Day 9 – August 5th 2017

09:15 Camp at bridge over Tsiekkimjågåsj
Obviously I needed some rest – first woke up at 05:15 and basically just turned around to snooze for a few minutes… Next things I know it’s three hours later. I knew that I didn’t get enough sleep the night before yet this was still an unexpected treat to be able to relax and go back to sleep this deep. I’m so grateful that I left the old need to follow a plan and perform behind and am able to listen to the body and it’s needs.
I have just over 40km to Staloluokta and get there in two days easily regardless if I leave here an hour earlier or later.
Mosquitoes are slightly less aggressive this morning than last night, still I had my PF coffee in the tent and not outside. Weather is really nice, warm and with a very slight breeze that I actually would love to be a tad stronger to keep the mosquitoes at bay and help dry out the moisture from the tent.
I have no idea how far I go today, just motor on as I feel like. The trail is so friendly that I can let my mind wonder of and I’m still refining the workshop I started planning the other day. Stopping now and then for a few minutes to write something down also gives me natural short breaks during the hike.
It’s good to have no hurry, and no expectations – just letting the day unfold and go with the flow.
I’m grateful that my knee is feeling better and expect this soft and nice trail, and the natural stride I can keep due to that, to help it heal out even more!
Feeling energetic and strong, the load has become a lot easier to carry and the weight is less disturbing.
I still have to adjust the straps every few minutes as they are loosening up for every step. Hopefully this will lessen as the weight goes down, I just have to get used to it and contact Arcteryx for help when back home again. I guess they’ll simply have to replace all the straps and buckles as they become worn out by use!
19:35 Camp at Pårka, between Låddejåckå and Arasluokta
While taking down my tent a young German couple, Fina and Tom, passed by and asked if I had any mosquito repellent. Thankfully I hadn’t looked in the top of the backpack before I packed the medical stuff and had some extra. We then hiked together on and off until arriving Låddejåkkå where they decided to camp on the other side of the bridge. Especially Fina was pretty tired, not at all being used to mountain hikes.
Mosquito situation was gruesome, yet not as bad as the night before, and soon we reached higher ground and caught some wind. The weather was changing rapidly and we got a few showers and one longer downpour mixed up with enough sunshine to give the iPhone battery some charge.
The trail was beautiful and soft, just a little more challenging as it goes more uphill than the part between Änonjalmme and Gisuris.
Along the tour I remembered having an extra buckle for the hip strap and stopped to change that. What a difference not to have to close it tightly back up all the time because it opens itself…
At the same stop I also had a small snack despite not being very hungry, which is a great sign of nutritional ketosis, by the way. Still I feel I should eat something every now and then besides dinner, and I really want this backpack to get lighter.
Being first down to Låddejåkkå I made some tea for all of us and had a few Mac nuts while waiting for the other two.
This has been a little like a walk down memory lane for me, back when I started hiking in Lappland 1990, southern Padjelanta was where I first began and soon I worked myself north to this region. It must be close to 25 years ago I first hiked this trail and at some point during the day today I remembered a camp site that used to be a favorite back then, located between Låddejåkkå and Arasluokta.
I decided to see if I could find it, and this, together with the ridiculous mosquito plague in the valley, made me continue up the hill after crossing the bridge at Låddejåkkå.
Now, I got to the area, yet didn’t take the time to look for the exact spot as I saw rain clouds coming up from behind. I quickly found a really nice spot next to a stream, cleaned myself up in an icy little waterfall and got camp set up. About 15min after I got into the tent the next rain shower hit the tarp, so good to be dry and warm with dinner in my belly.
Still early evening and I think I’ll just sneak into my sleeping bag early and call it a day.
I did around 21km today and quite some of them uphill. Tomorrow there are around 20km left to Staloluokta where I want to spend the night and revisit the sauna. I remember that sauna as one of the absolute best I’ve ever enjoyed and want to see if that’s still true.
Walking the trail today reminded me of returning to places a last saw as a kid, after all my later experiences the mountains here don’t seem as high any more, and the ascents are less steep and shorter than I remember them.
I’m incredibly grateful that the original plan didn’t work out and that I get to experience this part of Padjelanta again instead!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

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