Sunday, September 7th
Easily the most enjoyable morning of the trip. I slept for a glorious 10 hours straight through the night and had an invite to eat my breakfast up with Bosse and Maggan, the hut hosts at Sulka. I ate breakfast and played with their dog and almost immediately afterwards ate fika with them.
Fika is the Swedish tea or ciesta. It involves coffee or tea and a small, sugary treat of some kind. Maggan made me an entire pot of tea for myself and laid out more cakes, cookies, and breads that you would eat for a full meal! We were soon joined by two Sammi farmers/hunters who were, as I later was informed, out to herd up the reindeer. I spent the entire time thinking that they were there to repair the sauna due to the thick Swedish accent Maggan put on the word Sammi, so I had a good laugh at myself over that one.
Before I realized it, it was 11am and I hadnt even taken my tent down! I was floored by how quickly the morning went. I couldnt leave without grabbing a quick picture with Maggan and Bosse. Then I was off for Singi hut!
The hike to Singi was very nice. The clouds had come back but with the wind at my back and no rain it was perfectly enjoyable. Reindeer were literally everywhere at this point. Signs of their domestication became more apparent, too. They simply weren’t afraid of me. They didn’t like me and usually moved as I came too close but several times I was taken aback by how close they let me get. At one point I passed a large group sitting right next to the path. When I approached all but one got up and walked away. Of course the one that didn’t was the largest male of the group. It was unnerving to the point I unbuckled my pack in case I had to run from the damn thing. Looking back I feel silly about it, but in the moment it seemed the best choice. See Mom, I am making active safety choices!!
I eventually caught up with Lennart and his father about halfway through the hike. I stuck with them the rest of the way, talking to Lennart and joking around with his dad. After awhile we came across the packs of the Swedish class that Folke was guiding lying on the side of the path. We looked around and eventually found Folke waving his arms on the other side of this massive suspension bridge that I hadn’t even noticed until then.
We went and met up with him and the students at this incredible waterfall/rapids cutting through the cliffside. The suspension bridge went across the most powerful current. The sides of the cliffs had been shaped into what appeared to be perfectly smooth concave lenses. The water would jet up from the bottom into these spaces and then whirlpool around the bottom in what appeared to be eearily calm water. We started exploring the cliff after that, as it gave a great view of the valley below, Singi hut, and a Sammi farming village. My adventurous spirit got the best of me and I talked Lennart and Folke into climbing down to the rapids. Steep, moist, and the plants that hit the rocks underneath made it quite the descent. When we got down there, we discovered the rocks right by the water were so smooth and wet that there was no way to get any sort of grip on them. So we went out on them! The closest thing I can think of to compare it to is standing on ice. It was quite a rush, as it would’ve been quite the ride to the bottom if one of us had slipped in. Going back up I chose a different way that involved some really fun bouldering.
We spent about an hour at the waterfall and cliff before continuing on. In total it took 4:15 to do the 12k to Singi. Lennart and his dad moved on, but I enjoyed a free camp spot and the few hours that the sun was breaking through the clouds with a good book and a chocolate bar I had been saving for such an occassion.
I ate dinner with Folke that evening and we were joined by a German solo traveller, David, who was starting a backpacking advisory business. I talked to him at length about that, as it sounded like a really great idea and paralleled some of my own ideas. We had a laugh at Folke due to a mouse hanging out around his tent (I would later regret those laughs. Karma is a bitch.)
It was another cool night so we retired pretty early, but not after I got to see those impressive moonlit clouds again.