September 12, 2004
The advantage of sleeping in the kitchen was that I slept well, the disadvantage was that I had an early wake up. When the first early birds started to make breakfast, and noise, with the kitchen utensils you had no choice but to get up.
The weather had changed overnight and the morning offered rain again. After a quick breakfast I was ready to take the boat across the lake and start the uphill climb on the other side of Teusajaure. The rain changed to a light drizzle, and finally it stopped altogether. At noon the sun appeared and through the haze you could see part of the Sarek massif in the east. The stream from Lake 1197 was too wide to ford, so for safety reasons I used the bridge further downstream.
The trail in the descent down to Vakkotavare was very slippery and wet from the rain. My trekking poles once again showed their usefulness, and I managed to get down to the road at 1 PM without mishaps. It felt as a couple of hours rest in the sunshine, while waiting for the bus to the ferry at Kebnats, was well deserved.
After the short bus ride to Kebnats and taking STF’s ferry across the lake I arrived at Saltoluokta at about 6 PM. I stocked up on supplies before I hit the trail again an hour later. The trail was poorly marked, and in the maze of trails leading uphill in the forest. I managed to get too far to the east. When I checked my position getting out of the forest I was 1 km to far to the east. But with the map and my GPS it was no problem to find the shortest path over the heath to get back on the trail again.
Just before 10 PM I reached the rest shelter at Autsutjvagge. The last couple of days’ long segments started to take its toll, and it felt good to rest for a while. My goal was to reach Sitojaure tonight, in order to catch the regular boat tour across the lake tomorrow morning.
After a 30 minute break I continued, and I managed to keep a decent pace over the flat mountain heaths. Once in a while there was a short rain shower, but it was cool and calm. A perfect night stroll. However, the legs were getting heavier and heavier, and walking the last kilometers was an effort of will. You easily get a little bit demotivated when you can clearly spot the destination at such a long distance as you can from the hill before Sitojaure.
I finally arrived at the Sitojaure Cabins at 1 AM. After starting a fire in the stove I put my clothes and boots in the drying room. It was no problem to find an empty room, and it felt very good to slip down in the sleeping bag after a long day.