Österlenleden – Brösarp to Borrby Strandbad

DSC00125_15-07-03Skåneleden SL4 from Brösarp to Borrby Strandbad via Simrishamn and Kivik can now be added to the list of completed hikes in Sweden. Click the links to go to the maps. This stretch of Skåneleden offers many different environments from dense leaf forrest to long sandy beaches. Sometimes it feels like you’re not even in Sweden anymore, especially when the weather is so nice and sunny like when we were there.

The main goal with this trip was to test out all the gear before our trip to Iceland here in late July. We were hoping for some wind and maybe even some rain, but we got nothing of that… Rather the complete opposite.

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We started our hike in Brösarp near the bus station on Friday around 7pm and walked towards Kivik. It was a warm summers evening around 20 degrees Celsius, might even be called the first proper one so far this year.

After a few kilometers of easy walking it was time to take a quick break and have a look at the stream that we’d been following for some time. And would be following all they way down to the ocean.

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A quick splash of water on hands and face to cool down.

During a snack break on a beautiful meadow we got some unexpected company. We were standing in the middle of nowhere and when I looked around I couldn’t see a soul. Then just out of a sudden these three showed up behind a low stone fence.

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Jon picked up his pack as they looked hungry for Cuben Fiber. You never know how many square feet of Cuben these guys can eat per minute.

Orchards and many of them.

Orchards and many of them.

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Scouting rabbits as they run all over the fields.

After a few more kilometers we finally reached the ocean, and what a view!

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Jon is down by the water to cool his feet and head.

After a quick stop we pushed on towards Kivik. At this point we didn’t really have a plan for when and where to stop. And because we were inside a nature reserve our options were limited. However many non-hikers didn’t really respect this and we saw open fires, pitched tents and loose dogs on the beach.

We reached the outskirts of Kivik just as the sun was about to set and after have walked circa 12 kilometers. It was a very nice sunset and during this we pitched the tent and made some last minute adjustments to the Bearpawwd inner that really made it even better than before.

We even found a new technique for pitching the tent. To make sure the ground is as flat as possible we lay our walking poles on the ground to see if things are uneven. This was really helpful!

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The moon is rising in the horizon.

The next day we woke up to singing birds and the sun that was heating up the tent.

DSC00133_15-07-04We walked into Kivik to get some more water before we headed of to Stenshuvud to see the views from there.

On our way to Stenshuvud we passed by Kivik Musteri, an apple farm. Unfortunately we were there too early and the shop had yet to open, but at least we got ourselves a quick break after about 5 kilometers. Even this early, 9am, the sun was burning us, about 25 degrees Celsius.

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Trying to keep in the shade but that was way more difficult than one might think…

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Reaching the foot of Stenshuvud, finally shade!

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Hiking to the top gaining some much wanted elevation.

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Enjoying the view. Also getting to know where we’re going and how far it actually is.

After reaching the top it is always the same story… You have to go down again, and we did. At this point I think that not one worn piece of clothing was dry and not because of any rain… We picked up the pace and set our goal to reach the beach and have a swim to cool down. I guess that now the temperature had reached close to 30 degrees Celsius.

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This doesn’t really look like Sweden to me.

After a cooling swim we kept on walking in a nice pace. Not many people had come to the beach yet but just 10 minutes later it was crawling with sunbathers.

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As it got later in the day the temperature reached the completely nuts temperature of about 35 degrees Celsius. It’s no fun hiking in this temperature when you’re expecting something else.

Hiking through some idyllic places along the way.

** ENTER PICTURES HERE ** – Due to the heat we just pushed on for several hours not taking a single picture and then finally we took this one.

Personal record, passing 42km in one day.

Personal record, passing 42km in one day.

We stopped hiking just a few kilometers after this picture was taken and at that point we’d reached just south of the small town called Skillinge and we set up camp.

Our camp for the night.

Our camp for the night.

On the next day we got up early, even though we had some crazy runners(!?) going past our tent all night with headlamps and laughter. And some people think that we’re crazy going hiking 🙂

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Heading down to the beach again for the final stretch.

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Lovely hiking by the water with a slight breeze.

Our goal of the day was to walk a few kilometers to one of the bus stops that Jon previously had picked out on the map. We also wanted to find a good spot for a quick swim before we had to leave Österlen.

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Reaching Borrby Strandbad. Short last day, about 5 kilometers.

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Drying in the sun after a swim.

We took the bus from Borrbystrands Camping to Ystad and then back to Brösarp where our car was waiting.

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Ystad train/bus station.

