Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Kust to Kustleden Osby to Åsljunga
The section from Osby to Åsjlunga was planned as a 5 day trip but could have easily been completed in less time.
Thursday April 9: Osby to Hästberga
Normally I would have taken the train from Copenhagen to Osby ( a two hour trip) but B had offered to drive so that she could take advantage of shopping in Sweden as the stores were closed for Easter (Påske) in Denmark. After a little over 2 hours I was at the Osby Railway station.
Leaving the station the Kust to Kustleden trail follows Södra Portgaten westwards out of town, before entering Gullarpmossen. With the spring sunshine the birds were singing and the forest and narrow foot trail soon made me realise why I enjoyed the outdoors so much. Having crossed Gullarpmossen the trail then met up with a small road crossing a major road before once again entering the forest on one of the many forestry trails that would be followed over the coming days. Following the trail and then a main road allowed me to settle into the walking routine for the coming days. Leaving the road, the trail then entered the forest along old timber trails before passing Kristusstenen, or "Christ Stone", a huge cleft boulder which according to the legend was the result of a lightning bolt that killed a heathen chieftain as well as splitting the rock. It is also suggested that there is an image of Jesus Christ on one of the stones. Having left the cleft stone the trail then followed roads and foot trails to Hästberga, home for the night, as well as the site of a small hydroelectric plant, the Helga å (river) and its accompanying storage.
Friday April 10: Hästebrga to Ubbalt (Vittsjö)
It was a cool frosty start to the day with some condensation and ice on the Hilleberg Soulo. After breakfast with clear blue skies I set off across the retaining wall of the dam into the forests on the opposite side of the river. It was a pleasant walk through pine and birch forest along the southern side of the lake before following footpaths and trails towards Verum. As the day progressed it got warmer and ultimately resulted in me removing my Paramo Third Element vest, (yes it felt like summer). The well thought out design of the trail enables you to walk through the forest and avoid the major roads and even as you approach Verum, the trail crossses the main Verum Visseltofta Road and follows the original road past old farmhouses as it leads to the center of Verum. Leaving Verum, you pass Verum Kirke before descending into the Vieån valley which includes the picturesque Verum shelter. After passing the shelter the trail then heads into a narrow ravine which ultimately takes you to a small lake after which there is a steep climb to the ridge top.
Leaving the ravine and the beautiful lake the trail again follows forestry trails and by now the temperature was approaching 20 C and I was happily enjoying the sunshine with mind in neutral. It was at this time that I noticed out the corner of my eye a snake! Now if I was in Australia I would probably have been more focussed on looking out for snakes, but in Sweden well… I later discovered there are 3 types of snakes in Sweden, the Adder, Smooth Snake and Grass snake, this snake was the latter. It seemed in no real hurry to leave and I was happy to watch and take photos. Eventually the snake and I decided to go our own ways. For me that was following the road whilst paying a little more attention to sounds in the grass, as for the snake well I guess you will need to read their blog.
After the excitement of the snake I ultimately reached Malmsjön and feeling a little weary I decided to take a break. It was a beautiful spot and I could have easily stayed, but decided to push on (all the time thinking “Should I stay or should I go”) to Vittsjön. After another hour or so I reached the western end of Vittsjön and found a pleasant campsite looking west over the lake with a nice little sandy beach.
Nearby there was a foot trail which I later discovered was a popular walking and jogging path so it was not until sunset that I had the area to myself.
Saturday, April 11: Ubbalt to Hårsjö
Today was a short day so with the sun once again shining brightly and the mist rising from the lake as I set off for Vittsjö a small township with a supermarket as well as a bus service and other amenities. Being Easter Saturday. the store was busy, but I managed to find an ice cream and some Pringles before escaping to the solitude of the forest once again. After leaving Vittsjö the trail passes through forests until much to my surprise I found myself on a gravel footpath with overhead lighting every 50 metres, ideal for the ultralite hiker who does not need to carry a torch. Ultimately the trail leaves this well lit footpath and follows minor roads through Pjäcket past Markasjön to the tiny hamlet of Hårsjö. It is in Hårsjö that the Nord till Sydleden, terminates having started approximately 250 km further south in Ystad. Soon after the track junction you arrive at Hårsjö shelter which is located approximately 50 metres away from the lake and sadly with no water from the pump a 1 km walk was required to get water from a running stream.
Sunday April 12: Hårsjö to Lärksholm
In contrast with yesterday today was a long day in distance terms so a reasonably early start was required. It was a little misty this morning as a I set off but within a couple of hours the fog had burned off to provide yet another sunny day. After walking along the southern side of Hårsjön the trail meets up with a forestry road which is followed to Brunnshult. After crossing the main road the trail enters a forested and mossen area. It was this section that I felt had the most “wilderness feel” further supported by the fresh Moose foot prints on the trail. Also along this section is the ancient croft “Tidemanstorp”. It was such crofts that typify this historic area. After passing thorugh Änglarp the road climbs to the remains of Augusta’s Croft, what is significant is the Well which provided the clearest water I had seen the whole trip. After a lunch break and lots of water I set off towards Värsjön then along a series of trails and forestry track before entering the historic Lärksholm estate, which was originally established in the 1600s. Whilst passing a small lake it was a pleasure to watch the ducks and geese drifting on the lake in the afternoon sunshine. Arriving at Lärksholmssjön I was greeted by a chill wind blowing directly off the water into the vindskydd, fortunately I had planned to use the tent which was much warmer. Again the area is a popular tourist area and it showed signs of being “over loved” understandably given its natural beauty. though I was surprised to find the message on one sign saying “Where the hell is Roger?” How did they know I was coming?
Monday, April 13 – Lärkshol to Åsljunga and home
Sadly the trip was drawing to a close a short walk today followed by a train trip.
The days route incorporated a walk along the northern bank of Lärksholmssjön followed by a cross country section which took me under the E4 motor way, the underpass for the walking trail had to be one of the biggest I had ever seen. Ultimately the trail led me to the south western side of Åsljungasjön before turning inland to the bus stop on the old E4. As I approached the bus stop with the council water not working, I was grateful to the staff of Åsljunga Sports Klub who allowed me to get some water, their ground looked in perfect condition and seemed like an ideal venue for a country football game.
From there it was a bus and train trip home, already planing the next trip along the Kust to Kustleden