September 11, 2019
At 5:09 am and from the warmth of my quilt, I gazed out from my Tarptent Notch across the lake to the east (image 1). There was no wind, no bugs and no rain. I was hoping to catch a nice sunrise when the sun came up but I nodded off to sleep again. I wasn’t planing on walking far today as I thought that I would camp somewhere around the next mountain hut at Abiskojaure so I just took it easy.
Yesterday the wind blew from the south and so I pitched the Notch accordingly with the narrow end pointing into the wind. Before I went to bed I placed some rocks on the stakes just in case. You can see this at the end of the previous YouTube video “Part 4”. This worked great through the night and the Nordic winds came and went. I slept like a baby.
I was awoken at 8:07 am; the wind had shifted direction coming now from the east and blew with such force that the zippered door cord loosened and the fly door blew into me like a sail full with wind. It was no big deal as nothing happened and I could just fasten it again while lying in bed. To be fair the wind had changed direction, the Notch had been pitched since 16:30 pm the day before and it had survived a decent beating through the night. The Tarptent Notch didn’t let me down. It’s a great shelter and I liked the comfort that the partial solid inner tent gave me.
My route for the day
Course over ground for the day
After leaving the lake shore, where I was camped, I passed the reindeer fence, where there were plenty of opportunities to glimpse herds of them in the grazing grounds (image 5).
At Rengärde before Gárddenvárri the trail meets a junction (image 6 + image 6a). It is here where I had planned to join up to the Kungsleden trail if I had stuck to my original route walking on the trail from the direction of Mårma on day 6 (image 6a). I really want to explore this area but it’ll have to wait until the next time when I travel up this way again.
I passed some nice young German hikers heading south on the next rise. They were very excited because they had seen some reindeer far away on the other side of the valley. I said to them that they will soon see some more but up close. This piece of information pleased them immensely.
Looking south from where I came from with the high, striking peaks of the Kåtotjåkka massif (image 7). In the opposite direction I followed Kungsleden north through Gárddenvággi with Gárddenvárri on the left and Giron straight ahead.
Gazing down over Abiskojaure from Gárddenvággi Meditaions Place 2 on the Dag Hammarskjöld Way (image 8).
I couldn’t believe my eyes when this “elderly couple” passed me (image 9). They were heading in the opposite direction climbing the nearly one km hike up Gárddenvággi. She had a puffy jacket on and the aged partner had a huge backpack nearly three times larger than what I was carrying. I was coming down with about 9.5 kg on my back at this stage with arm sleeves and trouser legs rolled up. A couple of hours later I checked the temperature and it read 20℃ (image 16).
The guy behind me also had a chuckle and shook his head; you can see him below heading downhill in the background. He was carrying about the same weight that I was. He told me later that he saw my camp the day before and that he was most envious wishing that he had scored my pitch. I believe that he pitched up near where the jetty is located where one can take a boat down to the Alesjaure huts during the high season in July and August; apparently, there are usually four boats every day.
Just before Abiskojaure and after crossing the suspension bridge (image 10) over Siellajohka there is a perfect location to rest and fill your water bottle. I chatted with the other hiker there for a while. He asked me about my Tarptent Notch and some other lightweight gear.
There are some toilets just up the rise on the other side, although they were quite disgusting. There was a sign asking people to take their garbage with them but they just piled it up on the inside of the toilet. I just don’t understand these folk that don’t pack their own garbage out.
Heading downhill to the entrance of Abisko National Park I was passed by a couple and their dog. We said hi to each other and then we all recognised one another. They were the nice people that helped me in the sauna at Vistas (the Polish lady and the American man). What a small world. They needed to reach Abisko today and had actually walked the whole 440 kilometres (270 mi) of Kungsleden, starting at Hemavan in the south. They had their car parked at Hemavan and needed to take the train back to their car. They would then drive home to Poland. They said that is was easier travelling with the dog in the car than with any other form for transport. I passed them again later while they were taking a lunch break. We got talking again and I showed them the SJ train app on my mobile device and advised them to purchase a ticket before getting on the train as you can’t buy them once you get on. I noticed that their little dog looked so happy to be tagging along.
About 2 km after crossing the suspension bridge over Siellajohka I entered Abisko National Park. I noted that the last “legal” place to camp before Abisko was Nissonjokk approximately 4.7 km south of Abisko (image 3 & 11). This was great news as it was still early in the day and I didn’t feel like camping close to Abiskojaure mountain hut. The location did not impress me last year when I came over from Kårsavagge.
I was going to stop for some lunch at the Abiskojaure huts and dump some garbage but I didn’t feel like I needed to rest. I looked back and glimpsed the suspension bridge (image 12) over Kamajåkka which takes you to the Abiskojaure huts. I walked over this bridge last year when I hiked from Kårsavagge to Abiskojaure on day two. I then continued to walk north on Kungsleden.
I noticed a couple sitting by the way. They had just begun their Kungsleden hike today starting from Abisko. They were from the UK. They had stopped for a lunch break whilst admiring the amazing scenery. I asked them to take my photo below (image 13). They were happy to oblige.
You can clearly see my inflamed right leg shin splint below in image 14.
The trail runs parallel to the river Abiskojåkka which I followed all afternoon and the following day into Abisko (image 15).
20℃ Swedish Lapland September 11, 2019 (image 16).
Camp at Nissonjokk alongside river Abiskojåkka (image 17). It was a nice location with toilets, although quite disgusting, and a little lean-to shelter for a kitchen area containing a little fire stove. There was also a firewood storage shed although it was almost empty. There were several garbage bins which had recently been emptied which was nice. I read on a sign, that was posted on the toilet wall, that they will be renovating the toilets in the winter between 2019-2020.
Nissonjokk is the last “legal” camp site before Abisko.
When I arrived at the site I noticed another hiker walking around. We chatted for a while. Her name was Esse and she was from Holland. She had been hiking around the area, including Norway, for the last couple of weeks. She still had a couple of days to kill so the next day she would hike over to Kårsavagge and then to Abisko again, which is where she had come from today and where I would finish up in the morning.
I collected some water from the river and washed myself while I was there (image 19).
Esse and I sat in the kitchen lean-to (image 20) chatting and making dinner. Soon there were mores hikers and a nice German chap called Tom joined us. I learnt later that he had worked and lived in Australia as a young man. He was a carpenter.
Tom managed to get the fire going with the almost non-existent wood supply from the shed. We had a lovely evening chatting and learning about each others travels. Tom was just starting out today and would be hiking the Kungsleden down to Nikkaluokta. Around 8 pm I wished them both good night and I headed off to find my Tarptent Notch.
End of day six … to be continued