Day 51: Hot!

Hanaa to Skjaekervatnet

Distance: 30km

I like pitching my tent beside a river. The sound is very calming and helps me sleep. 
Well rested, I wake up just before six. It's cold and humid outside, my tent soaked. Therefore, I waste no time to hit the trail. Initially through forest and wetland, before climbing away from the wide valley. With the temperatures rising, the views are improving. In fact the side river, which is called Squirrel River, is looking spectacular in the bright morning sun. The contrast of the dark blue water, the red river stones and the bright green looks gorgeous. 
As I climb higher, wetlands give way to rather rocky terrain, many alpine tarns scattered in between the rocks. They look so inviting, I actually jump in for a quick wash. Especially, since it's already quite warm. 

I don't navigate strictly by GPS but rather freely, looking for a smart way through the undulating terrain. My route is certainly not the shortest or quickest route but it brings me where I want to be. 
After roughly 25 kilometers through vast wilderness, I spot some signs of civilization: sheep. And a farmer, who tells me he's here because a bear killed 3 of his sheep. Hopefully the bear is not hungry anymore. 

The last couple of kilometers are all through wetlands. Hard on my feet, as there's a constant vacuum building up under the sandal. Lifting the sandal needs a lot of effort, effort my feet are not really used to. By now it is stinking hot. After a river crossing I feel the urge to jump into the river again. What a great feeling to wash away all the sweat and dirt. 

Anyway, eventually I start feeling sick and tired of the wetlands and I decide I have hiked enough and pitch my tent on a hill, overlooking the mountains towards the south. Massive cumulu-nimbus clouds are forming in the distance while writing these lines. Fingers crossed they won't come too close. 

Wetlands in early morning light
Wetlands in early morning light
Squirrel River
Squirrel River
Once more
Once more
Another tarn!
Another tarn!
Finding my own route
Finding my own route
Another river!
Another river!
A sign!
A sign!
Geographical center of Norway
Geographical center of Norway
On the way up
On the way up
Tent tied down for the night
Tent tied down for the night

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