18-day backpacking trip from Suorva to Kvikkjokk
This is our first backpacking trip in Sweden. We always wanted to do a wilderness trip through the remote mountain area of Sarek. For this trip, there is a little bit more planning required. Because once we are backpacking in the remote area there will be no cellphone connection at all! Especially the transport at this time of the year, the buses are limited. At the end of our trip, there is only one bus per day. The food choice for eighteen days is also not a simple task. We pass the STF Fjallstation Aktse, but this fjallstation is already at the border of Sarek NP. Once we are on the Kungsleden trail, there is one extra hut, but the food is quite expensive and limited at these huts.
We took the plane from Brussels to Bromma airport close to Stockholm. Our plane lands around midday, from there we walk to the XXL store to buy some freeze-dried meals. From the XXL store, we walk to the train station Sundbyberg but it’s also possible to take the tram or bus to Sundbyberg. From there we take the train to Stockholm central train station. Once we are at the train station, we place our backpacks in a locker.
We have a couple of hours to do a little bit of sightseeing in Stockholm centre. And we have time enough to eat for the last time a proper meal. Because during the trip we have to eat for about 18 days freeze dried meals. After dinner, we walk back to the train station to get some extra information about our train to Gällivare. The train schedule is changed because they are working on the railway. So we need to take a train a few hours earlier to Västerås. So we have no direct connection to Gällivare. Once we are in Västerås, the sleeping train has a delay of 2 hours so it’s late when we can board the train. Then our private cabin is already closed so we need to wait for a staff to let us in the cabin. After a half hour, we can go inside our cabin and we can go to sleep. It’s already midnight when the train is leaving the station of Västerås. We hope that the train will be one time in Gällivare because we have only one hour of spare time to take the bus to Suorva.
Around 8am when we wake up, we notice that our train is back on schedule. A few hours later we arrive in Boden. Our next train to Gällivare is already waiting for us. The train is almost completely full of hikers. A lot of people are doing the Kungsleden. Around 1pm our train arrives in Gällivare. Now we have to wait for about one and a half hour for the bus to Suorva. There are about 20 backpackers waiting for the bus. Most of them are doing the Kungsleden. A Finnish guy is also starting in Suorva for an 8-day backpacking trip in Sarek. He asks us if we want to join him for today. Of course, we want that. Around 16:30 the bus arrives in Suorva. Finally, we can start our 18-day backpacking trip trough Sarek and Stora Sjöfjallet.
Day 1: Suorva – along the hill Hállji
Walking hours: 2h45
Photo moments: 1h
Altitude: 325m ascent, 100m descent
The bus stop is close to the passenger gate in the fence. Normally this gate will we always open. We need to walk for about three kilometres over a tarmac road. Once we have passed the dam we need to find a way through the bushes and the swamp. Normally there is a path but we couldn’t find it. There are a lot of reindeer catch boxes around the Suorvadammen. So we start to find our own way through the bushes. After about 2 kilometres of bushwacking, we find a clear track up the hill. From here on it’s a lot easier to climb. After a while, we find a nice place to put on 2 tents. It’s situated close to a river. Once we have set up the tent and cooked our meal it’s already starting to get dark. Before we go to sleep Olli offers us a Finnish liqueur ‘Jalokahvi’, it tastes good. It has a nice coffee taste. After the nightcap, we decide to go to sleep. We are tired, it was a long day!
Day 2: Along the hill Hállji – lake Oarjep átjek
Walking hours: 3h15
Photo moments: 2h30
Altitude: 425m ascent, 150m descent
It’s already 9am when we wake up. We eat our breakfast and then we start to pack our backpacks. Around 11am we can start our hike towards the Áhkká. First, we will walk to the nameless river about 2 kilometres north of the Njavvejågåsj river. Here we see for the first time a reindeer. Down in the valley, there are more reindeer. We cross this river and then we climb further to two nameless lakes. We take a small break to eat some delicious blueberries. After the break, we walk to a larger lake named Vuosskeljávrre. Here we cook our warm meal. After our lunch, we walk along the southern shore towards the lake Oarjep Átjek. When we have passed the lake Vuosskeljávrre, there are about twenty reindeer grazing along our side. When we approach lake Oarjep Átjek, we start to search for a place to set up our tent. It’s already getting dark when we are ready with the tent. It’s a beautiful evening, the clouds are beautifully red! When the beautiful coloured clouds are gone. We go to sleep, in comparison with yesterday, today was the terrain much easier!
