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Northern Sweden

Padjelanta Tour 2006: Tarraluoppal

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twinflower
Twinflower

Another flower that seems to enjoy the live in this part of the world is the twinflower, named so after the two delicate twin like flowers. I really like this little flower, which is so easily overlooked. The plant is small and delicate, but so elegant at the same time. The leafs are low to the ground, oval in shape and the two little flowers are in a pale pink colour, dangling down from the top of a slender stem.

The scientific name of the flower is maybe even more special as this flower is called the "Linnaea borealis", and maybe that might ring a bell to some of you. The flower is one of the few species named after the famous Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, also known (after his ennoblement) as Carl von Linné. Carl von Linné is often called the "Father of Taxonomy". His system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms is still in wide use today.

Passing numerous creeks

Stream
Passing numerous creeks
Creek  Creek

This part of the hike is probably the most challenging of the entire Padjelantaleden, as we now start to cross numerous creeks and little rivers. With every creek we pass the crossing seems to get a bit more challenging. There are no bridges here, so alternative routes are the way to go! Our eyes search over the river for the best place to cross. Sometimes the route is easy as pieces of wood are in place, and with a bit of a balancing act, we are able to cross the creek while keeping our feet dry. Others are more challenging, and we try to find the most logical and easy way to jump from one boulder to another. And yes, another successful crossing is made! Depending on the time of year, and thus the amount of melting water and/or rain, these rivers and creeks can get easier or far more difficult to cross. But luck is on our side, and we crossed them all without any major problems.

By now we are making some real progress in the hike and the trees have almost disappeared and are replaced by a dense growth of shrubs. Soon we will be 'out of the woods' and be able to see the beautiful open mountain landscape again. In total the hike from Såmmarlappa towards the end of the wooded area is about 9 or 10 kilometres. In the last kilometre we see a lot of open spots in between the shrubs, which look like suitable places to put up a tent. But don't! Although the fresh water provided by the rivers is tempting, and the protection from the wind because of the shrubs looks appealing as well, there is a far better spot, only a tiny bit further on on the trail, away from the mosquitoes and with a view to die for.....

Relaxing at the river

Relaxing at the river
Relaxing at the river

This might sound like a nightmare to some, but it is a dream to me. It was so perfect sitting lazy on this big slab of rock in the middle of the river, no one around for miles and miles, no sounds to be heard, except the one of the birds singing in the distance and the sound of rushing water at my feet. The sun is shining happily on my face, and I have this pink-red feeling on the cheeks because of cool breeze of mountain air. Yes, it isn't warm, so dressing in several layers is a must. But with the right clothing the weather isn't a problem at all.

Hahaha, which reminds me of a saying that the Sweden live by and truly believe in:

"There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing"

Well, I don't agree with "them" a 100% of the time, because there IS bad weather. But weather like this could hardly be called bad. I could have sat here for hours and hours with my hot cup of fresh tea in my hand. But of course I didn't.... it's time to look around the area a bit before the evening falls....

A fantastic place to put up our tent

tent
Camping at the waterfall

About one kilometre, or maybe even less, we arrive at another river a bit wider this one, but at a beautiful location. We are tired, in the body and the mind, but so happy in the soul. Despite the demanding hike, we feel so good. The sun is showing its face and the landscape is stunning. It doesn't take us long to decide, this is 'the place'!!!

We drop off our backpacks and start exploring the area for a good spot to put up the tent. Too close to the river the soil is too wet... not good. The terrain is slightly hilly, or at least not level.... not good either. But then, we see it. A nice level spot, hidden behind a little bump in the landscape, giving some protection from the wind, and close to the river, which is our supply for fresh water.... yes, this is good!! Like little children we run back to the trail where we dumped our backpacks and start dragging them down into the valley below. Within minutes the tent is up and it looks perfect. Yes, this is 'the place'! A dream spot to camp, beside this little river without a name.

In the first photo you can see our tent, a little dot in an endless landscape. Far below is the big river Taraätno, not visible from here, which named this valley called the Tarradalen. The other photos are some evening shots taken of the surroundings.

Evening views
Evening views from our camping spot
Evening views

Walk into the valley below

Waterfall

So what do you do after a long day of hiking to relax when you are camping in the middle of nowhere far far away from the civilized world??? Well, walk a little bit more of course! ;-)

No seriously, it really is great to stretch the legs a bit after dinner and explore the surroundings. As you won't have any backpack to carry with you, this will feel like a lovely leisurely walk. And when you stay at this particular spot, you really have to walk a tiny bit into the valley below. The river cascades slowly down the slopes into the valley below, displaying some wonderful cascades/ mini-waterfalls. We didn't have the energy to walk all the way down into the valley, as this would mean climbing up the same way as well. Hahaha, and that was a bit too much to ask! But we did go long enough to take in some of the wonderful views.

Even if you are not staying for the night at this particular spot, it might be a nice suggestion to make this little detour during your hike. You can leave your backpacks at the top of the hill and walk down into the valley. It isn't too far and it would make a lovely spot to take a break during your hike, for a quick lunch or coffee break. Don't forget to bring your camera though!

Waterfall

Waterfall

Camping at the river with no name

Camping at the river with no name
Camping at the river with no name

The best place to camp when hiking from Såmmarlappa towards Tarraluoppalstugorna was for me here, in the middle of nowhere. Here at this little stream you'll have it all! A nice protected spot for your tent, with a nice level underground. Fresh delicious water at hand (and the water in the Fjällen is the best!) and views to die for!

The location is at the river that has no name (at least no name on the map), which is about 2 kilometres hiking from Tarraluoppalstugorna and about 1 kilometre after getting out of the woods, when walking from the direction of Såmmarlappa. The spot where we put up our tent is on the left side of the river, a little bit down the slope, a couple of metres removed from the river. It is far enough from the hiking trail not to be disturbed by any hikers passing by on the trail above. Although I have to say that we didn't see anyone passing by until later the next morning.

This camping spot is a perfect example how you can use, enjoy and respect the unique right we have in Sweden called "the right of public access" or "allemansrätten" (Swedish).

The rules for camping in the wild are simple: It is allowed to camp in the countryside for one or two nights in the same place. But there are some restrictions. It is only allowed if you are not disturbing the landowner, or the local people. You are not allowed to put up your tent near homes, farm building, a Sami village, or on farmland.

The main rule for the 'right of public access' in general is that you don't damage the landscape or animal life, and you must show consideration for both landowners and for everyone else that is out and about in the countryside. In short: Do not disturb, do not destroy. This is a privilege we have, don't destroy it, don't abuse it. Respect nature; "take only pictures, leave only footprints"

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