Camp at Ritsem
Woke up rather early around 6 am, felt rested and ready to start the day. The sky was cloudy and looked like it would rain later so I wiped off the tent first thing and let the rest of the moisture blow away in the wind while getting through my morning routine and ready for the day. Thankfully no rain in the morning and I could break everything down dry!
Just before 8 am I started on the trail towards Ritsem and followed it through the birch forest. Now, rain-drenched birch forest with lots of low bushes and occasional wetlands (yet I have to admit the trail for the most part elegantly led between the really wet areas) has never been my favorite condition when hiking. And 1.5h into the day it started to rain again, light at first and then more and more heavy rain, the kind that gets You wet all the way to the bare skin regardless of what kind of rain gear You’re wearing. Don’t know for sure if it’s all the mental and emotional work I’ve been through in the last years, the fact that I’m in ketosis, or both, yet I was in a perfect and pleasant mood the entire way.
After some time the trail raised above the tree line and I’m sure the view over Akkajaure and the Akka mountains on the opposite shore would be majestic, if not obscured by clouds and rain. I got a few glimpses of the view, though most of the time there was only mist, clouds, and raindrops around me.
Now, the trail itself was remarkably clear and easy to follow. Just a couple of times during the 20km I had to stop and look twice where to go next. Even the parts through the thickest woods were clear enough and nearing Ritsem there was an almost ridiculous amount of red paint used to mark the trail.
Ironically the rain stopped almost entirely just about 1km before I reached the mountain station and the rest of the day was dry. Still, I spend most of it inside, taking care of equipment, chatting with other hikers and purposefully overeating on keto foods.
I felt I had taken in way too little energy during the first two weeks and started my stay in Ritsem with six eggs scrambled in 100g of butter, at night followed by my usual dinner and a generous amount of nuts!
Oh, and yes, the mattress situation got sorted, they had one last, very old fashion, mattress still in stock. I’m really grateful I did not have to spend more than 24h going to Gällivare, and having to stay there overnight, just to replace the damaged gear!
I also decided to go for the afternoon boat to Änonjalme the next day, and aim for a real rest day! I think my legs will reward me for that in the weeks to come!

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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