Friday July 17th 2015. Sälka cabin, 25.5 km

Korte pauze in schuilhut Kuoperjakka met links 2 Belgen en rechts 2 Nederlanders. Een Iraans-Engels paar was net vertrokken

Short stop in shelter Kuoperjakka. Left 2 Belgians, to the right 2 Dutch. An Iranian-English couple just left.


Landschap wordt meer Alpine

Landscape is becoming more Alpine.


Aankomst Sälkastugan

Arrival at Sälkastugan

Tsjechische opa rechts op bezoek bij dochter + Zweedse vriendin en kleindochter in Zweden

Czech grandfather at the right, visiting his now Swedish daughter and granddaughter Mia and his daughter’s girlfriend.

Kleindochter Mia speelt met haar Spot

Granddaughter Mia playing with Spot

Mia heeft het ook goed staan op Tosca

Mia also likes Tosca.

Guys, I’m moving on like a train again. Every day two daytrips in one.  Yesterday, right before going to sleep, another Swede was crammed into my cage. He stayed for 4 days in the Kaitumjaure cabin, to make some mountain walks. Sportsman. Only, Tosca and I were about to go to sleep. And he just started cooking in the same room where I slept. It was too late for me to socialize. I simply went down and did not hear and see anything until Tosca found it necessary to bark tonight. Probably because someone from the room next to ours left the cabin “to piss outside” (you understand: to wash his hands. What a bourgeois euphemism).

 This morning I   woke up late, at 8 o’clock. The Swedish sportsman was still lying on one ear. I left at 9.30 am, just when he started stretching on his bed . Adieu and we were gone.
The route ran along the river Tjäktjajåkka, probably well known to you. I understand the reaction: many have ever heard of it, others knew it, but forgot the name . Ha, ha.
Tosca was hungry. Although I kept her on the leash, she caught 4 mice and one lemming to satisfy her hunger. All the better, thus I do not have to feed Tosca too much of my own food, because it’s extremely expensive here. And I don’t have to drag as much weight.
I have not been able to get dog food for days. We saw reindeer, passed a Sami settlement. They looked even poorer than the Indian settlements, that I saw in BC, Canada. We saw quite a few snow hens and their chicks. A frog and even a pond with frog’s larva. How is it possible they thrive here in the cold !?
Half-day lunch break in the Singih cabin. There was a German couple, but they didn’t mingle with the others. After my muesli with water and milk powder, I  went on to a next, unmanned shelter, the Kuoperjakkastugan, to  treat myself to some candy). Some chatting with two real Limburg people ( from my region) and a couple from Belgian Ghent. Photo.
And thus we got at Sälka cabin around 6 o’clock PM. It was a nice walk with dry weather, no more than 9-10  degrees C. Cool breeze, perfect circumstances to tire off. No extreme climb or descent, beautiful mountain scenery, right next to the highest mountain in Sweden, the Kebnekaise. In the dog house at the Sälkahut there was an old man (over 80), two women, a little younger than me and a girl Mia plus their dog Spot. Photo. The old man was a 84-year-old Czech. He was visiting his daughter, his 17 y.o. granddaughter  Mia and their girlfriend in Sweden. De Czech’s daughter was married to a Swedish guy.  The four of them were on holiday at the Kungsleden. Finally cosiness. We treated each other to olives, nuts, beer. The daughter of 17 played with the dogs and allowed her “Spot”, a Jack Russel, to demonstrate his tricks. Photo. So cozy family atmosphere. And again I met an emigrant. Striking. Grandfather of 84 from the Czech Republic had walked 22 km. today, crossing the mountains and plowing through the snow. What a die-hard. Old soldiers never die.
I had planned to make only a one day’s stage tomorrow, to Tjäktja. That is the highest cabin of the Kungsleden, 500m above the tree line. It is much up and down. Because there is no provision, you have to drag everything with you for two days. Not really funny. The entire route is 13 km. through melting snow, in which you sometimes sink untill your butt or belt, not rarely reaching an underlying mountain stream. However, according to my company, it can be done in 5 hours, even though it took them 7 hours with grandpa.  Hey, if a grandfather of 84 could do that, a grandpa of 64 (me) can add an extra day’s etappe, even though I didn’t plan so. After that second stage, I will come to the Alesjaurestugan, where food is available. Again one day earlier in Abisko, the end of the Kungsleden.
At the Alesjaurestugan is a sauna in a separate building. Can I possibly also scrape the dirt from my skin. I hope there is a garbage can for the crusts! Of course nonsense. I’m just tapping the dirt from my skin. Self-cleaning, just like Tosca.

Where can you wash yourself except in the river?
In the sauna. Well, then let’s take a look. The special women’s hour was over. The hour for the men too. O.K., then mixed. I’m entering that sauna cabin. I believe they tried to be in the Guiness Book of Records. One pink meat mass, because in this climate here nobody had a tan. I only saw knees, arms and heads. Is there still room for me? Yes, on the floor. In society one also must start at the bottom. Did not every American president begin his career as a newspaper boy? It was nice. Like I sauna, you sauna, they sauna. You could heat water on the sauna oven and mix it with ice-cold water, which you had to pick up from the river 50 m. away, mix the cold water with the heated water and then pour it on 
your head. It just seemed like the Court of Eden. Everybody inside and outside running around naked like a nudist camp. A lady told me in many words what was awaiting me tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Yes, yes, and also saunas in each cabin. Man, what a luxury! Is this running around naked really going right back to basics? Then it fits my travel strategy. Lapland has a lot to offer. Unfortunately no pictures!

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