Day 3: Lake Oarjep átjek – between the lakes Gássajavvre and Nuortap Tjlevrajávrre
Walking hours: 3h
Photo moments: 2h
Altitude: 225m ascent, 250m descent
When we get up the weather is just perfect! Almost no clouds, sunshine, only a cold breeze. But again a beautiful day to start our hike. Around 10am our backpack is packed and we are ready to start our hike. We walk along a few nameless lakes. When we are SW of the mountain Unna átjek, we eat our warm meal for today. So we got enough energy to start the walk through the huge rock field. After a while, we cross the river Stáhpaljåhkå by using some stones. A moment later we take a break to cool down our feet in a small lake. Our feet are burning in the hiking boots. Once our feet are cooled down, we walk further towards lake Nuortap Tjlevrajávrre, once we are at the lake we need to cross a river. It’s manageable to cross it by using some stones. But Charlotte slips out and falls into the river with her backpack. The bottom of the backpack is wet. But it’s no problem for us because we always pack our gear in waterproof sacks. The only problem is that one of her hiking boots is also wet. But the sun is shining so it will be dry quickly. Once we have crossed the river we search a place to set up our tent between the lakes Gássajavvre and Nuortap Tjlevrajávrre. It’s a beautiful evening so we capture it with a time-lapse movie. Unfortunately no red clouds today.
[vimeo 115789486 w=750 h=422]
Day 4: Between the lakes Gássajavvre and Nuortap Tjlevrajávrre – in the valley between the mountains Áhkká and Niják
Walking hours: 3h15
Photo moments: 2h
Altitude: 200m ascent, 175m descent
Today the sun is already shining when we get up. And still no signs of rain in the sky. Hmm, we are so lucky! 🙂 First, we let our sleeping bags ventilate in the warm sunbeams. We also search for some drinkable water. The water of the lake is to dirty. There is floating a lot of dirt in the lake. So we decide to take some water at the next river. Once we have packed our backpack we hike towards the glacial river Suottasjjågåsj, probably we need to cross this river without stepstones. Before we reach the river we find another small river. The water is clean so we refill our platypus and pack our backpacks again. Once we have reached the glacial river Suottasjjågåsj, we cook our warm meal. When we have finished our meal we cross the river. The water is freezing cold! Brrr, our feet are tingling from the cold. Quickly we dry our feet and put on our hiking boots. From here the terrain varies between swamp, rock fields and grass fields. We have to cross a bunch of small rivers. Between them, the terrain is swampy especially when we reach the outflow of lake Nijákriehpejávrásj. Once we are back on the green grass fields we start to search for a nice camping spot. It’s not an easy task because the terrain is not at all flat. And once we have found a flat area there are a lot of big rocks. After a while, we find a place to put on our tent. We enjoy the last sunbeams for today and then we go to sleep.
