dinsdag 23 augustus 2011


Just a quick post about a little trip that I did last weekend. It will be manly pictures. The next installment about Vålådalen will follow sometime soon. I promise.

Sometime ago I read in Op Pad Magazine an article about the Urwaldsteig in Germany. The magazine called it a Norwegian fjord just a couple hours away. Being a scandianiava freak I could not resist it. So last friday I took the afternoon off and went for it.

The Urwaldsteig is about 68 km long and runs around the artificial lake (the Edersee) . The article described it as a 6 day walk but I thought 2 and a bit must be possible if I go as light as possible and if I supercharged my days. I didn't make a gear list, maybe I will do that but when I put my bag on the scale it did weight about 5,1 kg's that included every thing.

So Friday afternoon I left work early and drove to Waldeck. There I parked the car met a friend and took some last liquid carbohydrates. After the beer disappeared, around seven we went out to find the track.

After walking fore two hours the sun set and we went looking for a place to spend the night, a place with a view.

The next day I woke up at sunrise made some breakfast and relaxed, we left at nineish. My friend went for the car the short way and I went for the car the long way.

The route take you along side the lake and sometimes there are some Norwegain features like cairns (steenmannetjes)

But it was mainly beech forests. I'm affaird the term like a Norwegian Fjord was a bit too much honour for the Urwaldsteig.

It was quite strange to hike alone; I never did that abroad and never really went solo for more than a daytrip.

During the day it didn't really matter, you must pay a little bit more attention on your navigation, I did make two mistakes and it costed me two hours. But when you are alone and illegal in the forest at night it is quite different. Your mind starts to play games with you. To be honest sometime I thought to see flashlights and heard strange noises. It was probably the moon and some animal sounds that I couldn't place but still it was quite nerve-racking and it is hard to keep cool. It is than quite hard to get a good night sleep. But after quite a good night sleep given the circumstances I got awaken by my alarm clock at 6.30. After walking half an hour I stopped any eat my breakfast.

I didn't pay enough attention on my water supply and as a result of that I only had one litre of water from Saturday four o clock until Sunday noon and went the day time temperatures are around 30 degrees Celsius it is fare from ideal. But by skipping dinner I managed it. But it is a thing I can’t recommend. There are streams but they are very small and I didn't trust them even I carried some purification tablets. Lesson learned for the next time, buy a better map one that shows springs and maybe carry some extra water. Another point was that the trail runs many through forests, so you can't refill your bottles in village or at people’s homes. The two cans of coke that I had in my car never tasted better!

Things that I learned:

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” FDR

Don't walk 68km in your new shoes, the first 50km are oke but the last 18km will be killing and the blisters aren't a nice souvenir.

Don't thrust magazines!

Take enough water!

And covering 68 KM on an the German Autobahn will take less than 25 minutes.

woensdag 17 augustus 2011

Back with a bang

Dear Reader/Dearest follower,

All seventeen of you. I'm so sorry. You must probably thought that I died during one of the treacherous descents of our beloved summits of the Dutch mountains. That wasn't the case, the case was that my new job takes a lot of travelling and I don't have so much free time any more. And the spare time that I have to go out I enjoy to the fullest and during the week I can't find the time or inspiration to write about it. I prefer to lie on the sofa reading, watching TV and drinking beer.

Time to leaf that bad behaviour behind and start writing again!

There is a wonderful time of the year, the working man calls it holiday. This year I really needed one badly. I didn't realy had time to plan and research it. So I did what every lazy b*stard would do and copied somebody else his trip. Not really the whole trip but parts of it. So how is better to steal ideas from then the guys from Nordiclightpacking The hiking kings of Scandinavia. So Vålådalen it would be.

Getting there easy, Ryanair, Dusseldorf (Weeze) to Smalland (Vaxjo)and than the night train to Undersaker. Easy. In Undersaker it gets harder. It's only 25 km to Vålådalen but the problem was that the buses go twice a day, one at 9.35 and the another at 17.40 and you need to call them in advance. The bus of 9.35 we missed because we didn't know you should call them. And waiting for 14 hours in a village where noting ever happens wasn't the best option. So we decide to hiked and hitched hiked to Vålådalen.

Observations made during hitchhiking, the bigger, the expensive the car the smaller the change they wil give you a ride. Old small cars will probably give you a ride. So be prepared fore long rides in a 3 doors Peugeot 106 with four adults and 2 big packs.

But finaly after all most 24 hours of travelling we arrived. So let the hiking begin.

We started off course at Vålådalen natures centre and from there headed for Lunndorrsstugorna. Because we had travelled for quite a while we decided to stop half way, near Gronvallen. We found a beautiful place near the river, we put the tent up, made small fire and went fore a swim. The benefit of swimming with your clothes on is that you will wash them at the same time. Down side of standing next to the river is that the Swedish air force is at full present there. Damm you mosquitoes!!

After the refreshing swim we made some dinner, Globetrotters Lamme Hoorn meal, pasta with lamb. It's was quite nice. After the dishes were done we called it a day and went to bed.

After quite a good night sleep we got up at 10 I believe, that was needed because the night before in the train we slept crap. Maybe the next time I will use the same tactics that i use in youth hostels, be the one to last in bed and make shore that you're piss drunk. That way you will get the most sleep.

The first part walking to Lunndorrsstugorna was quite hard in particular because it was warm and there wasn't any wind so short sleeves meant a all you can eat buffet fore the mosquitoes and long sleeves made you sweat like a pig. After a couple of hours walking we reached the three line and finally got some wind and to make it complete we had a great view and saw the Pyramidema.

That's it for now. Part two will follow shortly. It will certainly not takes months.