I slept in! Glorious! The English neighbours kept me up until 11pm. I did wake up freezing at 2am and put my down jacket on and then slept soundly until 7am. Made myself breakfast in bed and then dismantled my tent.
I wandered past the Aiger hut en route to Ammarnas town. The huts here are quite flash but expensive – about £25 for a dorm bed. For that you do get a sauna also. And they sell food, which is more than you can get in a hut in NZ. I have been a bit spoilt in France as for more or less the same price they give you a bed and also cook you a four course dinner and breakfast. And the other downside of the Swedish huts is that you are expected to contribute to the chores by hauling water and chopping wood. I guess if I am going to haul water then I may as well just camp, and it’s free
It was a nice gentle 8k wander down into Ammarnas town. Like most hikers I was already fantasising about what yummy food they might have (yes even after just two nights camping). Hmmmm, I was sure there would be a bakery with a world class freshly baked cinnamon roll (the swedes are famous for their cinnamon rolls) and some rye bread with dark chocolate chunks and dried apricots…. And I would get a great coffee to have with it. Not so much! The ‘supermarket’ opened as I rolled into town around ten and it had a world class display of fish, liver and cheese paste in tubes. No fresh bread, no cinnamon rolls. Oh well, I bought some fruit and some chocolate and headed to the cafe. The cafe was closed but they did give me a coffee – £2.50 for the coffee from the pump thermos which had been sitting there since breakfast…. Oh the disappointment…..
Leaving Ammarnas I was heading into the wilder part of the trail – 166km with no huts and only two small villages. The trail wasn’t very well marked as few people hike this stretch. Heading out of town there were multiple trails, no signposts, and my map didn’t help much as it only had one trail on it. Oh well, a bit of reckoning with the compass, and mostly dumb luck and I eventually picked a trail. For 17km I didn’t see a soul, and I startled five reindeer….it was lovely, although it might have been been nice to see someone to make sure I was on the right trail as there were multiple trail options and still no signposts. There is nothing more disconcerting to a hiker than walking a long way and then having to turn around…. While hiking is lovely, hiking the wrong way and backtracking really isn’t…
Heading down to Ravfjallstugan I did run into to Norwegian mountain bikers who confirmed I was on the right track… Very amusing, one had panniers, but the other was cycling with a huge hiking pack. Well I say cycling, but they were pushing the bikes when I saw them….
After a late lunch at Ravfjallstugan of chilli and bread (my fantasy of running into a generous Sami family grilling reindeer steaks didn’t pan out either), I checked the map for an obvious camping destination for the night and there weren’t many …. So walked another 10k up onto the high reindeer ground and have pitched camp next to one of the few rivers and I have a herd of reindeer entertaining me on the other bank. I have only seen one tent since leaving the valley at Ravfjallstugan so fingers crossed I won’t have any neighbours tonight.