Day 5: In the valley between the mountains Áhkká and Niják – north of the mountain Boajsátjåhkkå
Walking hours: 3h15
Photo moments: 2h
Altitude: 150m ascent, 175m descent
In the morning the first sun rays are hitting our tent. Again a perfect day to start our hike. Today we walk towards the valley Ruohtesvágge between the two mountains Ruohtes and Sarektjåkkå. In the next few days, we follow this valley towards the lake Snávvájávvre along the mountain Låddebákte. We start with a descent to the river Nijákjågåsj. Once we have reached the river, it seems like it is possible to ford it without wading shoes. But just before I can reach the other side of the river. I fall in the river with one hiking boot. But I’m lucky only one sock is wet! Here we take a small break to cook our warm meal. After the break, we can follow a well-trodden path through this valley. Once we are walking on this path we meet a lot of people. The previous days we saw no other hikers. After a while, we pass a Sami hut, and a few kilometres later we need to ford the river Smájllájåhkå. It’s possible to ford the first three river streams without wading shoes, but the last one is just too deep to ford without shoes. Once we have forded the river we start to search for a nice camping spot. Close to the river, we find a nice spot. There is only a very strong wind over here. But our tent is stable enough to survive it! We boil a cup of water to make a hot chocolate milk and then we go to sleep.
Day 6: North of the mountain Boajsátjåhkkå – along the river Máhtujågåsj
Walking hours: 3h
Photo moments: 3h30
Altitude: 175m ascent, 325m descent
During the night the wind died down. So we slept well and we get up around 7am. Once again the weather is just perfect! When we have packed our backpack we hike towards the emergency shelter located at Skarja. Again we follow a well-trodden path along the river Smájillájåhkå. After a while we cross the river Boajsájågåsj, it’s possible to ford it with step stones. When we reach the junction with the rivers Smájillájåhkå and Mihkájåhkå, we take a break to cook our meals. Here we meet some people that we passed yesterday. After the break, it’s only a few hundred meters walk to the emergency shelter. Here you can find the only emergency phone in Sarek NP. We take here a small break to look at the roaring river and the beautiful gorge. After our break, we cross the river with a bridge. We walk on a beautiful tundra, the fall colours are already present! Next to us, the reindeers are grazing. A few kilometres later we reach the river Máhtujågåsj. We find here a nice spot to set up our tent. We got a beautiful view of the valley and the river Ráhpajåhkå. There are also several waterfalls at the Máhtujågåsj river. So I took the time to make some long exposure shots. After the photographing, we wash our clothes and our self. And then we wait till the sun goes down. It’s a beautiful evening, with red clouds. When the sun is down, we go to sleep. Tomorrow we want to walk to lake Snávvájávvre along the mountain Låddebákte, so it will be a long hiking day with a steep ascent.
Day 7: Along the river Máhtujågåsj – along lake Snávvájávvre
Walking hours: 4h30
Altitude: 550m ascent, 275m descent
Today we get up around 6am, because it will be a longer hiking day today. We hope that we can reach lake Snávvájávvre along the mountain Låddebákte. Again the weather is just perfect, we hope it will stay like this, then we can also climb the Låddebákte this evening. And enjoy the sunset from the peak! When our backpack is packed we walk towards the river Tjågnårisjågåsj, we ford the river with our wading shoes. There are two men trying to ford it without but one of them falls in the river. So we are happy that we ford it with our wading shoes. 🙂 We take a small break when we crossed the river to photograph a beautiful waterfall. After the break we walk towards lake Bielajávrátja, once we are at the lake we cook our meal. After the lunch, we walk in the direction of the hill Bielavárásj. Here we meet a German hiker, he has the same plan as us to reach lake Snávvájávvre. First, we need to walk through thick bushes, the path is very muddy. Probably because most of the hikers in Sarek need to pass this place. Once we are through the bushes we climb the steep rock slope ‘Spokstenen’. From here we got a beautiful view on the Ráhpajåhkå valley. It is a strenuous climb, it’s very hot because of the burning sun. There are almost no clouds in the sky! After a while the path rises evenly, at the first river that we cross we take a short break. To drink some fresh water straight from the river. Here we meet the German hiker again. He looks exhausted, his backpack weighs about 30 kilos. So this makes sense after such a steep climb. We walk further to lake Snávvájávvre, we want to camp on the south-east shore of the lake. But once we are at the end of the lake we find a better camping spot, close to a small lake. Here we got a bit more privacy instead we had camped along lake Snávvájávvre. We set up our tent and then we prepare us to climb the Låddebákte.
