|Near Viken and Alkarede, Sweden||Week 57 3rd-6th June 2012|
| I still want one.
John Deere according to the label.
| We think Fagelsjon. Lake Fagel I suppose!
We camped overlooking the lake.
A table behind Tardis, but a bit chilly for outdoors!
The trees along the lake had been clear felled and scrubby looking birch were establishing themselves.
We've begun to look a bit more closely at the Swedish logging practices. The land is privately owned. The practices aren't perhaps as sustainable as we first imagined.
| Nearly in the land of the midnight sun.
The light is quite unlike anything we are used to.
Our sense of distance is also somewhat distorted. We think by the clarity of the air.
|We traveled on the south side of the lake having by-passed Stromsund and the sealed road on the north side.|
| Which allowed us to visit Hallingsafallet.
Hallingsa Waterfall we suspect.
This is from the top looking down. A double rainbow - almost impossible to photograph the second one.
A 43m drop into a gorge.
We had one of those "we should have" moments the following morning and nearly backtracked to find the track into the lower part of the gorge.
But we didn't - one of those "so much to see and never enough time" things.
|Back to the "main" road.|
|Through Gaddede. Population in 2010 was 401 according to Wikipedia.|
| We headed west on the south side of Kvarnbergsvattnet,
which looked like a lake to us so we spent the night overlooking it.
We drove close to the lake for too long and had to do an "up and over" to get back on the road we should have been on.
It didn't get any worse than this, and someone else had obviously been aolng here. There was a barrier at the junction which we drove round.
Where unsealed road meets sealed road.
And yes. Before you ask. When we returned to Sweden we returned to unsealed.
Just in Norway for a few km.
We prefer the unsealed roads, despite the occasional potholes.
On all roads the culverts seem to have subsided to varying degrees. On the unsealed they are bumpy. On the seal they are very bumpy.
|The Norwegian cranes are more photogenic.|
|Even when they get the pip and fly away.|
| Across the lake.
Nothing special for lots of people. A pleasant interlude for us. A trifle embarrassed at disturbing them.
|The oldest building in Viken is the church.
Complete with wooden shingles on the roof and wooden gutters (but no downpipes).
Overlooking Kvarnbergsvattnet - which apparently translates as "the water Kvarnberg".
Viken is on the north of the lake (so it gets the sunshine?). We drove west along the south side and are now headed east again.
|Unfortunately the door was locked.|
| We stopped for the night overlooking Stor Blasjon which
maybe very roughly translates as High Blas Lake.
Doesn't sound quite right ....
So here's a small bird that visited us. Stood on some dirty looking snow.
| The snow is still a couple of feet thick at this altitude.
The trees haven't sprung their leaves yet and they are decidedly more sparse than lower down.
We are in the car park for Blasjofjall Nature Reserve.
While its easy to find information on national parks we just have to keep our eyes ready for nature reserves. Fortunately they usually have good contour maps at the track entrances.
|There's about six huts hidden in the trees.|
| We haven't seen many people at all.
When we arrived there was a Swedish couple we'd met a couple of times over the last 3 days. In a Landrover and small caravan.
This group of five arrived with van and trailer carrying three sno-scooters.
Returning after an hour or so of fun they drove them onto the trailer and drove off in the van.
Which quite possibly means Brakka Waterfall. Though the signs say Brakkafallet Waterfall.
We walked about 300m over (and through) the snow.
It looked like a few footprints from a few days earlier to follow but we lost track of them.
| On the right is my footprint.
On the left is the footprint of something else.
It was either one big foot (though we couldn't find the other) or something moving both feet at the same time.
We followed just far enough to see the waterfall.
|Definitely more firs. Can't see any pine trees.|
| Has anyone seen the snow?
Initially we wondered whether we should have carried bicycles on the trip.
Now we are wondering if we should have carried bicycles, motorbikes, sno-scooters, skis, kayaks, canoe, rafts, jet-boat, and a few other things we haven't quite realised we need yet. We are too old for climbing ropes!
