Camp at Vistas
What a difference to yesterday’s hike… I woke up early after just over 10 hours of sleep and had a really relaxed morning in and around the tent. As I was nowhere near sure what I would feel like once I got going I was ok with a very short hike, just 10km or so, going a bit further, or actually reach Vistas and reward myself with a sauna. After all, I must say I think I earned that sauna, even if it feels rather luxurious to indulge in sauna already on day three of a tour 😉.
The day itself was just beautiful, changing between sunny and cloudy, with a nice breeze greeting me whenever I gained some elevation. Starting again just around 9:30, I kept a pretty straight course, aiming just west of Vardu and trying as much as possible to avoid changes in elevation.
Almost immediately I could feel the difference in my body, it was like I had woken up to the task and remembered what it’s supposed to do. Amazing what just two nights of good sleep and the absence of stress can accomplish! Stopping for water just once I took my first 10 min break at the lake just west of Vardu to rest a little before the descent to the bridge over Gaskkasjohka. The downhill slope is not very steep yet pretty steady and I could definitely feel my quads and knees being challenged, yet no hesitation and no feelings of weakness. Having only had coffee in the morning I stopped for a midday snack once I had cleared the bridge and spent just over an hour relaxing in the nice weather. Staying just long enough to meet two other guys heading in my direction arriving when I left and staying for lunch.
The climb up to Njunni was challenging conditioning-wise and I had to stop and catch my breath several times, almost resembling some interval training. Yet contrary to my expectations after seeing my performance yesterday, I could easily continue right away after reaching the top of the climb and just stopped for some water at one of the lakes. After passing the plateau, the trail once again leads downhill and the descent is partly rather steep. I took it slow and easy, very much aware that I’m not completely acclimated to the effort yet. A few ripe cloudberries became a welcome ‘excuse’ to offload the backpack for a few minutes and, upon reaching the bridge I stopped for a longer water break.
The last 5km from the bridge to the cabin is a really easy walk, yet still, I have to admit that I’d probably stopped early if it wasn’t for the sauna. And it was worth it, the sauna was formidable, I spent over an hour enjoying the heat and cleaning up myself and some clothes. In the cabin, I ran into Kristin, whom I previously met in Sälka during my 2017 Keto hiking experiment! So funny how we meet the same people in these mountains. After the sauna and some chat in the cabin I went to my tent and had dinner, now it’s running late and I’m rather tired so after a cup of tea it’s time for the sleeping bag!