Day 7 extra: Climb of the mountain Låddebákte
Walking hours: 1h45
Photo moments: 2h
Altitude: 525m ascent, 525m descent
Around 6pm we start to climb to the top of the Låddebákte. It’s an ascent of about 525 meters through bouldery terrain. At a few moments, it’s steep! And at a few moments, there are some small rockslides. We have to be careful. About one hour later we reach the top. Now we have to wait more than an hour for the sunset. But the view from here is just awesome! The meandering river Ráhpaädno and the beautiful colours of this river are impressive. From here we got a splendid view on the three valleys Ráhpajåhkå, Sarvesvágge and Rapadalen. The sunset from over here is just beautiful, it’s only very cold over here! But we are lucky that there is almost no wind! After a while, we decide to walk back to the tent. Because it’s getting dark and we don’t want to descent in the complete darkness. We notice that we need to be careful because there are now more rockslides then when we were climbing to the top. Once we are back down it’s completely dark. It’s hard to find the tent back. After about ten minutes of searching, we find it back. 😀 Now we are tired and we go to sleep. Tomorrow we take a day off to rest a little bit and to wash our clothes.
Day 8: Day off close to lake Snávvájávvre
Today we decided to take a day off. To rest a little bit but mostly to wash our clothes. Because the weather is again perfect! A clear blue sky, no cloud at all! So our washed clothes are quickly dried.
Day 9: Lake Snávvájávvre – Along the Ráhpajåhkå close to the river Alep Vássjájågåsj
Walking hours: 4h
Photo moments: 1h
Altitude: 100m ascent, 475m descent
Today, when we get up around 8am, it’s already pretty warm outside. It’s a clear blue sky, the sun is already present! Today we start with a descent to the famous Rapadalen valley. It’s the largest valley of Sarek, we hope to be through the Rapadalen valley in three days. It’s a descent of about 400 meters, at some moments it’s quite steep. Especially when we need to cross the river Jilájåhkå. It’s possible to cross it with step stones. Right after we have crossed the river, we hike into the dense forest. Here it’s harder to navigate because of the dense vegetation, most of it is dwarf birch and small birch trees. Most of the time we can follow a well-trodden deer track, at some moments it’s barely visible. We walk almost the whole time along the glacial river Ráhpajåhkå. It’s quite hot over here when we pass a lake we take a break to cool down our feet in the water. Just after the break, we cross the river Skoarkkijávrátja, it’s a wide river, but totally shallow so we can cross it with step stones. Here we meet a man, he told us that there is no boat service between Aktse and Nammásj because of the low water level of the Ráhpajåhkå. But this wasn’t our intention anyway, so no problem for us 🙂 . A while later we reach the river Alep Vássjájågåsj, we need to ford this one with wading shoes. Here we meet a German man, he is walking in the same direction as us, to the top of the Nammásj. Here the path is disappeared, there are a lot of deer tracks. But they are barely visible. We followed the most trodden path, but after a while, we notice that we are walking in the wrong direction. So we set our course back towards the river Ráhpajåhkå. Soon we reach a few swamps, here we meet the German man again. He has also troubles with the swamp. When we passed the swamp, we start looking for a place to set up our tent. We cook our meal and then we go to sleep. We are tired, walking through the Rapadalen valley is harder then we thought.