Omberg

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Two summers ago I did a hike with André from Omberg to Gränna. I have been back to Omberg a couple of times since then for day trips but I haven’t got around to do an overnight stay. So when me and Jens decided to go for a two-day trip this weekend I suggested Omberg. Jens thought it was a good idea, and on saturday afternoon he picked me up in Jönköping.

I am still testing out my SUL-kit and for this trip I was going to use the Serenity NetTent for the first time. Jens was also eager to test some of his new gear, including his HMG Echo shelter and a brand new Roberts sleeping bag he got the week before.

Omberg is a forest covered mountain next to lake Vättern about half an hours car ride from Jönköping. The mountain is an Ecopark with both roads and smaller trails running all over the park.

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Crystal clear water in Stocklycke harbour.

We started our hike on the south side of Omberg and went for a quick look at the ruins of Alvastra kloster. After this we followed the beach line through the forest and soon ended up at Stocklycke harbour. An old harbour used to ship timber from the woods at Omberg.

By now the weather was fantastic and the surface of Vättern was completely still, making visibility in the water perfect. The first real summer day of the year!

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My Imo pack is starting to get some mileage now. A fantastic little backpack!

After this we walked down to a small bay named Oxbåset. To get down to the water we had to do a pretty steep climb along a ravine, but it was all worth it when we finally got to the water.

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Enjoying the view at Oxbåset.

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Oxbåset.

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The sun was shining and we stopped for a while and cooked some coffee. After a slow start of the summer the sun threatened to burn our skin so we soon decided to move on.

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Pitching the Gatewood Cape with Serenity net at Älvarums udde.

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My gatewood Cape and Jens HMG Echo II at Älvarums udde.

In the evening we arrived at Älvarums udde and made some dinner down by the waterfront watching the sun settle. After this we pitched both our shelters with a view over Vättern.

The night was calm and I could sleep inside my net tent with the front door open towards the sea. Giving me a view over the last sunlight over Vättern before I fell asleep.

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View over Vättern from Hjässan, Ombergs highest point.

The next day was a short affair. We made quick breakfast, broke camp and went back in the same direction as we arrived the day before. Halfway we decided to go up to the top of Omberg, Hjässan, to enjoy the views over the surrounding landscape.

From there it was a short walk down hill untill we were back at the car. Satisfied after a short trip in stunning surroundings enjoying fantastic weather.

All pictures in this blog post by Jens Fagerberg.

Mini adventure – out canoeing

Sometimes it’s not important to go on long pre-planned trips but to get out at all. Mini adventures can change your everyday life in to something exiting and give you an energy boost to survive the next week.

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This weekend we had one of these mini adventures. By my house I have a lake and it’s connected with two smaller lakes, great for canoeing. We left around midday and quite soon after we reched the middle of “Sörsjön” the sky darkened far away and big lightening struck the sky. But as it was north of us and not that close we paddled on.

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After we reached or final destination where our plan was to stop and have a cup of coffee the bad weather had moved closer to us and the rumbling was telling us it was time to head back. With the wind at our backs we paddled on with ease and we were soon back on Sörsjön. But this time we kept close to the shore, you don’t want to be out on the middle of the lake when a thunder storm passes by…

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We jumped a shore and the weather started to act up with high winds but no rain. Fortunately it all passed by to the west of us. We pulled out or backpacks from the canoe and started to boil some water and unpacked some Swedish “fika”.

After our break it was time to have some fun and pitch Jons one man shelter, Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape with their Serenity NetTent.

Here’s a short video of Jon pitching the tent.

After all this it was time to head back to home base, filled with energy. Now everything was calm after the storm and the water was almost like a mirror.

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Around Bjärehalvön

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Last weekend we went for a two-day tour in Skåne. We wanted to have the opportunity to test the gear we intend to use for our Iceland trip this summer. As we already have walked most of the shorter trails around our hometown we looked for a suitable trail in the southern parts of Sweden.

After some research we decided to hike the coastal walk around Bjärehalvön. This tour fitted us good as it was a circle walk giving us the possibility to start and end at the same spot without needing to backtrack any part of the hike. It is 52 km long, making it ideal for a two-day trip as we know that we usually walk at least 25 km per day.

The hike is split into four parts, each 10 to 18 km long so we decided to walk two parts per day. We opted to start from Båstad on the northern part of Hallandsåsen and walk the trail clockwise. So the order for each part would be 20, 17, 16 and finally 15 back to Båstad.

Båstad to Ängelsbäcksstrand

We started of from the city centre around 11 o clock on Saturday. We headed southwards out-of-town and quickly the trail started going upwards onto Hallandsåsen. The temperature was around 10 to 12 °C and the clouds looked like we could get some light rain.

