Kungsleden day 4 – row, row, row your boat

A wonderful start to the morning in my idyllic Swedish hut – awake naturally at 6am and kick started the day with coffee and sugar buns!   

Heading out of adolfstrom, the sign said 27k to Jakkvik, turns out, like most signs here, it was wrong, but for once in the right direction, it was 23k. The climb out of adolfstrom was like hiking in nelson lakes in NZ, beautiful lakes and very green.   I intentionally relished every second of my bone dry feet in my socks, luxuriously wiggling my toes around, knowing it wouldn’t last.   They stayed dry for 30 minutes which wasn’t bad

I passed some Swedish hikers camping about 7k in, we had been chatting yesterday about the size of their packs before they left town.   They were brewing up freshly ground coffee and  frying eggs on their stove, outside of a tent they described as their mansion….. Too right, camping in style, I just don’t want to carry all that stuff 

Above the tree line the sun was coming out and I was delighted to finally see some women on the trail after days of just blokes! Erika and Linnea are twins who were hiking a 1000km route through Lapland!  We had a good chat about our gear and trail running – as they had both fallen in love with trail running in NZ.  You can read more about their adventures at waaraworldwide.com

I headed into jakkvik hoping for that elusive cinnamon bun and an espresso, to be met with more tubes of fish paste.  Bummer…..I made do with buying some bread and fruit.  If anything my pack is getting heavier as I am clearly worried about not having enough chocolate to see me through until Kvikkjokk which is 90k away.    I have about half a kilo of choc, plus biscuits and some clif bars, so hopefully that should see me through 48 hours but I wouldn’t count on it

fish paste varieties

Headed out of jakkvik along a lovely forested trail past the lake, en route to my first row boat crossing.  I braced myself for the fact that there would only be one rowboat on my side of the lake, so I would have to row over to the other side,  tow a boat back and then row back again.  And alas, only one boat my side.  I haven’t rowed a boat for about 30 years, and I probably wasn’t good at it 30 years ago.  Turns out my biggest problem was pushing the boat down the ramp in the water, that took longer than rowing the boat across.   On the other side, I dawdled for a bit hoping someone would come…. That way I could avoid rowing back!  No luck!  I almost gave myself a hernia getting the second boat in the water and was nervous about my knots holding the two boats together.   Half way back to where I started I saw someone coming down the trail – damn! if only I had waited ten more minutes!  Anyway, ‘I am woman here me roar’ played in my head (readers under 40 might need to google that reference) and it was a good arm workout.  Third crossing was the best, I really had the hang of it.  When I got back to the other side the solo German girl was a bit nervous as she had never rowed a boat before.  I gave her a few tips and pushed her off!

After that it was a boggy 10 kms, followed by a brutal uphill climb (my favourite) to a lovely set of high lakes and then a steep descent down the other side.   The trail actually stops here and restarts over the other side of the lake.  The only way to get there is with the boatman Jan, who is famous on the trail for leaving hikers waiting for hours for the transfer.  I had booked a pick up at 7pm and was a bit ahead of schedule so called and asked if 5.30 was ok.  I was delighted to get to the bottom of the hill and have the boat coming across the lake.  Lucky for me, there were two hikers who had been waiting for him already for three hours, so just as well I was early. 

After a boat detour down the lake to pick up some Finnish fisherman we were dropped at Vuonatjviken, justly famous for its mosquitos.  I had already walked 42k today, so was hoping for a camp site soon after the drop off, but the first two places the water was a bit stagnant.  After 5k I found a delightful spot (albeit with billions of mozzies) and cooked myself a three course dinner as I didn’t get around to stopping for lunch.   Now for some chocolate and biscuits and a cup of tea before bed 

Distance travelled= 47 km from adolfstrom to the Gabdak lake near Vuonatjviken 

Ascent= 994

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