Saturday, 7 April 2012

Blekingeleden: Ronneby to Kristianopel Part 1


The Blekingeleden is a marked trail that begins in Sölvesborg and finishes in Kristianopel (or Broms) I was first attracted to this trail when walking from Sölvesborg to Östafors in 2009, ever since then I have planned to walk the route. Over time I have covered the sections from Åkeholm to Östafors and Ronneby to Åkeholm.  I set off on a sunny sunday morning from Ronneby railway station, after having travelled on the first train out of Copenhagen, accompanied by many young passengers wending their way home from a night of partying, some drinking Tuborg and others sleeping.

It was a cool sunny morning as I walked along the banks of the Ronnebyån.

Sunny morning on the banks of Ronneby Ån




Eventually I left the roads and headed into the forest and it felt fantastic, the birds were singing, the forest in its winter colours, helped me to feel at home. The trail wandered through the forest before returning to the roads and byways to the east of Ronneby. I wandered along the narrow country lanes as I headed North East away from the sea and the freeway. As I wandered I appreciated the feeling of being outdoors and experiencing the many different landscapes from farming, to forest, to small industry. I crossed the railway line a number of times as I wandered and contemplated the importance that the line had to the development of the communities in the area. I passed by one the biggest early bronze age grave mounds (about 25m in diameter and 5m high) of which according to Wikipedia there are 14  in the area. The historical aspect of the areas I hike through fascinates me, as it is always evident that "man" over the years has constructed different buildings, some of which have withstood the test of time whilst others have not. In the country of my birth there is little evidence of construction prior to the arrival of europeans, whereas in Sweden, as it is in Denmark, the existence of buildings goes back many centuries. It makes me wonder what will be visible in a 1000 years or more from now. Further north I passed by a Högloftsstuga, it has a high loft as well as lower rooms, the design was fascinating once again demonstrating the ingenuity of the pioneers, or maybe it was design by necessity.

  Högloftsstuga, high loft and lower rooms

Further forest trails and roads led me to Skärsviken and Listersjön for the night. I was well aware of an approaching storm and it was evident from the wind and sky that I would need to find a sheltered place, after some consideration I found a place to pitch the tarptent.

  Skärsviken and Listersjön

The location of my campsite provided some interesting objects such as a Blue Boat, which had not been in the lake for a while and I was not sure that it would float for long at all.

  Blue Boat

I set up the moment and soon it was raining so I quickly dived inside and cooked dinner immediately recognising that bringing a half empty canister of gas to use with a jetboil in temperatures around zero meant that it would not be a jet boil, but a slow boil. Ultimately I had dinner and the rain cleared so I headed out side for a wander along the beach.

  Footprints in the sand

Then I just sat on a rock admiring the lake and watching the approaching storm.

  Watching the approaching storm

Returning to the shelter I recognised that the next time I go for a wander I must clean up my shelter before leaving, as you nerve know who may visit.

  Need to do the housework

It did rain, then hail and snow later, the waves in the lake washed away the footprints on the beach and the hail stones were still in evidence in the morning and I suspect it was a long time before they melted totally. However, at least the morning bought sunshine and the blue sky indicating a cold but clear day was to follow. I set off admiring the calm waters of Listersjön.

  Calm waters
The trail continued with its mix of roads, unused forest rails and footpaths ultimately taking me to the boundary of Ronneby and Karlskrona Kommune (Municipalities) now this has to be the first time that I have come across a welcome sign on a foot trail, there was no road nearby, I was impressed.

  Welcome Sign

I continued on ultimately descending to another lake, Hörnen, a popular fishing place which for the time being was deserted and provided an ideal lunch stop.

  Sun on the water

After lunch there was the inevitable road walk through the forest, some of which had recently been harvested leaving a scar, and the forestry road was showing signs of heavy use. I descended towards Rödebyån along the road when much to my surprise the markers (of which there are plenty) suddenly indicated that the trail crossed the river. Now I am happy to get my feet wet in Lapland, but down here, nah, there must be a better option. There was.

  River Crossing

Having crossed the river on a bridge I then turned north and followed the trail along a disused railway line. The Krösnabanan which followed the banks of Nättrabyån and made for easy walking with many oppurtunties to stop and reflect on the forests, the river and what it must have been like in years gone by.

Calm waters of Nättrabyån

Having left the tranquility of Nättrabyån I followed the bitumen and gravel roads through a number of small farming areas before returning to the forests around Kroppasjön, and it was here that my greatest surprise occurred. When walking in trail shoes, Inov-8 315´s, and using Pacerpoles you do not make a lot of sound and if the wind is blowing, as it was, then most animals will not here you coming. So as I rounded a corner on the trail there in front of me stood a moose (elk),  I was as surprised, as it was, and it took one look at me and took off into the scrub. I was stunned by its size and realised why they can make a mess of a car, or hiker, if they run into you. No photo, so you will have to believe me that it happened and for the first time in all my wanderings in Scandinavia I have seen a moose in the wild.

However, I looked around and also noticed the green boat just sitting on the rock, a long way from any water so I took a photo of it instead. Are you wondering about the boat? I am, having taken the photos and put the camera away then I hear noises in the bush, what more moose I think, no, it was 2 young wild boar crossing the path and heading into the scrub. Yep I am now thinking this is a bit spooky. A moose, 2 wild boar and a boat … (for my aussie readers the song a Drovers Dream came to mind). I decided at this point I should leave as who knows what would come next.

  Green Boat

Seeking the sanctuary of Stor Alljungen (the largest spring fed lake in Blekinge). I found a camp site late in the afternoon adjacent to Alljungen shelter, and settled in to cook dinner and enjoy the peaceful surrounds.

  Alljungen Shelter

I admired the large accommodation facilities and speculated on how busy it would be during the summer period, but for now the entire area was mine. Taking photos as I wandered I finally returned to my tent and retired for the night.

  Alljungen

It was a peaceful night, with no wind and no cloud it was also a cold night. I awoke before sunrise and looked out upon a still lake, once again appreciating the beauty of the area.

  Mist on Stora Alljungen


There is more to come, suffice to say the trip increased in variation and interest.