Friday July 3rd 2015. Servestuga. 14 km

Vertrek van Servestuga. Afscheid van waardin Eva. Voor alle duidelijkheid: die zit in het midden

leaving Servestuga. Saying good bye to hostess Eva. To put it clearly: she is in the middle

Tot 2 m. hoogte zijn de berken kaalgewreten door de rendieren

Until 2 m. the birch trees are leafless because of the rendeer

De randen van de meren zijn nog bedekt met ijs

The edges of the lakes are still covered with ice.


Eindelijk kan Tosca even niet trekken, anders zakt ze weg tussen de planken

Finally, here Tosca cannot pull. Otherwise she will slip through the boards.

Gut, gut, gut, wat een mooie hut: geen stromend water, geen elektra, wel houtkacheltje en gascomfort

Well well well, a cabin like hell. No running water, no electricity, but a wood stove and a bottle of gas


After a few days I thought it was time to follow the advice of Africatrotter, friend Ben D from Eijs, again, namely to take care of myself, so that I am not mistaken for a bum. I descend the 150 m to the edge of the lake to shave there and meet a wild woman of about 30 years old. She came from the South of Sweden. Wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, she plans to walk the entire Kungsleden, 450 km, on her own and always sleeps in the tent. While chatting with her I shave, squatting on the water’s edge. This is a cryptic choice of words: so I shave “haar” (Dutch for hair), but I don’t shave “haar” (same Dutch word for “her”). Just to be clear, I don’t shave her hair. Think about it. Or the mine official who approached Heerlen by train in the 1960s and said to the girl opposite him on the train: do you smell the mine? Whereupon the offended girl indignantly called the conductor. The conductor explained, Miss, he doesn’t mean do you smell his, but do you smell mine. Communication remains difficult.
Han and I communicated for a while, not difficult, apart from English, with Eva, the landlady; took a picture of the four of us (Eva, Han, Tosca and me) on the steps of the main building and we took off.
We pass whole groups of reindeer. Just below the tree line, at 800 m altitude, a short break. I photograph the birch undergrowth, which has been eaten bare by the reindeer up to a height of 2 m. Soon we come back above the tree line, pass entire passages of snow, sometimes a hundred meters wide, sometimes sinking 1 meter into it and then just hope that you do not end up with your shoe in a stream flowing under the snow. Swamp, streams, “pratsj” (mud) everywhere. Beautiful views over the tundra, the birch forests and the lakes. Nice walking temp. Just a flannel shirt was enough for me. There were no mosquitoes and despite the tough terrain, a lot of up and down, we enjoyed the nature and the landscape. Tosca was absolutely horny for the reindeer, she pulled me completely up the mountain, half strangling herself. Now I don’t mind pulling up, but she does the same downhill, pulling left and right and jumping and jumping. I can’t get my balance, walk in fits and starts, always hanging on that leash, or leaning backwards downhill. I will get a biceps like a bodybuilder and the shoulders, which were already trained by pulling the horse, have a hard time again. Walking on the long gangways is hopeless, because besides the fact that Tosca’s enthusiasm makes me “fox wild”, those planks, when wet, are also nice and slippery, with all the consequences that entails. Tosca now knows my entire vocabulary of swearing and the worst thing is that she seems so used to it that she doesn’t care. She is insensitive to a corrective tap, such as a man who, according to some religious beliefs, may administer in a dosed manner to an unwilling partner. I’m curious what kind of male it may be, who can handle her. All power and energy.
The 14 km. were done at 1:30 PM. Our cabin guardian Michael and his wife were waiting for us, led us to our dog cabin, treated us to coffee and biscuits, entertained us for an hour or so. Michael, who is also a grandfather himself, told us about a Belgian family with two children aged 8 and 10, who had run into problems on our stage this morning due to hypothermia in the snow, overtiredness, etc. and where an avalanche dog rescue operation had taken place. And about an Austrian who covered the 450 km of Kungsled in half of the usual time. Two stages at the same time every day. The news about our arrival had also rushed ahead, just like the previous days. In the meantime, the Southern Swedish female loner, whom Han and I had already traced at the waterfront this morning, had arrived. She would pitch her tent near the cabin. The rest of the day was spent blogging and reading. A few days ago I heard about the book “Wild”. It is about a young woman who travels a long-distance path of several hundred kilometers on her own for several weeks or months. So what? I know an old guy who does the same thing. Bought the book anyway to read it later. There is no electricity here, nor is there running water, drinking and washing water from the stream, WiFi of course not, no telephone coverage for days. The iPad is almost empty, GPS batteries empty, mobile switched off to save power. Finally back to basics!
We drink tea. Han is too good for the world again, by pulling out a hip flask of rum: jäger tea. Holadeladio. While in the Netherlands it is above 30 gr., we saw and chop wood and light the stove.

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