Saturday August 8th 2015. Nedrefossehytta 29 km

Very wet ferns

Zeer vermoeiende route

Very tiring route.

Nog maar 29 km!Only still 29 km to go!


Boulders between the river shore and the steep canyon wall.

Na 9 km. roeien Ton en Eric naar de Sielmahytta

After 9 km. walking Ton and Eric row across the river to Sielmahytta.

Kletsnatte varens in drassige ondergrond met daar doorheen geultjes

All wet ferns on wet soil with small gullies.

Veel watervallen in de ravijn

Many falls in the canyon.

Laps oerwoud. Is andere koek dan gewoon 30 km. wandelen

Lapponia jungle. Is  different from 30 km. walking.imageimageimage

Pad vaak vlak langs oever

Path right along the shore.

Gezellig bij kampvuur bij Nedrefosshytta

Socializing at evening fire at Nedrefosshytta.

Cognac, Baily's en appelcake en muggen

Cognac, Bailey’s and apple cake and mosquitos.

Hope-hopeless, the damn f … mosquito’s. My supposingly mosquito proof sauna looked like a mosquito breeding center. After one hour of hunting, the number of pests got less, but ever again new ones found me. I put two candles next to my mat and waited in my sleeping bag, as a living bait, until the predators found me. Then I hit them flat. But it kept going on. After a few hours the candle was burned and I had to give up. I put up my mosquito net and tried to sleep. But they bit through the gauze. Because the sleeping bag was too hot, I put my shoulders and arms out of the sleeping bag, flannel shirt still on. But this obstacle was also taken by the Lapponian pirates without a problem. After a couple of hours of sleep, I quenched another candle: again I killed as many mosquitoes as in the beginning. Many dozens, everywhere. Again I made a tour of destruction. The windows and all the walls were under the stains of Tosca’s and my blood. It did not help a bit. This morning, waking up, the room was filled with bulky pests and I was covered with itchy bumps. Even my lips were swollen.
How long will it go on like this? So this was a bad night. Today a very long journey, 29 km., through difficult terrain. Ton and Eric also understood that they could not stay in their cabin: bloody hot in there with the stove and hundreds of mosquito’s. They decided to set the tent in the rain during the evening. Because also their night was too short, they decided to walk today only 9 km., to the next cabin, the Sielmahytta. A beautiful cabin with a canopy, located on the other side of the Sielva River. With a boat they had to row across the river to the cabin. Photo. However, my food supply was so small that I did not dare to afford such short trajects. Then I would not have left any food for the last few days. Today I wanted to cover another 20 km. to the Nedrefosshytta. Hope I can make that, with my lack of sleep, inadequate nutrition and my painful ribs, that force me to stop often for a while.
It was quite cool, some wind, an occasional rain shower. The advantage was that the route known as extremely mosquito-rich in this respect was somewhat misleading. While I walked, they were only a little nasty. As long as you did not stop, but if you did, then they wrecked you like a school of pirañas. But that did not happen the rest of the route: actually there was no path. You just had to keep walking along the steep river bank. Often crossing hundreds of meters of 1-2 m. big boulders, up and down, across many streams and rivers. Several times I passed a stream, balancing over a birch that had fallen across the brook. Make sure you do not slip. Halfway through the birch I once lost my balance: a giant jump and I just made it to the wet peat across the stream. That’s not easy at my 64th, with a backpack of about 20 kilos. The ferns through which I had to find the barely visible route were shoulder-high and wet by the rain. Photo. So am I. My pants were a mop sticking against my legs. The water was soaking my socks and hence it ran into my shoes so they sang the dead march at every step. The rocks were wet and therefore slippery. The path, as far as it was present, often reached over the edge of the descending shore, 2 m. above the water, muddy, oblique and smooth. Of course, I didn’t make much progress. I had to release Tosca , and of course, from time to time she was gone, so then I walked on for five or ten minutes, calling and whistling my lover. After all, with feelings of affection, she finally showed up again.
Ton and Eric were already a few hundred meters ahead. I caught up with them while they were rowing to the Sielvahytta in a boat. “Are you coming too?”, they shouted. No, I want to go on. My food supply is not sufficient anough to make a stop.
The valley of the Sielva River is a canyon with beautiful waterfalls (pictures), beautiful river beaches. It is a natural reserve, in which still bears and lynxes live. I often saw poop of elk and of the everywhere present reindeer. Some hundred meters high waterfalls and constant pine-birch forests with high ferns. Photos.
A few km. before my final goal I pass a cabin. It was not very nice. The residents there report that the Nedrefosshytta, where I want to go to, is full of children. “Tant pis”. Who cares. If I only have a decent bed and a heater to dry everything. After 9 o’clock, “shattered” by the Lapse wilderness, because that’s really what it is, I get soaking wet to the bone and hungry and dirty at the Nedrefosshytta.
There are 16 beds in several rooms. One was left over for me. A couple of families, with some children and a chow-chow spent the weekend there. With motor canoes they had come up the river. They had already heard about me from Norway walker Øyvind. Whether I wanted to tell my walk story. Cozy in the living room I told them about my trip. Next some went to the sauna. Absolutely. A friendly Norwegian served me a beer in the sauna. Bloody hot and next into the river. I pampered myself deliciously, washing my lush hair. Head down in the cold river. What a good pleasure. At the same time my underwear got a good rinse. Preparing my diner. After that, the whole group of Norwegians went outside to a campfire drinking boos and eating apple cake. There was cognac, bayley’s and of course swarms of mosquitoes. Photo. I can be brief about the drink. Cozy and delicious. I was barefoot in my rubber water shoes. Through the holes in the shoe roof, the bitchy women knew how to find my toes. Probably because my toes were well washed.
Those people here are clearly more mosquito-proof than I am. After taking my share of apple cake and cognac I quit. Updating my blog and because I did not want to go to sleep too late, given the new trials of tomorrow.
One of the mothers was still inside with a few children. While writing my blog in their home atmosphere, I signaled a mouse in the kitchen. The children, who already were in their beds enjoying themselves, of course got up, and jumped out of their beds. After it got quiet again at the children’s front, I did some chatting with the Norwegian mom at candlelight. After the lack of my two Groningse colleagues of the last few days, I now am part of a home-like atmosphere. So no loneliness, but cosiness. As mentioned before, Europe has only nice people!
And now it’s too late already. Tomorrow 30 km “in the wild” are awaiting me. But then I’ll have electricity and internet again in the evening. And that gives a deprived person like me new courage. I can say that this journey goes to my limits, as far as physical efforts is concerned. It is indeed back to basics. I need good nutrition while what I eat is at the margins of what my body needs. Good night’s sleep is a must, and it also takes a lot of time, especially in the tent. Jee, I will appreciate the comforts and luxury of home again. But on the other hand, there is no stress here. Also nice to experience.
Tosca is with me and three others in the room. I hope Tosca keeps quiet.


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