Day 10: Along the Ráhpajåhkå close to the river Alep Vássjájågåsj – along the Ráhpajåhkå close to the mountain Ridok
Walking hours: 3h
Photo moments: 3h
Altitude: 100m ascent, 175m descent
Tonight it has frozen for the first time during our trip. Charlotte her sleeping bag wasn’t warm enough. Probably because we noticed that her sleeping bag has a comfort range of 2 degree Celsius instead of minus 2 degree Celsius. So we need to find a warmer sleeping bag for our next adventure. Our tent is frozen so we wait for the sun. After a while our tent is almost dry, we pack our backpack and then we start our hike towards the mountain Nammásj. A few kilometres later we reach the river Lulep Vássjájågåsj, we need to ford it with wading shoes. It’s too wide to jump over the river and it’s too deep to use step stones. Over here the vegetation is quite dense. When we have crossed the river, we can walk further on a well-trodden path. From here we got a nice view of the Rapadalen valley, where we walked the past days. Soon we walk back into the forest, the autumn colours are so beautiful! Here we find also some bear tracks, about three are clearly visible. 😀 But unfortunately there is no bear… Moments later we are at a nice camping spot close to the mountain Alep Spádnek, here we take a break to make some panoramic shots and a time lapse. If we had knowledge of this place we had certainly walked to here. It’s just an amazing place to camp. After our break, we walk towards the Lulep Spádnek. First, we walk close to the river Ráhpajåhkå, at some places, it’s very wet and swampy. When we are walking along the Lulep Spádnek, we need to climb a little bit. The terrain is very muddy over here. We are satisfied when we are back in the forest. At least for a while, I notice that there are red ants on me, they crawl under my shirt and stab me. They are jumping off the trees, so little but so irritating! After a while, they are gone… We pass some swamps and forest until we cross a side stream of the river Ráhpajåhkå. Here we probably followed a deer track. This one was the most visible one. Moments later we have to cross the river again. Luckily this was possible without wading shoes. From here on we follow a well-trodden path close to the river. When we pass a sandbank, we decide to cook our meal over here. After our dinner, we walk about 500 meters till the next camping spot. Just after we pitched down our tent, we see three reindeer. One of them is a little one. There a crossing the river and walking towards our tent. Just before they reach our tent, they notice us and run away into the bushes. After they are gone, we go to sleep. This part of the Rapadalen valley was a bit easier than the previous day.
[vimeo 115789485 w=750 h=422]
Day 11: Along the Ráhpajåhkå close to the mountain Ridok – on the top of the Nammásj
Walking hours: 1h45
Photo moments: 3h
Altitude: 300m ascent, 0m descent
Today it is a short hike. Because we want to camp on the top of the Nammásj. The weather is changing, the sun is gone. Maybe it’s going to rain today? We put our raincoat and rain pants on top of the backpack. First, we walk through a small forest, here we meet an old Swedish man. He is about 70 years old, his backpack weighs about 35 kg and he has a prosthetic knee. Respect! He walks with Finnish rubber boots. He doesn’t trust leather walking shoes, they are to quickly wet inside. He camped on the top of the Nammásj last night. He said that the climb to the top is hard! He did it yesterday in about 4 hours. But maybe that was because of the heavy backpack, our two backpacks together weigh less than his backpack. 🙂 We hope to do it in about one hour. We walk between some marshes and the river Ráhpajåhkå, once we have passed the dense bushes and marshes. We start to climb in the direction of the west flank of the Nammásj. The climb went very smoothly. After half an hour we are already on the top. Here we meet a German man. He was also camping on the Nammásj last night, but he tells us that he was alone on the top last night. Hmm, strange Swedish men! 🙂 Just when we’re ready with setting up our tent. It starts to rain, for the FIRST time during our whole trip. 😀 About a half hour later it’s stops raining. So finally I can make some pictures of the beautiful Rapadalen valley. The German man tells us that he saw some Northern lights last night. He shows us a picture, so beautiful. I decide to set my alarm tonight. And check the sky a few times during the night. When it’s getting dark, we make a hot chocolate and then we go to sleep.
