be used accordingly, but that’s a different pair of shoes. c.c

To make a long story short, the third visit ended with me coming home with a new pair of boots. And even the very first ones I tried on weeks earlier, the Meindl Dovre Extreme GTX – wide. At 2400 SEK not the cheapest, but they seem very well made, and give very good support. Now, after having hiked a couple of miles in them, I only had trouble with them when trying to walk on some wet wooden planks so slippery even frogs were fighting for traction! The sole is very rigid and lets you walk over rocks with ease, while at the same time being slightly rounded under the front of the foot, which makes one feel a bit bouncy when walking in them the first time. The sole’s from Vibram, but those seem pretty much standard in good quality hiking footwear nowadays.

Tying the shoes takes some practice and requires a trick or two that apply to all shoes with long laces, otherwise one ends up with very VERY annoying blisters on one’s index fingers. But wrapping the laces around the hands before pulling does the trick. If you want to drive a car though, I suggest only tying the lower section, otherwise your flexibility when it comes to using the pedals is severely impaired.The top shoe is made of very few individual pieces of leather, making it more water resistant, but not by much. Impregnating them before use is a must, as well as making sure one impregnates them well. I used a spray, and despite having removed the laces in order get the whole surface of the tongue, I got some moisture near my feet during the first rainy hike. So wax probably is the way to go, I should give that a go next time.

All in all, having gone some 50km in them so far I’m happy, and hope to make quite a few more miles in them before I should even bother thinking about getting replacements.

 

Phone

By walking 2013.09.17 in Day hike

At around ten on the 27th of July I was dropped off at Äskhult. I know it was a late start but I really wanted to do this hike that day. I thought when setting out that the leg was about 8 km. This proved to be wrong and I still don’t know why I thought it was only 8. The length was actually 13 km but this mistake made the end of the day more interesting.  Anyways, chauffeur no 2 drove me to Äskhult and in order to not forget to give him some papers my phone was very neatly placed on these papers, on the bench in our hallway. Of course I forgot all but I didn’t know that till later.
 
When chauffeur no 2 dropped me off at Äskhult I went up to the wind shed to start my hike. I try to hike windshed to windshed. If nothing else just for the fun of it. One of the reasons the hike started so late was because it had rained earlier in the morning. It kept raining off and on during the hike. This together with high grass meant hiking through lots of wet grass. Parts of the leg was almost marsh like. Sometimes when it was a little marshy there were footbridges and sometimes when very marshy there were no footbridges. I never really got the hang of this backwardness. Afterwards I read on Kungsbacka kommun there are stretches they contemplate redrawing and I hope this leg contains some of those parts.
 
Early on in the hike I passed Riksdagsmannagården i Axtorp which was a nice break. There was an information plaque by the road about about Mr Gunnarsson and the house. The trail followed roads for a short stretch and suddenly turned left in between two houses. It felt weird walking between these houses since they were quite close to each other but it turned out alright. This if we don’t think about the marshy terrain coming up.
 
Otherwise the leg contained less forest walking and more clear cuts than the earlier legs. While I kept finding myself walking over these open areas I found myself missing the long windling forest paths. The clear cuts together with the wet grass and the fact that I was hiking in shorts (cause of the temperature) resulted in drenched socks. Really wet. As in when I stopped for lunch I wrung out my socks and experienced how it feels having water running out of the boots when turning them upside down. Some new experiences just feel plain weird. Some time just before dealing with the wet feet problem I realized my phone had not come along on this hike. That was not planned.
 
When it came to the phone dilemma I decided in the end to walk as planned. This despite me already suspecting that the leg was longer than 8 km. My legs told me I probably already had walked at least 7 or 8 km which was too long in order for the whole leg to be 8 km. Since I know about Stättared having a hostel and café since before I decided to keep walking. To go to the hostel and ask if I could borrow a phone in order to call either chauffeur no 1 or no 2. Not much else to do then but walk on even if I had dry feet in dry socks in wet boots.
 
From here on it felt as if the second part of the leg was a lot of walking along power lines going over hills. Up and down and up and down along gravel roads meandering around the power lines which were of course standing in a long clear cut for safety reasons. Lots of exercise for my legs but pretty dull hiking. The gravel was the type I don’t really like to walk on. Sorta squarish hardish gravel, if one can describe it as such. Good for heavy machines I guess but not for a hiker on a nice stroll. At least after a few ups and downs the trail entered once again the forest. This last stretch along roads and through forests were really nice. I found myself in Bauer country once again.
 
