Day 16: Fishy Trails

Jalggohas to Geibbaluobbalat

Distance: 30km 


While hiking yesterday, I decided to take it slower for the coming four days. I might be able to make it to Abisko in 3 days. However, with regards to the next 300km section from Abisko to Sulitjelma, I want to give my body the chance to regenerate before starting this next section (I will additionally take a zero day in Abisko). 300km is a long distance and a lot of food to carry and I'm currently quite nervous to be honest. Never have I hiked such a remote section.


But let's focus on today. Where should I start? So much to tell.


Maybe early in the morning. 2:15 to be precisely. I have to take a leak. I know nothing special. Luckily, most mosquitoes are fast asleep and it's when I open my tent that I get blown away by a fantastic morning sky. Over the past few years I have seen a fair amount of spectacular skies and this one ranks up very high. One to remember. Satisfied and with an empty bladder I go back to sleep. 


The day starts with a swamp crossing. Yeah, exactly the way I like it... The trail gets nice to walk to very soon afterwards. Many reindeer cross my path this morning. Somehow I find them cute, with their tail pointing skywards. Yesterday, I was whistling the Top Gun soundtrack during the final kilometers. Today, the melody is completely gone. I cannot recall it. It drives me nuts. Well, compared to my Lunas breaking apart, my hiking poles losing parts and my matress in self deflating mode, this is a little problem. 


Eventually, I descend back into birch and pine forest. Plenty of cloud- and blueberry. I simply can't resist. The trail still quite nice. At one point I take a little shortcut by fording Divielva river instead of taking the bridge. Saves me 2 kilometers. After 20 minutes through pine forest I rejoin the trail right at the sign pointing towards Vuomahytta. Perfect! So I follow the clearly visible trail. No markings and it is not following Anjajohka, which it is supposed to. Strange. At least I'm heading into the right direction. The trail gets fainter and fainter and is basically invisible when crossing the numerous wetlands. It is sheer luck I always find back to the trail. At this point I am sure, it's the wrong or an old trail. There is even a pile of boardwalk stacked up next to the trail. The prints of the boardwalk are still visible in the mud. From a navigational perspective, it is the most challenging part of E1 so far. While navigating through the birch forest, I remember the  Top Gun melody again. This gives me peace of mind. Roughly 4 kilometers later, I rejoin the correct trail. While initially nice to walk, it quickly turns into a piece of shit. Muddy as and extremely slow going for over an hour. A shameful trail.


Much later than I intended, I pass by Vuomahytta. The lovely hut wardens explain me a new trail is in the planning, hence the current one is not maintained anymore...

One of the but wardens ask me 'Do you fish?' 'No' 'But you eat fish?' 'Yes!' So away he goes and returns with a 1 kg fish filet. It is Arctic something. Very tasty. He caught plenty this morning and would like to give me one. It would be delicious, with no bones. Perfect to fry or boil. 


With the fish attached to my pack and my brain cells working out a way to cook this massive piece of fish in my tiny pot, I walk another kilometer to a small tarn, pitch my tent and eat the best tasting fish soup ever. 

Burning sky
Burning sky
Another sunny day
Another sunny day
Can you spot the reindeer?
Can you spot the reindeer?
Me, enjoying the trail
Me, enjoying the trail
Out of breath after a steep climb
Out of breath after a steep climb
Another nice campspot
Another nice campspot
Guess what's for dinner tonight...
Guess what's for dinner tonight...
Fish soup. It sure tastes better than it looks ;)
Fish soup. It sure tastes better than it looks ;)

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