At least we'd only need one crash helmet each!
| We are at Ankarede.
This is the quaint (to us) sign commonly used in Sweden to indicate the loo.
Apart from the loo there are sno-scooter and walking tracks.
Its on the edge of Daimadalens Nature Reserve.
Just beyond the nature reserve sign is one that announces "Valkommen Till Skoterlandet, Frostviken".
| About 4km of easy walking to Lejarfallet.
We think Lejarfallet is the waterfall on the Lejaralven (river) which flows from Lejaren (the lake) below Lejarfjallet (the mountain). About on a par with the Scottish Gaelic for knowing where we are when reading maps.
The water in the river is in a big hurry to get to the next lake and eventually to the Baltic Sea.
Difficult to describe what "in a hurry" means. Just that its one of the swiftest rivers we've seen, and the swiftest we've seen have all been in Sweden.
And, unlike the tannin stained water further south its crystal clear.
| The track underfoot became a bit less of a track, the
track markings on the trees were no longer, and the trees were thinning..
But we felt our navigation skills wouldn't be too challenged as long as we stuck with the river.
And so we arrived at the top of the waterfall.
More of a waterfall than a cataract.
| Further up river it was in more of a hurry to travel
While stepping over tree roots on the track we couldn't help imagining replacing the firs with beech, then adding a few ferns, to transplant ourselves to forests in the south island of New Zealand.
Lots of happy memories of a far away place.
Out of interest (yes, we still have some left), we are a long way from the antipodes of Ali's (and daughter Jennifer's) birthplace in Invercargill (46 degrees south). We are 64 degrees north. Home in Brisbane is about 27.5 degrees south. For the geometrically challenged our antipodes would be somewhere along the line of latitude at 64 degrees south - the middle of the Southern Ocean and the edge of the Antarctic..
We are still in the northern temperate zone. But not far now. The Arctic Circle is at 66.56 degrees north this year. No wonder there's snow and long days!
The position of the Arctic Circle depends on the tilt of the earth, which changes. The circle is drifting north at about 15m per year.
We will of course find a convenient hillock to make sure we see all of the sun at least once at midnight!
| What does one do when 4km from the vehicle on a track that
has had no footprints for a few days at least and a dog appears from
nowhere to make lots of noise blocking the track. Apart from take a photo
He/she belonged to a couple of Swedes making use of Sweden's national day for a night camping.
He worked for the government. Concerned at the large number of eggs from mountain birds that were being poached. Upwards of 5,000 for the people they recently arrested. Among them falcons' eggs.
When the river is lower he hunts moose on the other side.
The dog was really quite friendly.
| There's a few bridges on tracks leading from Ankarede.
We assume the furrows are from sledges.
| We are in Sami territory.The indigenous people who live in
these colder northern climes across Scandinavia and Russia (?).
Ankarede is a bit of a tourist destination.
We are not sure whether these (presumably) Sami style huts are for tourists or for local herders.
The village is described as a Sami Culture Centre.
We saw only a few cars.
| The most substantial building in Ankarede is the church.
We could have obtained the key from the cafe across the road - but it was also closed.
Judging by the number of people we've met we are here a bit early in the season.
We are camped for the night next to a fishing lake. By 6pm we've seen at least 4 motorhomes headed towards Ankarede. Its a cul-de-sac but none have returned.
| We noticed a bit of a skirmish in the middle of the lake
just after we arrived.
We couldn't understand what had disturbed a couple of geese.
Too far away for us to see but it looked like there was something else in the water.
Later we had a visit from this chappie.
At first we thought it was an otter but that didn't quite seem right. Its a lake not a river and it seemed a bit high in the water. We finally settled on beaver after a bit of research. We'll keep looking, maybe it will return!
|Stekenjokk and Fatmomakke, Sweden||Week 57 7th-8th June 2012|