The windshed at Stättared turned out to be both named as Hornsjön and as Stättared. This was right by a small beach overlooking the lake Hornsjön. As usual I took a small break in the windshed but this time wrung my socks again. While trying to decide on how to walk up to the hostel I walked out the lake enjoying the tranquility of the place. The whole reasoning behind contemplating how to walk up to the hostel surfaced because the windshed is a bit away from Stättared. The options I found was to either go back to the nearest road and walk along that or follow the trail a bit further hopefully finding a path to the hostel.
 
While putting on my first pair of wet socks I suddenly heard a very determined stride coming up behind the windshed. While wondering who would walk like that in the middle of the forest chauffeur no 1 suddenly emerged around the corner exclaiming “There you are!”. Turns out he and chauffeur no 2 decided to start walking from either end of the leg to find me. Why did I forget my phone he asked of course? I still don’t know why. I just did.
 
Turns out the leg Äskhult to Stättared is 13 km and not 8. It was a leg I got wet during but I was happy to have it behind me. I was also happy that my ride already was there not having to wait around for it after trying to find a phone to borrow. Especially since the café turned out to already have closed when we got there at 5.
 

Today: 13 km
Total: 43 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 40 km
Left: 227 km

Wild

By walking 2013.09.10 in Inspiration

Last year I was recommended to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.”

The subtitle “From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” explains a lot about the book. It’s about her getting so frustrated her only way out seemed to go hiking. I’ve read a lot of critic against the book since she’s so naïve and not really knowing what she does. To me this is her story and sure it might not be the world’s greatest book writing wise but that’s not why I read it. I wanted to read her story and see what it had been like to her. After this book together with hiking longer than anticipated around Bexells Talking Stones last Spring the hiking bug really bit me.

Cheryl starts about why she hikes the trail in 1995 and where she was in her life then. To me the part of when she first packs her backpack and her talk about that waiting so late with the packing was not wise, made me think it’ll be an honest story about her hiking experience. Later on in the book she discusses just how naive she was when setting out on this hike not really knowing anything about it. But that’s life at the same time. Testing something and finding if it’s something for you or not. Sometimes you’re lucky like she was and it turned out to be one of the best things she could have done at that point in her life.

Gear part 2

By walking 2013.09.05 in Gear

After walking Stensjön to Äskhult I once again went looking for a Southwestern hat. This time we decided to visit Naturkompaniet on Östra Hamngatan in Gothenburg. That visit was an eyeopener. So. Much. Hiking. Stuffs. In. One. Spot. Amazing to me. Spent hours just browsing around and of course I found my hat. This time a medium size which sat perfect and in bright red. The color I loved since it makes me visible in the forest to hunters and others easier. The brand is Grundéns and a bit expensive, but it feels like really good quality.

Now after having tried it in a real downpour I can highly recommend it. One of my favourite things about it is that I can fold up the front tip of the brim so I have a better view while walking, if the rain eases up a bit now and then.

Grilled Sandwich

By walking 2013.09.03 in Day hike

Was dropped off by my chauffeur at the same spot in Hjälm on July 3rd that I was picked up on June 29th. New month but an old spot. This time the weather was warm and sunny so I was outfitted with sun screen, light clothing and sunglasses. Also my new shoes and backpack was on which turned out to be two awesome additions to my hiking gear. It felt great being out again as soon as I started walking and couldn’t wait to discover new things.
 
Cars have to turn right but I can walk straight.

Cars have to turn right but I can walk straight.

 
The first part was a really nice forest walk and it felt even better due to the amazing weather. I already knew Hallandsleden would pass near Naturum on Fjärås Bräcka about halfway into the day’s hike, so I was looking forward to a fika there. Both the weather and this prospect of fika probably made my pace quicker today, and suddenly I found myself walking along the road by Fjärås kyrka. Just by the church I saw a sign for Naturum 4km away which was showing the driving route, but I knew my stretch would be shorter since the trail goes along the top of Fjärås Bräcka while the cars have no choice than to drive around it. While walking along Bräckan I met people for the first time during the day. Families out on a small daytrip to discover the landscape left after glaciers during the last Ice Age. Some kids were complaining to their parents about having tired legs and almost went on strike refusing to walk another step. My legs on the other hand were still strong and took me to Naturum.
 
Magnificent view from "Bräckan".

Magnificent view from “Bräckan”.

 
Just to arrive at Naturum was fun and a new experience. Walking into the café and ordering a grilled mozzarella sandwich for lunch felt great. The walk to Naturum had made me hungry, and of course the sandwich was delicious. I took my time to thoroughly enjoy it while sitting in the house, sheltered from the sun’s rays. It felt like experiencing a tiny bit of what Lady Grey mentioned about going into a real restaurant, eating real cooked foods after hiking for several days out on the AT. Sure, I’d only gone about 6 or 7 km so it only was a very small taste of her experience of walking the AT.
 