We were soon on top of the hill and could enjoy quite view over the landscape consisting of rolling hills dotted with forest groves and small farms. Unfortunately much of the track followed asphalt roads that we hade to share with motorized traffic.

Midway we took a short stop in a small beech wood and rested our legs. Walking on hard ground is not the best option. After this the path went down towards the southern shores of Bjärehalvön. We still had to walk on roads but the views made the walk worth it.

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Jon overlooking the Eskers outside of Grevie.

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No, this is Skåne, not a Windows wallpaper!

Closer to the shore we crossed a beautiful small nature reserve stretching over a Esker giving us a pause from the roads. Not long after this we finally arrived at the sea and Ängelbäcksstrand. By now the Sun began to show and the views around us were stunning. It had been a fairly ok walk down the countryside but now things started to look very promising!

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If our calculations were right we thought that we would have time to walk to Torekov before it was time to make camp. So we started walking north along the beach after a short pause.

The trail along the beach showed to be nothing less than fantastic! All the way up to Torekov we walked in pastures along the coast line. There were hardly any buildings except for the old bunkers built during WW2, now left closed for future generations.

We kept a good pace during the whole walk up to Torekov. The fields held plenty of livestock; both cows, horses and sheep and we had som close encounters with all three. Luckily the beasts were satisfied with their herbivore diet and didn’t show any interest for Cuben or Pertex.

Later in the afternoon we arrived at Torekov, a picturesque tourist town at the western end of the peninsula. After a days walking we couldn’t resist and stopped for ice cream in the small marina.

View over the Torekov marina.

View over the Torekov marina.

After the break we went looking for a place to pitch our tent but this would show to be harder than we first thought. The main reason for this is that more or less all coastal area on Bjärehalvön consists of natural reserve areas, which means that camping is not allowed there. This is a general exemption to Allemansrätten and can be good to know if you are hiking in similar areas in Sweden.

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A couple of horses grazing by the seafront.

Because of this we were left to try and find a campsite outside of the reserve. As much of the land close the reserve for obvious reasons is occupied by summer houses there was not very much space left for a tent close to the beach.

It took us several kilometers until we found a decent spot for the night, a small parking lot with a clear view over the sea. We had now walked over 33 kilometers and were both hungry and a bit tired.

Our spot for the night, overlooking the coast line of Bjärehalvön.

Our spot for the night. Andrés Ultamid overlooking the coast line of Bjärehalvön.

This was the first time we pitched the Ultamid with the inner net. A Bear Pawwd net that André purchased last summer for our Jotunheimen trip. Back then we made a last-minute decision to ditch the inner in favor of our bivy bags, so the tent had stayed unused in Andrés storage until now.

The inner net luckily showed to be a perfect fit for the Ultamid and we had no trouble at all fitting in both our sleeping mats and rest of our gear inside the tent. After this we made a quick meal and went to bed after a long days walk.

Sunset over Kattegatt.

Sunset over Kattegatt.

Back to Båstad

Next morning we woke up early and started our journey towards Båstad. We soon passed a small harbour with colourful fishing huts. Next to the huts there was something looking like an old torpedo, probably also a remain from the war. We found an old water pump but to our disappointment we couldn’t get any water our of it.

After this the trail led us up on higher ground and above Hovs Hallar. Actually the trail did not go through the area but stayed on the cliffs above. There were several paths leading down to the shore but we decided to stay on the high route and enjoy the view from above.

Above Hovs Hallar.

Above Hovs Hallar.

The trail then took us inland through the woods and all the way up to the view-point at Knösen 152 meter above sea level. There we met two Danish hikers who just had packed their camp together and where heading for Torekov.

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View from Knösen.

From here the path led us downwards, through similar landscapes; beech wood, fields and farms. On our way we passed a number of couple of small creeks. By lunch we hade arrived at the sea side on Bjärehalvöns northern side, the rest of the walk was along a small gravel road frequented by walkers and cyclists. It took us about an hour to reach Båstad, by then we hade walked around 17 kilometers and we got in to the car and went for a quick-lunch before starting the journey home.

All in all this was a surprisingly good trip, the trail showed to be nice with magnificent views along the walk. If you have the time we can really recommend a walk around Bjärehalvön!

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Selfie time during a short break, sheltered from the wind by an old bunker.

Solo hiking Västanåleden – A first try at SUL Hiking

The majority of my hikes are shorter weekend trips on any of the trails close to my hometown. It’s only during my summer holidays that I have time for week long journeys to places like Norway and northern Sweden. With this in mind I have started to work on a lighter kit custom tailored for the needs I have on my shorter trips in the woods around Jönköping. So after spending the spring purchasing new equipment it was now time for a first trip trying to go SUL – Super Ultra Light that is 🙂 

In this post i will do a short trip report and also try to sum up the experience of my new kit and talk through some of the new items i used.

