Friday, 4 April 2014

Around Häckeberga, almost


Setting sun

A while ago I met a couple of Danish hikers who suggested I should visit Häckaberga, Sweden, and ever since then it has been in my to do list, especially given its proximity to home. Furthermore, this trip was also to be part of my training for the Sweden Coast 2Coast. 
Leaving work I was soon crossing Øresund Bridge into Sweden,  and after a short bus trip I was on the Nord-sydleden at Kniveåsen. A couple of hours later I was climbing onto the Romeleåsen Ridge having passed through the quiet village of Bjömstorp complete with the option of renting of Buda Velocipede to travel the rails between Björnstorp and Veberöd. As evening approached I found a suitable site with views to Malmö and Lund and settled in to watch the sunset. 


It was a beautiful sunny morning, albeit a little cool, as I admired the view and relaxed drinking coffee.
Wind Turbines and Øresund Bridge
After a couple of short but somewhat steep climbs, I meandered along the trail enjoying the amenity of the forests, whilst being serenaded by many different birds.
However, the peace was soon disturbed as I found myself at the starting line of an orienteering race. A person with a pack and hiking poles does not seem to fit into a group of lean mean racing machines ranging in ages from 5 to 70. Crossing the start line I was off and was soon passed by young and old alike. However, not to despair the further I went the less orienteers there were, as they soon headed back to destinations unknown. One sight that will stay in my mind for a while was the youngster (under 10 y.o) bounding "off trail" through the forest in search of the next place to stamp his card. 
From then on it was quiet trails with the occasional mountain biker and walker.  Arriving at Billingabacken with the sun streaming down it seemed like an ideal time to sit and relax.

Billingabacken

Awoken by a barking dog I continued my wanderings through Häckaberga Nature Reserve which whilst still displaying its late winter colours, however, it was evident that spring was making its appearance.  The further I wandered the more I appreciated the advice provided by the Danish hikers who had encouraged me to visit the area.


Notch with Hat

A series of quiet country roads bought me to Risen Natuurreservaat with it's rolling hills and forest, by now I was looking for somewhere to stop.  Finding a suitable spot I settled into the evening routine during I watched the fiery red ball in the sky disappeared below the horizon.


Setting sun 3

The air was cool as I settled in for the night serenaded by at least two different owls. 
The next morning it was the start of summer time and I was up early, too early for a wild dog (or large fox or  ? ) which howled as it bounded away through the forest. The frost was still evident on the ground as I made my way towards Genarp. But the forest with its park like features was pleasant. and apart from a large herd of deer the forest was devoid of other animals.


Frosty Morning
I crossed over Höje å and headed towards the final climb of the trip.
Crossing Höje å
Once over the last climb and having crossed the main road I crossed a small stream, where a moth created circles on the water. 
Moth circles
Arriving in Genarp it was time to head home on what had been an enjoyable a rewarding wander around Häckaberga
Gear observations
I took the  As Tucas Sestrals Quilt this trip and whilst 2 nights is not sufficient to test it's longevity nor it's temperature range   I have the following observations where the night time temperatures were between 0 and 5  c.  
The quilt has a wide footbox which allows my feet to have plenty of room to move, something I have missed in other quilts as well as in my Western Mountaineering Megalight sleeping bag.
P3290349
There are two features that I really appreciate they are the press studs that can be used to close the quilt up ...
  
P3290340
... and the rounded top of the quilt which enable you to “bury your head" in the quilt whilst ensuring that your legs are still stretched out. An ideal setup in my view.
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Partnered with a Thermarest Xtherm I found the arrangement to be both comfy and warm, and one that I can see myself using on most, if not all, of my trips. I will say more about the quilt after further use. For the weight conscious, the quilt is filled with Apex 167 and has a wide footbox and is a size large and weighs in at 670 gms.