Lessons learned and summary:
- Camping is prohibited in the Abisko National Park except for the designated locations. Later on, camping is possible nearly anywhere.
- There are lots of mosquitos and people on the trail in August. It’s OK though, one gets used to them.
- I recommend to pack an eye sleeping mask. There’s much light during the nights.
Opening our eyes in the morning, we see an army of bloodthirsty mosquitos trying to get to us through our mosquito net. We’ve heard many horror stories about local mosquitos lately and we came prepared for the fight – doped with vitamin B, liniment and bite click relief at hand. Hopefully it won’t be that bad with those guys.
Our path leads us comfortably via wooden strakes, the terrain is rather easy and flat. We pass by several tents with sleeping hikers. It’s possible to pitch a tent nearly anywhere (except for the area of the Abisko National Park where camping is allowed only in designated places). Meeting so many fellow hikers is really something rather new to us as we typically hike on much less frequented trails. But we do actually quite enjoy it. The spirit is high. Most people have only just started their adventure. Smiles are all around, positivity and excitement is in the air.
We walk lightly but quickly. We are enjoying the beauty that surrounds us – rounded hills with snow-covered caps, crystal-clear lakes with ice-cold water, cloudberries which taste heavenly and giant mushrooms which look so perfect that it’s hard to believe they are real. From time to time this natural beauty is distorted by some bizzare scene – like dumped sporty baby-coach in the middle of nowhere (luckily without a passenger). Well…
“So this is supposed to be the worst and longest ascent of the whole trail” says Thomas as we climb a small hill with no more than 200 m of elevation. “It’s a joke, man“. The trail seems pretty easy. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. It’s easy to talk big on day 2 compared to day 12 for instance.
We enjoy a lunch break and a little nap on a huge stone next to the trail. The view we get to enjoy is unbelievable! The sun is shining and it’s simply awesome.
We pass by glittering turquoise lakes in the afternoon. Thomas decides to go for a short swim. I think I will pass on this ice-cold amusement for now. We could cross the lake on a boat. It’s not necessary though as there’s a shore path leading around the lake. We decide not to take the boat but walk instead. We know there will be lots of opportunities to enjoy a boat ride in the future. Walking around the lake, we meet a group of Italians enjoying an icy bath too.
There is a hut on the other side of the lake. We grab a Coke and local 3.5% beer. Refreshed we continue on for another 3 km. Reaching a magical meadow with wonderful views, we decide to call it a day.
Later in the evening, I watch the sun setting behind nearby mountain range. I hear a waterfall swashing in the distance. Not far away from me are 2 small groups of reindeers running around. What a magical moment.