Day 12: On the top of the Nammásj – close to the top of the Skierfe
Walking hours: 3h15
Photo moments: 3h
Altitude: 675m ascent, 400m descent
Tonight the weather conditions were not perfect for photographing the Northern lights. There were to much clouds and it was raining. I tried once, but only with my camera i could see a tiny green spot in the sky. It wasn’t visible with my naked eye. Maybe we have more luck in the following days. We start to pack our backpack, the big advantage of camping on the top is that our tent is dry because of the wind. Once our backpack is packed, we enjoy for the last time the view from the Nammásj. Later this day we have also a view on the Rapadalen valley but then from the top of the Skierfe. This will be a complete other scene, because then we got the Nammásj itself in sight. We follow the same way back to the foot of the Nammásj and then leave the Rapadalen valley towards the Tjasskávárásj plateau. But first we need to cross the small river Nammásjjåhkå, we don’t need wading shoes. We try to walk in the direction of the nameless river that is coming from the Tjasskávárásj plateau. At some moment that’s pretty hard because of the dense vegetation. It’s also difficult to walk here, for me it was quite feasible. For smaller persons like Charlotte it ‘s more challenging. But for her it’s easier to walk under the small birches. About one and a half hour later, we’ve done the hardest part. We are now above the tree line. From here on the terrain is a lot easier to walk. Once we reach the Tjasskávárásj plateau, we search for a place to cook our meal. We find a place close to a river. Here we find a spot out of the strong and cold wind. Once we’re done, we walk further to the mountaintop Skierfe. There are more then 200 reindeer on this plateau. Most of them are grazing, a few run away from us. 🙂 A while later when we reach the mountain Skierfe, we search for a place to set up our tent. We find a place about 800 meters from the top. It’s just big enough for our tent, and it’s almost out of the wind. Later today around one hour before sunset we walk towards the top of the Skierfe, it’s about 15 minutes walk to the top. The view from here is also superb. But if you’re afraid of heights, it could be a difficult place to enjoy the view. 🙂 The western wall are almost vertical and goes down to Rapaätno and the Laitaure delta. Unfortunately there are to much clouds to enjoy a beautiful sunset. The view on the Nammásj is also spectacular from here. Once the sun is almost down, we walk back to the tent and go to sleep.
Day 13: Close to the top of the Skierfe – SE of the mountain Tjahkelij
Walking hours: 3h
Photo moments: 2h30
Altitude: 100m ascent, 650m descent
There were too many clouds tonight so didn’t come out of the tent to check the sky for Northern lights. Today we hike to the hut of Aktse, here we take the motorboat to the other side of the lake. It’s also possible to do it with a rowing boat, there are three of them. If you are lucky you find two rowing boats on your side, then you have to cross the lake only once. There shall be always at least one boat on each side of the lake, so if you are unlucky you have to row three times! First, we follow a well-trodden path in the direction of the Kungsleden trail. For the last time, we got the Rapadalen valley in sight. The mountain Nammásj in the middle of the valley and the Skierfe with the almost vertical walls. When we are at crossing with the Kungsleden, we walk towards the hut Aktse. Now there follows a long descent through the forest. We find the Kungsleden path harder than the last twelve days in Sarek. There are many loose rocks on the path, what makes it tricky to walk over. We are delighted when we reach the hut Aktste. The hut keeper tells us that the first boat leaves around 5pm. So we have to wait for about 6 hours but we can use the kitchen to cook our meal. And there is a toilet, the first one after twelve days. We meet a lot of people most of them are from Sweden or the United Kingdom. But we also meet a Belgian. First, he thought we were from the French part of Belgium, but once he knows we are from the Flemish part, he joins us at the table. He is a journalist for the national TV. And he is hiking a part of the Kungsleden Trail. His journey will also end in Kvikkjokk. The times flies, and before we realize it, it’s already 5am. We take the boat together with a Swedish women. She wanted to row to the other side. But a German couple lost one of the rowing boats. So she had no other option than take the motorboat. About 15 minutes later we are already at the other side of the lake. We decide to walk till we find a nice camping spot. Maybe we’ve some luck to see some Northern lights tonight. There are clouds but not too much. 🙂 We find a nice spot with sight on the mountain Tjahkelij. We go sleep early today because I want to get up a few times to check the sky for Northern lights.
