DAY 4 – Thursday Sep 17, 2020 (38.6 km)
When I woke up Thursday morning the strong wind gusts were forever persisting just as they had done so all through the entire night. The Notch was still in one piece luckily. Both the tent and myself hadn’t been blown away down the cliff face and cast into the Baltic Sea through the night 🤣. The sunrise was gorgeous.
I packed camp down and then carried all my gear up to the outdoors amenities building that was on the other side of the park. The covered area had some tables and chairs that I could hang out in for a while. There was protection from the wind here as it was sort of built somewhat into the side of the cliff. I made some coffee and ate breakfast. After I had cleaned my teeth I dropped off my key card at the office and thanked the owner for everything. I was on my way at 8:00 am; a little later than I wanted to depart but it was what it was.
It was a chilly morning not helped by the strong wind gusts. I wore a Montbell Chameece neck gaiter which weighs only 31 grams and my Cumulus Windy-Wendy Pertex Quantum GL wind jacket at 60 grams. The neck gaiter was a new piece of gear and I was most impressed with it. I think that this gaiter will replace my wool buff from now on all my future hikes. I wore both pieces of garment well into the late morning.
Straight away the views were amazing. The morning sun bounced off the cliff face.
When I arrived at the Salene campsite some 3 kilometers out of Gudhjem I regretted straight away that I had not continued on the day before. But what is done is done they say. Remember to pack your trowel to use to dig a cat hole if you wild camp at Salene and need to do number 2’s 👍. Leave no trace for the next person.
A little further north from Salene there is another private but “open to the public” shelter site consisting of two shelters. You are not allowed to pitch a tent there but I noticed a garbage bin at the site so you could empty your trash at that location.
On my way up to Helligdomsklipperne the coastline became increasingly impressive.
Helligdomsklipperne consist of rugged rock formations, some as high as 22 meters. Since the holy spring Rø Kjijla, which people made pilgrimages to, flowed out at the foot of the cliff named Helligdomsklippen, the site was frequented during medieval times and especially on Midsummer Eve.
After Helligdomsklipperne the trail continues north passing Døndalen, Bådsted, Tejn and Sandkås. Døndalen is a valley located next to the road from Gudhjem to Tejn, it is known for its waterfall, which is Denmark’s longest. I did not visit Døndalen on this hike.
At Allinge I stopped for lunch just after 12:15 pm. I knew the harbour village well because I had stayed here at a hotel in 2019. I purchased a Ceasar salad and a Pepsi Max from the large Netto shop down near the parking area at the harbour. The salad had over 530 calories so that would give me enough energy to get through the afternoon I thought. Then I took a half hour break eating lunch and gazing at the goings on in the harbour. It was still chilly so I put on my wind jacket while I sat and ate lunch.
After lunch I began walking north again towards the top of Bornholm (Hammeren). At Sandvig I admired the huge houses and summer residences.
This was certainly a different area altogether when you compare it to the rest of Bornholm that I had travelled through the last three days. The concrete pathing was well built and maintained as well as the public toilets and the children’s play areas just to name a few of things that stuck out to me.
When I arrived at the Hammeren area (the northern tip of Bornholm) there were so many tourists and school children & teachers as well. The walking was easy going but some of the spots were so congested with walkers that there were “traffic jams”. Once I got past the lighthouse (from 1895 standing 82 m above the Baltic Sea), Sæne Bugt and Hammershus I was able to come clear of the masses because they were all going up to Hammershus.
Before Sæne Bugt and Hammerhavn the views were magnificent. It was such a gorgeous day. I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at that point in time. Once I was located on this side of the island the wind was no longer an issue and it soon became very warm again just like the previous days.
When I arrived at Hammerhavn harbour I used the bathrooms there. The amenities were tip top; there were two public toilets and and the others were equipped with showers that had to be paid for to the harbour master. This was a busy harbour in a perfect location. On the other side of the amenities building there was a restaurant. Customers sat outside in the sun at tables and chairs which sure looked inviting, but I managed to convince myself not to stop. Outside the toilets there was a tap and sink arrangement; perfect for topping up my water bottle.