Before leaving Naturum I filled up my water bottles, which turned out to be good since the heat made me drink a lot more than usual. The added water brought my backpack back to the morning’s starting weight as I headed off after lunch. During this I tried to imagine how the walk would be up to Äskhult. I couldn’t see how it would be able to pass through forests much of the way and thus expected a lot of road walking. I didn’t want to check the map and walking through Kungsbacka kommun the markings are good enough to follow without needing a map. Thus one can instead just walk and enjoy the surroundings which I did.
 
After a few minutes I walked past The cholera cemetary and later The Iron Age gravesite at Li. The history that surrounds Bräckan is just mind-boggling and the view towards the ocean is awesome. From there the trail followed roads off and on till the village of Tom where it entered the forest. Walking there that day was so lovely with the light streaming down through the trees. The ground was dry, plus the trail was mostly wide and easy to walk. Felt very much like a nice stroll not far from home. Once again it was so quiet despite being so close to civilisation just like the last leg.
 
A nice stroll in a nearby forest.

A nice stroll in a nearby forest.

 
Outside of Skår the trail came up on a gravel road where I suddenly was surrounded by several small dogs. Their barking was heard long before they showed up and there were 5-6 small dogs jumping around me. I stood still and let them inspect me which made their interest subside. After them came two women running and yelling at the dogs. According to one of the women a pup in this pack gets nervous about anything new and starts barking like crazy which makes the whole gang go nuts. The dogs let me walk on, but when passing the main house they came out again barking and running around like mad. I waited for one of the women to once again show up and the dogs followed her back to the stables.
 
At the end of the hike I walked up along a stream in a beautiful beech forest. There was a field up ahead, and knowing Äskhult is surrounded by fields I thought the end couldn’t be far off. My chauffeur had earlier alerted me to the fact that he was on his way when finding out I had seen a sign to the village Axtorp. I turned around something that felt like a corner and suddenly the windshed of Äskhult was there. Poof, the walk was at its end. It was weird knowing that I had walked 15 km again but this time it felt a lot shorter. Sat down in the windshed enjoying my sandwiches not wanting the hike to end.
 
The windshed at the Äskhult.

The windshed at the Äskhult.

 
When finished I walked up to Äskhult’s parking lot just as my chauffeur arrived. Once again I was already longing for the next leg when going home.

Today: 15 km
Total: 30 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 27 km
Left: 240 km

Gear part 1

By walking 2013.08.26 in Gear

While sitting in the car going home after the walk I thought over how it had gone. Everything went really really well but there were a few tweaks I wanted to make to my gear. First I wanted a proper day hiking backpack. My laptop backpack was not space efficient or sitting well on my back. It also felt a bit bulky and short. Second I wanted proper hiking shoes since my Doc Martens are nice but not quiet right for the job. Going up to about middle of lower leg was too high for my liking when hiking. Wanted something ankle height instead and of course more geared towards hiking outdoors. My Doc Martens worked for this first outing since I had rain gear on and I didn’t have to fight swamps or wet grass. Third having my own rain hat would be good even if a nice leather hat from Namibia was a perfect substitute for this outing.

Next day we made a visit to Kungsmässan in Kungsbacka. There we checked out Claes Ohlsson, Stadium and Plussport. Plussport and Stadium had proper hiking backpacks costing lots while Claes Ohlson seemed to have same type of backpacks for a fraction of the cost. Before the visit I’d decided to get simple low cost gear that I can start out with and since I’m only day hiking right now the doesn’t need to be able to withstand a trek across Sarek for instance. Thus the visit ended with me leaving Claes Ohlsson with a new backpack and a sitting pad. The backpack is a blue 30l Åsaklitt that only cost 249 SEK but looked almost better than some of the others we saw for much more. And the pad was a really simple red one for 19 SEK. The sitting pad is a pure luxury item since I had trouble finding somewhere to sit while eating my sandwiches after the rain. Now it doesn’t matter if it rains or just did.

What I didn’t find in my size was a rain hat. The type I wanted was a southwester which proved to be a challenge to find. Apparently women don’t have big heads according to Stadium so large there was actually a tad too small. Guess I got too much stored in the head…. Anyways we went to check out Freeport as well. One store clerk thought a southwester was some type of a vest. Another clerk tipped me of third store which never had had those in stock despite being geared toward outdoor sports. A fourth store only had in child sizes which almost fit better than the Stadium ones (weird). So, no hat on that visit. Bummer.

Next stop was at XXL in Sisjön. Huge store and actually it was my first visit to it. Tons of fun things to check out like a canoe or tents or tons of clothes. It took ages just to get to the (to me) second hiking department since they had simple hiking shoes with the other shoes. Tried on a couple of different pairs and finally settled on a pair of Garmont which were on special 599 SEK. But the store were unfortunately sold out on Southwester and other rain hats. But now I felt good to go on my second leg which was decided to be on Wednesday 3rd of July.

