Our last morning on the trails. Rain hammering against the tent woke us at 5:45am but we managed to get back to sleep. My bladder woke me again at 7:30 and despite trying to ignore it, I couldn’t. I reluctantly clambered out of the tent and to my surprise, saw thick mist hanging over the lake.
It felt like a different place compared to the night before and if we’d woken up just thirty minutes later, we would have missed it.
Breakfast was prepared and eaten on the rock opposite our tent. I boiled extra water for a cup of tea because it was a chilly morning (the coldest so far). I could have slept for a lot longer but we needed to leave camp by 12, ready to meet our prebooked taxi at Entré Nord.
We packed up our tent and bags one last time, soaked up the scenery and then set off again. I was sad to leave but also looking forward to a hot shower in Örnsköldsvik.
Most of the hike to Entré Nord was downhill, which was no surprise given how high we climbed the day before. I enjoyed our last hike through a small boulder field before rejoining shady forest trails. We saw quite a few other hikers and dogs — the National Park was the busiest section of our whole adventure.
We found a small sandy beach next to one of the trails; a welcome break from the muggy forest. Opening our arms to catch the breeze in our sweaty pits felt like pure joy, a feeling only rivalled by cool wind on back sweat.
The colour of this wood is completely natural and created by green stain fungus. I’d have assumed it was a faded man-made wood stain or paint if our friend hadn’t told us about the fungus. Nature is amazing.
We stopped for a snack break at this stream that looked more like a miniature waterfall. I’m glad we saw it because Scott had been looking forward to see the waterfall at Dalsjön before our plans changed.
The taxi picked us up from Entré Nord. He was a kind driver and took a short detour to show us a viewpoint over Örnsköldsvik. We said goodbye at the hotel and he shouted “take a shower!” as we walked away. I thought we smelt pretty good until that point but apparently not.
We ate dinner at a local Italian restaurant in a red wooden building overlooking the water. The menu size felt overwhelming after a week of eating from our packs or at cafés with a handful of choice. We drank some well deserved wine and beer!
Our bodies had just enough energy for a short walk around town, and me and Leanne peered through all the windows of nice looking shops that were closed for the rest of the weekend. We also mooched around Coop so our friends could stock up on Swedish goodies; I bought new knickers and some chocolate. I felt veeeeeery fancy wearing new knickers on the bus home the next day.
Our hotel room was very beige. Although we were grateful for a shower and a real bed, we missed the forest already. Our view was a carpark rather than trees and water. I could hear car doors closing, people coughing and the thud of music from a nearby car. Humanity is noisy.
My flask was still filled with lake water from earlier that day; I didn’t tip it away because I’d filtered it. We both got in bed and groaned like creaky centenarians because laying on proper matress felt so so good.
I went to sleep feeling very proud of my body, grateful for my health and empowered by the fact we can carry everything we need to survive on our backs. The fact my body carried me and a 14kg pack through this hike jetlagged with a heavy period, was amazing.
Final mosquito bite count: 28 — 1 on my bottom which unfortunately, was the itchiest of them all. I did scratch it even though I know I shouldn’t have done.
The next day, we walked around Örnsköldsvik for a while and then took a taxi to the Naturkompaniet Fjällräven outlet store. We arrived just before it opened, thinking we would be the only people that eager, only to discover others were already waiting! I was embarrassing and insisted we took photos of eachother under the shop sign.
The shop was huge… paradise for outdoor gear lovers. I bought a jumper, long sleeve merino layer and a new mug because the painted started peeling off the inside of mine during the hike. The scale of everything sent Scott into shutdown mode and he only had the energy to find one jumper. We went back into town, picked up some food and boarded a bus back to Stockholm. What an adventure.