Hammershus is Scandinavia’s largest medieval fortification, situated 74 metres above sea level on Hammeren, the northern tip of Bornholm. Erected in the 13th century, it was long believed that the castle was built as a private residence for the archbishop of Lund.
After Hammershus there is a long section through some hilly, forested terrain with fantastic coastal views most of the way. There are sheep loose grazing in the fenced off area so be sure to close all the gates.
I have to tell you that I had to stop and catch my breath a few times through here. This is a beautiful section of the trail but it will test your fitness. Sometimes a few of the sheep were lazing right on the path and I had to go around them when I couldn’t convince them to move over.
There were now only a handful of other hikers plus the sheep on the trail here and the people that I met were all German tourists. At Vang I filled up on water supplies at the harbour. I had been here once before too in 2019.
From Vang the trail climbs first past the old Vang water mill. Bornholm is also called the “mill island”. About 125 windmills and 120 water mills existed on Bornholm since the beginning of the 17th century. The best preserved is the Vang water mill, which dates from 1811 and was used until 1905.
When I passed a German couple and their good looking daughter I tried to start a conversation with them. They were not really willing to chat in the start but we managed to exchange some words and I found out that they had parked their car a couple of villages away. I told them that was really impressed with their walking pace even though I was passing them.
After Vang water mill, Vang Pier, Vang Quarry and Jons Kapel I descended to the coastline again where the trail levels out and the rest of the day is easy going. The views were fantastic all afternoon with the sun dropping in the west over the ocean.
After descending from the overview above Jons Kapel there is a long narrow car park just before Teglkås harbour. Here there is a picnic table where I decided to take a 10 minute break. While I paused my German friends came by and this time they passed me of course. We said farewell to each other and I wished them a pleasant afternoon.
While I paused there were also quite a few people arriving in cars with their pet dogs. They would walk their dogs down to the start of the incline that I had walked down from Jons Kapel and then they would walk back again to their cars, not before their dogs urinated on the corner fence post first. I guess it was to give their dogs and themselves some exercise. It was certainly a nice spot for it.
There was only one more stop at Helligpeder Odde where I also collected water from the toilet. Next stop was Hasle. It was getting late, I guess it was around 6 pm when I arrived at the roundabout on my way into town. I wanted to find somewhere to camp real soon. Noticing that there should be a campsite roughly 1½ km south of here on my map, I headed in that direction. I worked my way south through Hasle, past Hasle Camping and finally arriving at Hasle Lystskov Shelters where there are two shelters, a firepit and a toilet.
There was so much room here under the trees. I found a perfect location to pitch the Notch and then I set up camp. While I was setting up a young couple accompanied by their dog, came walking to the site.
Having packed some food; they were going to start a fire and cook dinner over it. They asked me if it was okay that their dog ran around loose. That was no problem for me and the dog didn’t come over and bother me once. They asked me if I wanted to join them later for dinner as they had plenty of food. After I had settled in and ate my own food I posted some social media photos and then went over to the fireplace to join my new friends. They still had a whole piece of fish in white sauce combined with some vegetables left over and it all had my name on it. I had walked nearly 40 km today so the fish dinner was second course for me 😋. It tasted fantastic. I chatted with them for a while, they shared some luxury chocolate with me as well. For complete strangers they were the nicest people that I have met in a long time. Great Bornholm hospitality! Thanks guys.
There were also two people that had arrived on foot and they had decided to occupy one of the shelters. I started getting tired and decided to hit the sack. I bid my new friends good night and thanked them for the terrific food and great company.
Today’s hike covered 38.6 km with 782 m ascent and 791 m descent
… to be continued on the next & final post: Bornholm Coastal Trail – Day 5
The Trail (120 km)
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of the rest of Denmark, south of Sweden, northeast of Germany and north of the westernmost part of Poland occupying an area of 588.36 square kilometres (227.17 sq mi). The Bornholm Coast Path (Kyststien) is a 4-5 day hike (120 km) around the square sized 1.7 billion year old granite rock island.
All my photos can be viewed here.