Starting

By walking 2013.08.24 in Day hike

The morning of June 29 came and so did the rain. With the rain came also my hiking partner deciding to be my chauffeur instead. Rain didn’t make me waiver instead it made me more resolute to do this. They say the first step on an adventure is the hardest one to take. Well, I couldn’t wait to take that step.

Starting out.

Starting out.

Outfit was rearranged a bit since the rain isn’t that nice in the forest while wearing jogging shoes. They were thus exchanged for my Doc Marten boots. Treated them quickly to make them more rain resistant. The rain also made me wish I had a Southwester but my chauffeur let me borrow his leather hat. Just as good.

Beautiful paths,

Forest path version 1.

Laptop backpack was filled with plastic bags containing lunch, a dry set of clothes in case I got too drenched, some money and a map. I was ready to go. We drove to Bunketorp where my walk would start along Bohusleden in order to get to the north end of Hallandsleden. The obligatory photo was of course taken and of I went. Felt weird walking along jogging tracks in my hiking gear at the same time it was kinda fun. At one point I saw some orange streaks moving across the forest ahead of me which turned out to be about 20-30 people all in orange t-shirts out running together. Even had the odd ones ending up behind standing at a cross road when I showed up wondering which way the others went. But they found their way.

Resting spot.

Resting spot.

After that encounter I left the Bunketorp area and ended up on what felt like the real thing. Somewhere in the beginning of this I saw a sign to “Raststuga” which I decided to follow. The signs, path and footbridge took me to a lovely small peninsula in a lake. There was a small open house, fireplace, garbage can and a huge tent. The tent was inhabitated by 4 MTB bikers who were getting ready to go on a day’s outing. Their tent was almost bigger than the little house so it looked funky but the spot was lovely for a short stop. I can highly recommend sitting on the house’s step looking out over the lake while eating a fruit. It was very reluctantly I walked back to Bohusleden and continued south.

 

2013-06-29_7

Bohusleden – Hallandsleden

The end of Bohusleden and start of Hallandsleden was by the lake Blåvättnerna. Very nicely situated and the windshed looked to be in good condition. Surprised me and made me start thinking one could actually sleep in them for real. Before this walk I thought they would just be simple lean-tos so this was a nice surprise for me. Decided to walk on since I just had made a stop earlier at the raststuga.

Windshed at Blåvättnerna.

Windshed at Blåvättnerna.

The hike was really nice. The path winded through forests and by farmland with a bigger road crossing in the middle of the stretch. Sure it rained off and on during the whole day but it didn’t bother me at all. Got into a really good habit of closing the jacket as soon as the first few drops came and thus was protected when the real showers started. Gear proved being good for this kind of weather and underneath I actually stayed dry the whole hike.

Forest paths can vary.

Forest path version 2.


Lunch I had in a forest during on of the dry spells sitting on a rock just by the path. It was relaxing and quiet when suddenly I heard hoofs approaching. I had seen horse tracks along the whole stretch almost and out of the trees two beautiful thoroughbreds bursted out. The riders got a bit startled by me sitting there eating my sandwiches in the middle of nowhere. These were the only people I saw after I left Bunketorp that day. Just after this I crossed a nice little stream and was so enticed by it I missed a turn, which I noticed 10m later so no hard feelings there.

Crossing the stream.

Crossing the stream.

I love these old parts of forests where one feels like it can have looked like this for centuries. It probably hasn’t but the feeling is there. Walking past parts that make you expect a troll out of a John Bauer story will emerge or a princess sitting admiring her image in a lake. Just beautiful and so utterly peaceful. And yet I was just outside of Sweden’s second largest city Gothenburg. It was awesomeness.

2013-06-29_13

Windshed at Stensjön.

When approaching Hjälm the houses started to congregate and my chauffeur alerted me to it not being long left to walk. It was really falling down water out of the sky by this point so I felt ready for the hike to end. The last bit also mostly was along roads which was not as nice as the forest paths I’d followed most of the day. For getting down to the windhsed was a slope which now was muddy and slippery. I managed to stay upright and was greeted by a nice dry spot to sit while waiting for my chauffeur. Finished off my lunchpack looking out over the lake being proud of walking 15 km and suprised by how fun it had been. Sat in the car home longing for the next hike which I hoped would be within a week.

Boots made for walking.

Boots made for walking.

 

Today: 15 km
Total: 15 km

Hallandsleden total: 267 km
Done: 12 km
Left: 255 km

Quotes

LIFE is about PASSION, otherwise it is worthless.
- Inaki in "Tell it on the Mountain"

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
- Steven Wright

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