We had planned to use the sauna at the cabin as a guest cabin, but unfortunately it has become unusable.
The brick chimney stack inside the sauna is built on the ground, and the base of the chimney has been moving down the slope towards the lake, causing the whole sauna to tip.
Last weekend (with a lot of help from Teres’ father) I removed the brick chimney stack.
Here is where the chimney stack used to be inside the sauna.
This should prevent any further movement of the sauna during the winter, and then next year we will lift up the sauna to make it level again. Then when we have money, we will convert the sauna into a guest cabin with beds, a small stove, kitchen area and toilet.
Hundreds of mosquito’s came into the laavu during the night. I was fortunate enough to have a piece of insect netting material to put over me, but the others were not.
We awoke at 7am, made fire and cooked breakfast
After breakfast we were soon packed and on the trail again. Very soon we located an old camp with an old fire site from in a kåta, defined by a ring of stones
The camp site was located in an area surrounded by rock on all sides and so sheltered from the worst of the weather
We also found an old turf kåta and discussed the idea to repair it as shelter for people walking the trail, where they can either sleep or just make fire and cook coffee.
Late morning we encountered a heavy thunderstorm and heavy rain. The rain continued when we stopped for lunch and so it was challenging conditions to make fire.
Per-Erik demonstrated that a piece of Juniper stem split into quarters and the centre which has a high turpentine content removed
can be ignited very easily, even in the wet. And it was not long before we had a small fire going
We arrived back in Ritsem at 7pm and for me it was a great relief as I had been suffering with pain in my hip and back. I am now seeing a chiropractor who found that my pelvis was twisted and had to be re-aligned with my back. This may unfortunately mean I cannot attend the second week of the course from Norway back to Ritsem…..we shall see.
The soul of my boot also split along the route and so I had to buy new boots when I arrived home. Per-Erik has used many different makes of boots and his recommendation was a pair of Viking Hunters
At least when I arrived home Teres had some good news for me……..I’m going to be a dad/pappa!!!!!….:>)
We walked up a rocky slope, through Mountain Birch forest to join the trail
We walked for about 1km and then took a short break to talk about this new section of Rådjebalges/Gränsleden
In the middle of the afternoon we stopped to make coffee and eat some food.
Per-Erik explained that Sami people remove their boots whenever they stop to allow both the feet and boots to breath and dry, reducing the risk of blisters.
We located two old burial sites but I decided not to photograph them. We also found sites where would have been staying and milking the Reindeer. Here is one
The pale area of ground on the left of the picture is where the kåta would have been situated and on a flat area of lush green grass in the top right corner of the picture they would have milked the Reindeer. It was over looking this area that we decided to set up the laavu and make camp
The laavu was soon up and water gathered from a nearby spring
Within a hearth made of stones a fire was made and we made coffee and cooked food
and here is the view from the laavu as I prepared to sleep
My cabin was next to the shore of the lake that provides water for the hydro-electric dam
and opposite to a glacier on Ahkka
Day three of our course covered the geology and natural history of the area and our tutor was Thomas Öberg.
Here Thomas was explaining to us how the fjälls were once part of the Appalachian mountain range prior to platonic shift. His slide shows how North America and Europe were joined together at that time.
Sausage or korv in Swedish is so important within Swedish culture that they even name features after them, in this case a lake
After the classroom session we moved outside and walked around in the local area looking at the natural features and wildlife. Here Thomas is talking about a post glacial feature called a pulsa
This piece of ground in the centre is a typical feature and below it is perma-frost as he is demonstrating
This plant with a star shaped rosette of leaves is called Common Butterwort or tätört in Swedish and both here and in the UK the leaves have been used to thicken or clot milk in the butter making process.
This plant is called Alpine Bistort or in Swedish Ormrot (snake root) and it was a staple food for the Sami people and was used like a potato and it is also rich in starch. They can be eaten raw or cooked and tasted very good.
and this is a type of orchid that we were unable to identify
During the 30 – 40 years that the cabin has been built, there has been some ground movement resulting in the cabin no longer being level. One of the main problems is a pillar on which both the cabin and veranda sit, which is no longer upright
This is particularly affecting the veranda, as is a piece of brick which for some reason had been inserted on top of the front pillar, causing the veranda to be twisted and not level.
So the first task was to remove this
I found an old hoe buried under some soil which proved to be the idea tool for getting under the cabin to excavate soil from around the second pillar
After we jacked up the veranda we were ready to level the pillar and Teres was convinced she could do this
but that was not possible so we used the jack against another pillar to level it
Once the pillar was upright, I mixed up concrete and put around the base of the pillar
We hope this will cure the problem. Our next task will be to raise the cabin itself.
I have always wanted to try cooking on a stone, but had never found a large, flat stone (that will not explode or shatter) until out walking last week. I carried it back to the cabin and set it on bricks and then made a fire underneath.
Once the stone was very hot, I could begin cooking. For my fist meal I made some dough a baked flat breads, with onions, mushrooms and meatballs
With a baking tray upside down on the top I was able to cook Pizza and I can set the coffee pot on the stone to cook coffee.
One of my trips out while staying at the cabin, was a fishing trip with my friend Tommy (we were using spinners)
We were trying to catch Sea Trout traveling up rive but it was just a little early in the season, but Tommy was determined that I would catch my first fish so we moved to a calmer area of water to try to catch Grayling (Thymallus thymallus). My luck is unchanged and as you might guess I caught nothing, but fortunately Tommy caught three nice Grayling
one of which he gave to me to take home.
I removed the head, tail and skinned it and then placed it on some Juniper (to give added flavor) on the hot stone
After fifteen minutes it was cooked perfectly and was really good to eat!
In several of my posts I have referred to and you will have seen two pieces of material that I carry with me. One piece is a 220 x 160cm sheet of Pertex and the other a piece of rip-stop nylon sewn into a tube which is open at both ends and 230cm long. They are both treated with Nikwax, pack down very small and only weigh 400 grams.
and together with a small bag of cord, meet many of my needs.
The tube I can use as a “mattress” for a pole bed, by sliding two long poles into it (I can stuff the tube with grass for insulation)
I can tie one end and fill it with leaves or grass as a mattress on the ground or put my equipment in it and tie it around me as a pack
I can attach cords at each end to make a simple hammock
or fold it, tie a knot each end and add long pieces of cord to tie to a tree branch and make a seat.
I can also get into it and pull it up to my shoulders for warmth and protection from the rain (I wrap the Pertex sheet around my head and shoulders for protection)
I used them both for this purpose on several occasions during my last Lapland trip.
The Pertex sheet I tend to use mainly as a tarp for shelter
I have no lashing points but instead use a stone or similar with a piece of cord
I place the stone under a corner of the material, wrap the material around it and then secure the cord around the stone
You can see how I use them here
If anyone knows where I can buy this type of material in larger sizes than 230 x 160cm please let me know.