Lake South of Vaalta to Heinaa
Honestly, I don't know where to start. Maybe first of all: it's been a fabulous day. The trail magic has arrived.
From the beginning: I fell asleep with my shin still awfully painful. Despite the pain I sleep surprisingly well. Waking up at around 03:00 I notice the pain is gone and I can move my left foot freely. Now that's promising. When the first rays of sun shine one my tent (yes it's going to be a wonderful, sunny, warm day) just after 04:00 I go out to take some photos. Again, I can walk like yesterday never happend. Still, I'm sceptical. Will it be like this even after I start hiking? Should I even start hiking today? After a short debate with myself, I decide to give it a try.
As it is mosquito-rush hour, I'm in my full mosquito gear. The hat and net work like a charm. Thanks Fredy for lending it to me.
The vista with lakes far below and mountains in the early morning sun is breathtaking. Initially along a marked trail for a kilometer or so, I go off trail again. Terrain is okay, navigation in this weather fairly straightforward. Hundreds of cloud Berries are waiting to be eaten by me. All in all I probably eat over a kilo. Probably even two. I truly believe that a fruit, able to grow so plentiful in such harsh conditions, has to be extraordinarily healthy.
It's a mix between marked and unmarked sections. All are extremely wet. Probably 75 percent is through swamp. The last unmarked 14 kilometers section takes me along a telephone line. There's an unclear path. Cables, which must have fallen down years ago, lead to an unnecessary tripping hazard. The walk along the line or poles (most of the cables are on the ground) seems neverending. Therefore, I am relieved when I finally spot Gaundalen farm. A lively place. A farmer offers me syrup. I gladly accept the welcome change from water. They offer cabins to stay as well. Even though I have been waking for 10 hours already, I decide to continue a bit further. The weather is great and it is too early in my hike to already sleep in cabins. The tent has to do it for know.
And my shin? Nothing! Nothing at all. Other parts or my feet are aching a bit. As usual after 35 kilometers. But not my shin. I can't completely believe it. Still, I am still not overly optimistic. Who knows how it looks like tomorrow morning.
From the farm I continue along a very smooth track north west bound. A have a brief chat with the first hiker I meet this season. He's going the opposite way. I'm glad I don't have to do this stretch to Borgefjell anymore. My feet would fall apart.
40 kilometers in (didn't I say I will take it slowly today? Mea culpa!) I spot a nice spot on the river. Exactly at 18:00, I put down my backpack.
What a great day it was!