Salvasskardet to Palnostugan Hut
Rain the whole night. Not heavy, more like drizzle. Without the wind, the sound of the droplets on my tent are calming and I have a really good sleep.
It's a comparably late start into day 18 again. Again because of the rain, which I am waiting to end.
Once it does, I follow the gravel road for a wee bit, which turns into an ATV track and eventually disappears all together. It is a very shallow climb on a nice trail, allowing me to keep the pace high. At one point, I start feeling my left shin. Not hurting, just a vastly familiar one, which I had the first time on Te Araroa. At that time, I didn't give it any attention, which resulted in a week long break.
I've gotten wiser in the meantime. So I reduce my pace significantly and continue slow paced over a very wet high plain. The feeling in my shin disappears as quickly as it showed up. Still, I will keep an eye on it.
The shallow climb and the flat follows a steep descent towards lake Torneträsk, spectacular views and a great trail make for a pleasant hike. At least until I cross into Sweden, where going gets significantly rougher. After another 2 kilometers, I reach Palnostugan Hut. Should I stay or should I continue. A very familiar question. At 14:30 it is somewhat early to stop. On the other hand, after most huts in Norway are closed, I don't have many hut experiences yet. There is also no need to rush.
So I opt for the lazy day and make myself comfortable in the hut, which offers a lovely view over Torneträsk.
Sweden: today is the first time I really am in this country. 2 years ago I've flown into Stockholm on an observer flight. At Arlanda Airport, I walked once around the aircraft, before flying back to Zurich. The second time was a few days ago, when I briefly cut the corner in Norway and hiked through Sweden for an hour or so. As you can see, until now I never had the pleasure to enjoy this country. But this is about to change.