Friday, 25 May 2012

Hallandsleden: Ätran to Knäred

Niels from Backpackinglight Dk, and myself set of on a trip along the Hallandsleden. The trail links the Coast to Coast Trail in Skåne, with the Bohusleden and forms part of the North Sea Trail. After 3 buses, 2 trains, 1 ferry and a taxi (because the train was late) we arrived the beginning the walk in Ätran, it was late in the evening as we set off under threatening skies in humid conditions, it was calm.

Eseredssjön Norths
We followed the trail around the banks of Eseredssjön, past the shelter, and soon we had wet feet as we crossed the mossy ground then climbing past new roadworks we headed south determined to cover a few kilometres before sunset. We finally found a place to camp next to Holmsjön and after setting up camp we were rewarded with a wonderful sunset.

  Sunset Holmsjön>

I also discovered that there were a few midges around and it seemed they preferred my blood to Niels.

  Sunset Holmsjön
During the night it rained so it was a damp start to the morning under threatening skies. We wandered through the forests, admiring the range of sceneries, both man made and natural.

It was drizzling by the time we passed Brännvinsgölen, also known as the The Schnapps Pool, so I did not stop to taste the schnapps, maybe next time. Soon after we passed one of the these restored markers indicating a quarter swedish mile (one swedish mile is 10 km)

  Quarter Mil (About 10 km)
As we wandered the weather varied from no rain to drizzle to hail, I wore the ULA rain kilt the whole day and did wonder about the looks I was getting from passersby but in the relatively calm conditions it worked well. As we walked Niels and I chatted a lot about gear, recent trips as well as admiring the scenery in its various forms.

  Old Machinery
Late in the afternoon after crossing the motorway we followed the Nissan as it passed through the gorge into Rydöbruk. By now the skies were darkening as we crossed the bridge over the Nissan and past the church. Our aim for the day was Sandsjön, which was a little further than we expected and to the accompaniment of a hail storm we arrived at the shelter only to discover the shelter was about half a kilometre from the lakes edge and campsites were not optimal and few and far between, I was happy that the Notch had a small footprint. Over night the rain had cleared and our shelters were partly dry in the morning, the weather was expected to clear and with a hint of sunshine we started off.

  Old building
Continuing through the forest and settled areas, we passed by dilapidated buildings, man made channels for water powered saw mills.

Channel Hagasjön
Then we returned once again to the forest and the idyllic surrounds St. Allgunnen.

  St. Allgunnen
We spent considerable time walking through the forests on a range of road types including some foot trails and as we entered a small hamlet we came across two types of transport,

  Red Volvo

  Old jinker
I know which I would prefer to travel on, and will most likely last longer, as long as I can find a horse to tow it. By now the weather was warm and sunny which made for pleasant albeit warm walking. We continued southward finally crossing Fylleån after which we began to look for a suitable site. We ultimately found a campsite and settled in for the night.

An early start the next morning took us to Gyltige, where we ate breakfast and enjoyed the view from the shelter.

Joining the Halmstad–Bolmens railway line, which is now part of Banvallsleden a 250 km cycle path between Halmstad and Karlshamn we walked past the beautiful lake Simlången before entering Simlångsdalen.

  Simlångsdalen Station
Ahead of us lay the climb back up to the top of Danske Falls, these 35 metre falls provided a wonderful back drop as we climbed and then continued southward.

  Danska Fall
With darkening clouds we headed along the minor roads with the occasional drops of rain the weather never got any worse and as we headed across the Mästocka heath plains we were looking forward to camp after covering 37 kilometres for the day.

  Into the distance Mästocka ljunghed
We chose to camp near the shelter though tents were not as close as they had been the past nights, coincidence I am sure.

  Jetty Björsjö
I settled down to enjoy the late evening sunshine, thankful that the rain had held off, it was beautiful evening, as the sunset over Björsjö.

  Sunset Björsjö
It was to be a shorter day today, with the promise of sunshine and an ice cream or two at the end of the trip. As we wandered it appeared that some of the road maintenance people had some spare time and paint and had decorated the tree stump.

  Roadside Crocodile
Descending to the historical village of Bållalt, the trail took us along boardwalks through the heath on what was named an artTrail. Ultimately we crossed Krokån with its calm waters.

Before heading into the forest, to meet our first snake for the trip, the Huggorm, was about 25 cm in length, and kept us entertained for a few minutes at it tried to decide which way to escape. After that we crossed Krokån again,

  Bridge over Krokån Knäred>
and then wandered down past the falls admiring the old mill house.

Old Water Mill Knäred
Finally we entered the outskirts of Knäred, which was the end of what had been an enjoyable walk through varied countryside.