Ravddajavvre to Karsajaure
The 20 meters morning walk to the toilet... That feeling in my knees. Like bone on bone. Not pleasant at all. Yesterday has been a hard day.
Later than usual, it is almost seven, I leave the hut. But not before checking on the girl. She seems alright. After seeing the huge serving she ate last night, she can't feel that bad anymore.
However, I don't come far. I decide to eat a healthy breakfast for once: Cloud Berries! As I am no hurry, I take my sweet time.
A lovely morning. No wind, not to cold and barely any mosquitoes. Maybe, my hope that some of them got blown to Murmansk by the strong westerly winds, might have come true. The trail is nice to walk with plenty of boardwalk across the numerous swamps. I feel dizzy. The Cloud Berries maybe? No, I don't think so. Luckily the trail is fool proof, not requiring much concentration. After I get rid of my rain jacket and long johns, I start feeling better. Maybe I was overheating a bit, without noticing.
The closer I get to Vajsaluokta, a hut with its own ferry terminal and helipad (it would be one of my bail out points) the trail becomes a rougher. Strange. They usually improve the closer they get to huts.
From a save distance, I watch the 11:50 ferry service across Akkajaure to Ritsem picking up some hikers. For me it's no ferry but rather a climb up to Karsajaure. Not before making use of the signal, checking weather (which looks okay for the next three days) and updates the loved ones.
The climb is less steep than it looks on the map (usually it's the opposite. These Scandinavian topo maps make the impression terrain is flat but is far from it in reality) along a wonderful trail. Well marked, well visible path. A rarity. The view back towards the lake are fantastic. Going goes surprisingly well until close to my overnight spot, when everything seems to start aching at the same time.
You might think: why did he walk 45 kilometers that first day from Abisko ? No wonder he is suffering now.
Well, it was the weather forecast, which was scaring me a bit with wind, rain and low temperatures. Not the weather you want to cross E1's highest pass. 1200 meters here equal roughly 3000 above mean sea level meters in Switzerland. If I crossed Caihnavaggi a day later, there would have been snow up there, making an already tricky passage even more dangerous. So yeah, even though my body is aching, I'm happy with the way I hiked.
Speaking of dangerous: while climbing away from the lake I'm asking myself the question 'am I inclined to take more risks while on a through hike?' Obviously, doing a hike like this is always riskier than - let's say - sitting like a potato on the couch. What I mean is: would I risk things I wouldn't if I wasn't on a thru-hike? The answer is definitely yes. Like crossing that bridge. Never ever would I cross it while on a day hike. I would just turn around. Same goes for river crossings and other technically difficult sections like rock scrambling. On a thru-hike, turning around is extremely hard for me. The urge to continue is incredibly strong. In last week's case with the bridge, it would have meant a 100 kilometers back track to find an alternative route. It would need a lot for me to do that. Hence, the greater acceptance to risk.
Back to the topic: it's only 16:00h when I safely arrive at Karsajaure. Plenty of time to treat my feet a little while enjoying a spectacular view of Allak.
I should mention here that Ravddajavvre and Karsajaure are shelters intended for emergency only. There is plenty of space to pitch your tent though.