Day 14: SE of the the mountain Tjahkelij – close to the river Jåkkejågåsj
Walking hours: 2h45
Photo moments: 1h
Altitude: 450m ascent, 100m descent
Today we get up quite late. Maybe because we spend a few hours last night to enjoy the starry sky and the Northern lights . We have plenty of time to take it easy the next days. Around 9:30am we start our hike. After a while we meet a few hikers, they took the boat this morning. We take a small coffee break at the river Subbatjåkkå. Here we meet the Belgian hiker again.We present him a coffee and he gives us a snack. After our break we walk together in the direction of the hut Pårte. In the beginning the terrain is quite flat but after a while there follows a steep climb of 300 meters. Halfway the climb we see some Sami people, their dogs drive the reindeer together. Perhaps because the winter is coming. When we are uphill, we take a short break at the hut Rittak. After the break we walk one more hour. We need to cross the river Jåkkejågåsj, there are two bridges. But one is collapsed, it seems to be newer then the bridge that we are using now to cross the river. We decide to camp over here. We don’t want to camp in the forest. And over here there is plenty of space to camp. Just when we are ready with the tent, it starts to rain. The chance that we will see northern lights tonight is very small. When it stops raining we get outside to enjoy the view and cook our meal. When the sun is down we go to sleep. I set my alarm for tonight, maybe the rain clouds are gone. Around 00:30am i get up to check the sky. I see some bright spots in the sky but it’s not strong enough to make a photo. I hope i have more luck next night.
Day 15: Close to the river Jåkkejågåsj – Lake Stuor Dáhtá
Walking hours: 3h30
Photo moments: 3h
Altitude: 100m ascent, 500m descent
Today we get up around 9am about one hour later we are ready to start our hike towards the lake Stuor Dáhtá. We start with a long descent of almost 400 meters towards lake Sjabttjakjávrre. When we are almost down we cross the river Gállakjåkjåhka. It’s beautiful river with some small waterfalls. The forest itself is also lovely with its autumn colors. Just before we arrive at lake Sjabttjakjávrre, we have to cross the river Sjabjakjåkåtj. And indeed when we are finally at the lake, we see that the hut Pårte is quite small. We are a little disappointed that the trail goes through the forest and not along the lake. It’s seems to be a beautiful lake but now we don’t see anything because we are walking in the forest. But luckily the forest is also wonderful, there are a lot of mushrooms. After about two kilometers we reach the river Tjoaltajåhkå. Once we have crossed it, we need to follow the winter track till we are at lake Stuor Dáhtá. This part of the track is quite boring. Two kilometers later, we are at the lake. It’s a gorgeous place to camp, but it’s not so easy to find a place. After about half an hour we find a place. It’s just big enough for our tent and about 2 meters from the lake. When we are ready with our tent, we cook our meal. After dinner I install my tripod already along the shore. When we are lucky and there is Northern lights this night.I just need to grab my camera and place it on the tripod. When we are ready we go to sleep. Around 23:30pm when we get up, we both check the sky from each side of the tent. At Charlotte her side there a way to much clouds. But when i look at the sky i see a bright green vertical line. Quickly we go outside the tent and i place my camera on the tripod. We are just on time. We can see it very clearly dancing in the sky. It’s so fascinating, we always wanted to see the Northern lights with our own eyes. And not only on pictures. 🙂 An half hour later it’s already gone. But we are so happy, we saw it very clearly and the photos that i made are splendid. 🙂 Now we are gonna sleep very well! 😀
Day 16: Lake Stuor Dáhtá – a large camping place close to the bridge over the Ubmasjkjåhkå river
Walking hours: 1h15
Photo moments: 1h30
Altitude: 100m ascent, 100m descent
Today we get up around 10am quite late. 🙂 But we have plenty of time. And the weather is just perfect to relax at the lake. The sun is shining, there is almost no wind. This gives us a nice reflection in the water. So I take the time to make some panoramic shots. Around half past twelve, we eat our dinner and we decide what we will do. Stay an extra day at the lake or walk further towards Kvikkjokk. We decide to walk further mostly because the water of the lake is quite dirty. So we pack our backpack and start our hike towards Kvikkjokk. Pretty soon we leave the lake and we walk into the forest. We pass some ferns. We think that it is fern? But we are not sure? The colours of this ferns are so beautiful on a photo. When I’m ready, we walk for about an hour. Then we find a large camping place along the river Ubmasjkjåhkå, there is space for more than 20 tents. We check our food supply, so that we know how much we have left for each day. And we see that there is not much left anymore. But we have enough food to survive for two more days. 😀 After a while we get neighbors, they are from the Netherlands. They didn’t expect to meet some dutch speaking people over here. We join them at the camp fire. They presents us some salami and whiskey. After two weeks eating dried freeze meals, “real” meat tastes good! We tell them that we had some beautiful Northern lights last night. They hope to see it also this night but there are more clouds then yesterday and it is a full moon. So not the perfect conditions to see the Northern lights. We were lucky that the moon was covered by clouds last night. 🙂 The Dutch men are a little bit disappointed but maybe they get some more luck in the following days. Around midnight we go to sleep.