Hiking Västanåleden

Västanåleden is a short round trip hike in the beech forest south of Gränna. The trail shares tracks with John Bauerleden that connects all the way down to Jönköping. Both of these trails are familiar to me and just last year me and André took a short overnight trip at this trail. I decided to walk the southern part of the trail as these are the ones I like most. As this would be a rather short route I would also have time for some detours along any of the other trails crossing my path.

I started out just outside the small village of Röttle and decided to take a short walk down to the harbour. On my way I passed the waterfalls and the remains of the old Jerusalem mill. Down by the harbour I took a small pause and then headed back up to the trail.

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Röttle river waterfalls and the remains of Jerusalem Mill


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Bankerydsleden revisited

Jon and I went on a short hike today, May 1st, nice to have the day of from work and spend some of it in the woods. This was my second time walking this trail but last time it was winter and really cold and snowy so it was nice to see it in color. Rain was on the forecast but we managed to get back before it started. We walked about 20km, starting at 09.00 and finished around 13.45 with an hours break for lunch.

Got to field test some new gear too. Jon had his Montbell wind jacket and I had my Fjällräven Fold Sack.

Map of the area.

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It was really foggy when we got there, only +2 degrees Celsius.

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Walking into the unknown… Not really 🙂

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Power lines

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Got to meet some Canadians on the trail – we also saw a really beautiful fox but I couldn’t get my camera up in time before it was too far away.

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Mystery-box, what can be inside? Stay tuned!

Iceland tickets booked

Reality is coming, we’re actually going to Iceland this summer! Booked the plane tickets today so now we’re underway, no looking back.

There are still things to do before everything is set, but as far as equipment goes there aren’t really any major things that need to be bought or changed. Our travel plans are quite good, still need some more details in the hiking schedule I think, just so we don’t miss anything that you really must see along the trail.

Our hiking schedule looks something like this (per day)

  1. Arriving at Keflavik Airport 07.30 – transport to Landmannalaguar
  2. Hiking starts – Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn
  3. Alftavatn to Þórsmörk
  4. See Þórsmörk – different excursions
  5. Þórsmörk to Skógar – transport back to Reykjavik

It’s gonna be a blast but not even close as long as our trip to Jotunheimen last summer if we look at the distance. But that’ll give us time to explore and do excursions along the way which I find attractive. Especially as the nature in Iceland is fantastic, can’t wait to go back. It was the first thing I said to my parents when I came home from Iceland in 2002 – I must go back there! And now I’m doing it, 13 years later.

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A picture that I took back in 2002.

Iceland – 2002

Back in 2002 I visited Iceland with my classmates. It was an awesome trip as I remember it. We’d booked an off-road bus and traveled Iceland and slept in tents in different places.

So why do I post this now? Is it because the last post had pictures from there or is there something else that I’m not telling you?

Here are some pictures from 2002 shot with a cheap analog camera and some Kodak ISO 400 film.

Our travel itinerary was something like this. Landed on Iceland and went to Reykjavik to buy some food and snacks. After that we headed out to our first stop at Tingvalla, Thing Fields. On the second day we’re off to Gullfoss, Golden Falls and in that general area looking at geysers and other cool things. Drove around in our bus to other awesome spots like the Blue lagoon etc, etc, and then back to Reykjavik for some whale spotting and recreation.

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Gullfoss – Golden Falls

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Gullfoss, up close and personal. Me to the left.

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Gjáin

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Gjáin area

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Háifoss – High Falls

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Háifoss neighbor Glanni.

This was one of my favorites places on this trip. The picture below might even be the best one I took during my time on Iceland in my opinion.

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The river floating away from Háifoss and Glanni.

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Skogáfoss area

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Skógafoss – Forest Falls

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I’m standing under the rainbow infront of Skógafoss.

Here we are down by the Atlantic looking at the Puffins nesting there. You know the black and white birds with colorful beaks.

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Walking on glaciers.

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Me in the center.

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Looking down a deep crevasse. Scary!

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Eyjafjallajökull

These are the tents that we slept in. At this particular place we had a nasty storm coming in during the night and rain and wind struck our tents hard. In the morning only two tents were still standing upright if I’m not misstaken! And when I woke up it was like being in a swimming pool… In this picture I’m in the foreground and I think I’m doing some dinner preparations.

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Back in Reykjavik again and we’re about to go whale spotting. Skärmavbild 2014-10-25 kl. 13.18.31 Skärmavbild 2014-10-25 kl. 13.18.43Ah, the memories 🙂