From day 9, the trail got a little more outdoorsy. By that I mainly mean the weather changed. No more lolling next to sunny rivers and washing our faces in streams. Instead we had to don full waterproofs and deploy the hats and gloves. The message reached us that Summer was over but I refused to believe this.
From Saltuluokta the trail leaves the higher mountain area and instead passes between lakes.
We started to settle into a rhythm: a morning boat to cross a lake, a gradual climb, a crossing of a low alpine plateau and then a steep rocky descent to the next campsite. I mourned the loss of snowy mountain views but the gorgeous lakes and delta systems were a fine substitute. The crowds of the early and more popular section were gone and we met more thru-hikers going the full distance to Hemavan.
On the penultimate day we entered Sarek National Park, which seems to be where the hardier Swedes go, with its serious river crossings and absence of marked trails. I started dreaming up my next Swedish adventure but these plans were immediately abandoned upon learning that Sarek is where the bears live.
Our last day on the trail was all within the forest, which was a bit of a disappointing finale. So I made up for it with a dash up Sjnierak from Kvikkjokk on the morning of our train back south, for a final glimpse of the broad Arctic alpine landscape.
And so our Kungsleden hiking adventure came to an end. And what a charming time it was.
(Full post to follow later on practicalities of planning a trip on the Kungsleden)
HOW WE SPENT OUR DAYS
Day 8 rest day
Day 9 Saltoluokta to Sitojaure 19km
Day 10 Sitojaure to Aktse 15km incl detour round Doaresoajvve
Day 11 Side trip Aktse to Skierfe peak 13km
Day 12 Aktse to Parte 20km
Day 13 Parte to Kvikkjokk 15km
STATS OF THE TRACK
Reindeer spotted: too many to count
Days mosquito bug net worn: 4/6
Ability to control level of consumption of delicious Ballerina biscuits: low to none
Largest ascent: 680m Skierffe peak
Mournful feelings about Brexit: frequent