Day 17: A large camping place close to the bridge over the Ubmasjkjåhkå river
Today we stay at the same place. We have breakfast together with the Dutch men and when they are gone we wash our clothes. And we build a campfire to let our clothes dry faster. For the rest of the day, we take it easy and relax at the campfire.
Day 18: A large camping place close to the bridge over the Ubmasjkjåhkå river – Kvikkjokk
Walking hours: 2h
Photo moments: 1h
Altitude: 25m ascent, 225m descent
Today we get up around 8am and about one and a half hour later we start our hike towards Kvikkjokk. We want to stay in the STF fjallstation tonight. Because otherwise, we need to get up to early. The bus is leaving in Kvikkjokk at 05:30am so it’s quite early! In the beginning, the terrain is quite flat but after 3.5 kilometer we start with the descent to Kvikkjokk. But even here it’s so simple to walk. Around 11:45am we arrive at the fjallstation, but there is no staff. We wait for a while and then we find a note that we have to wait till 4pm to check in. We don’t want that so we walk to the bus stop of Kvikkjokk. Here we find a note, that there are cabins available at the Kvikkjokk tourist service about 300 meter from the bus stop. Now we have a private cabin and it is cheaper then the STF fjallstation. We pay 180sek each, that’s about 19 euro per person. We had paid more then twice for a twin-bedded room in the fjallstation. And now we have four beds. And the cabin is clean, large, there is an electric stove with pots and accessories. And there is heating in the cabins so it is perfect! We recommend them highly. 🙂 The only problem there is no shop in Kvikkjokk. So we need to walk back to the fjallstation to buy some food. We buy a large pack of pasta and pasta sauce. Mmm, that will taste good! After our dinner, we walk back to the fjallstation to drink a coffee. And maybe we meet some cool people in the bar. There is a Belgian couple in the bar, they are about the same age as us. We chat for a while and then we walk back to the cabin. We have about four hours left to sleep when we are back.
Day 19: Kvikkjokk – Jokkmokk
We get up around 5am, our backpack is already packed so we walk to the bus. There are a lot of hikers so early in the morning. But there is only one bus in this period. In the summer season, there are more buses. We take the bus to Jokkmokk. We stay one night in Jokkmokk on a camping about 3 kilometres from the centre. We take a 1+1 cabin, they are clean. And there is a sauna on the camping. There are two large supermarkets and a museum in Jokkmokk.
Day 20: Jokkmokk – Älvsbyn – Stockholm C
Today we take the bus from Jokkmokk to Älvsbyn. And from there we take the sleeper train to Stockholm. This time, we have a directly train connection to Stockholm. 🙂
Day 21: Jokkmokk – Älvsbyn – Stockholm C
Our train arrives around 06:30am in Stockholm central station. From here we take the bus the XXL megastore, here we buy us some extra Real Turmat meals. And then we take the plane back to Belgium. 🙂 It was a wonderful trip 🙂 but we are happy to see our lovely cat back.