Karsajaure to Arasjahka
The last few kilometers yesterday gave me an idea what to expect today: nice trails and good weather. Therefore I can't wait hitting the trail, which will pass through Padjelanta National Park.
It's surprisingly rocky though, the first two kilometers. The rocks then are giving way to a wonderfully easy going trail. However, I don't make it far. Not Cloud Berries this time. The view. Spectacular. Overlooking the foggy flat below, with snow covered mountain in the background. Something to remember. I savour the moment before heading down towards the flat. Lots of boardwalk. The frost covering them makes them slippery. Luckily the sun is heating up the ground quickly.
Perfect conditions for hiking. Even the bridges don't look like they want to kill me.
By 13:00h, with 25 kilometers covered already, I pass Laddajakkastugan, a big hut complex. A helicopter is dropping or picking up something or someone. I'm too far away. Yet the sweet, sweet smell of Jet A1 fuel enters my noise. Lovely! (only aviation lovers will understand ;)
My legs feel like rockets today and fly up the 300 vertical meters to Parka Boarkka and down on the other side. Going so fast is taking its toll just a bit later. Going gets hard from one second to the other. With now burning legs I reach Arasluoktastugorna, a Sami settlement, where I meet the hut warden. The first warden I see since Unna Allakas. I use the chance to buy some (ridiculously overpriced) reindeer meet and local bread. E1 is so remote that I kinda have to use every chance to get to know the local culture of the countries I hike.
Even on a great trail - after 40 kilometers it is game over and I pitch my tent shortly after leaving Arasluoktastugorna. With black clouds now hanging low over me and a fresh breeze from the west, suddenly I feel cold. Instead of enjoying my dinner (consisting of reindeer meet, bread, 300 grams pasta and 100 grams chocolate - I still feel hungry though while writing this) outside, I choose to eat inside. A bit of a unworthy ending of an otherwise wonderful day.
Addendum: I was a bit early with writing the last sentence. Already in my sleeping bag, listening to music, the sun makes as quick, dramatic appearance just before disappearing again behind the mountain moments later. Happy End!