Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Vordingborg to Vester Egesborg, further wanderings along Sjællandsleden

As I set off from Vordingborg (the birth place of the legendary football manager Morten Olsen), the temperature with windchill was below zero, but it was sunny and I was out hiking, the temperature did not really matter. Heading out of town I settled into my stride with the usual adjusting of the pack straps and organising the clothing such that I was comfortable but not overly warm. I wandered past the massive Rosenfeldt Manor (which had a significant role in the Danish Queen's courtship) Following the road for a while I finally reached Oreby Skov, the trail continued along the road to Ore Strand but I took a detour as I longed to sit on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. I finally found a spot and just sat looking towards Knudshoved Odde. While the swans happily paddled in the water below, life felt good.
  Oreby Skov to Knudshoved Odde

Ultimately it was time to move on, and I departed Oreby forest and headed towards Ore Strand. The sun shone and with the cold wind at my back it was a pleasant walk. I was grateful for the summer house owner who had placed insulation around their water tap on the front lawn so I filled up my bottle and continued. There was many wonderful views out to sea, but the old row boat decaying amongst the reeds caught my attention, why was it orange? Who was the owner … etc. were questions that were raised as I kept walking along the embankment that separated the coast from the summer house area.

  Old boat Ore Strand
I finally decided it was lunch time and found a place, out of the wind, and sat down to enjoy lunch with views across Avnø Fjord towards my intended destination (in the distance Nokkeskoven).

Avnø Fjord
I continued my wanderings along the coast, with occasional inland diversions around Avnø Fjord passing the pump station which helps to keep the land drained. Passing the Avnø Nature centre I headed into the wind towards my intended camping destination. With head bowed and looking like a bank robber with my TeMata buff pulled up over my face I headed eastwards into the wind ultimately reaching the shelters and forest.

  Shelters Nokkeskov
There were many places that were ideal for a campsite so I set up the Moment, in a minute or so and settled down to enjoy the evening, while the cold wind from the east continued to ensure that I was always well rugged up.

  Campsite Nokkeskov
Having cooked dinner on the Pocket stove using alcohol (too windy for wood) I decided to set off to the control tower (at the nature centre) to watch the sunset. As I crossed the plains, two deers were happily grazing and the sun was gradually sinking.

Climbing the control tower with some trepidation I took the camera out and took many photos of the setting sun, it was a very enjoyable experience. Ultimately I decided that it was time to return to camp. I entered the centrally heated nature centre (yes it is open and there is no one around to stop people camping inside) to collect some water and then headed back to camp with the cold wind in my face.

  Sunsetting Avnø
In the morning with some reluctance I got out of bed and noticed the ice on the shoreline, the wind had not abated and it was cold. Packing up with very cold hands is never fun, I then set off towards the nature centre. There are many facets to this centre, the obvious is the birds both migratory and local which live here, as well there are seals that live in the fjord. However, what caught my eye was the solar system. Okay I can hear you saying Solar system? Well here at the nature centre they have a scale model set up of the distances between planets and the sun. So as a lapsed astronomer and educator I took special interest in this model. The photo below is taken at the relative position of Pluto with respect to the sun, the sun (is not the building ) is about 100 metres in front of the building or about 800 metres from where the photos is taken.

From the sun's perspective below it is quite impressive to realise the close proximity of the planets Mercury, Venus Earth and Mars and then the big distances to those planets further away.

Turning away from the sun I took a look at the Avnø Naturcenter, like many other places originally this was a military base, in this case the initial flight training centre for the Danish Airforce which was originally established in 1931 and was closed in 1993. Avnø is also a part of Natura 2000 and thus is a nature protection area.

  Avnø Naturcenter
With the sun still shining I finally departed Avnø, recognising that I would like to bring others to this wonderful area, as it provides many opportunities for those interested in nature.

Leaving Avnø the trail took me through open farmland and minor roads before arriving in the township of Svinø, here the church with its Commonwealth War graves provided a sombre interlude to the walk. Passing through the township and heading towards the coastline of Dybsø Fjord I arrived at Månehøj jættestue. A jættestue according to Wikipædeia is passage grave or tomb from the Neolithic period built of large stones covered in soil these graves were built between 3500 and 3000 BC.

  Månehøj jættestue
Månehøj jættestue, is unusual in that it is a double passage grave.

Månehøj jættestue entry
I left the jættestue, after taking a closer look at one of the entrances, and headed across the open plains, into the wind, ultimately arriving at the shelter at Køng Overdrev, Overdrev is a communal grazing area. The shelter is privately owned and the cost for a night is 20 Danish Kroner (about US$4) there is plenty of space for tents and even a small football field. It was an ideal place to have lunch and a warming cup of coffee, or two.

  Køng Overdrev Shelter
From here I wandered through the small township of Kostræde Banker, overlooking Dybsø Fjord.

  Dybsø Fjord
Passing over the high point of Stejlebanke, I headed into Vester Egesborg to wait for the bus. It had been a nice walk, albeit a bit cold, and as I sat on the bus, plans for the next walk along Sjællandsleden were already being made.

Gear Reflections
I was impressed with the Tarptent Moment, it kept the wind out and has a surprising amount of space inside it for one person. I now have the dilemma of whether it will be the Duomid or moment in Lapland this year.

The Pocket stove worked well in conjunction with the Companion Burner, but given the cold windy conditions it was heavy on fuel use. Once I was home I experimented with the Starlyte burner and was able to get the water to boil with less of a flaming inferno so maybe in milder conditions the starlyte maybe a better option for cooking in a vestibule.