What a night on Lake Malären! Who would have known that sleeping on a lonely island in the middle of a lake was louder than in the middle of Stockholm? There was serious action going on in the water and the forest. The fish went completely mental and jumped around splashing like lunatics. And in the forest the population of beavers had a party on their own. Those animals get seriously big out here. We saw one the size of a dog. Overall animals out here in Sweden seem to not be very impressed and afraid by humans. They just don´t care and walk around next to you. Now, waking up with this view is not the worst thing that can happen:
And right there on those stones it was time for our wild Swedish breakfast. Knäckebröd, coffee and marmalade. I can´t mention enough how good Knäckebröd tastes here, it´s seriously delicious and addictive. We spent the whole day in the sun doing absolutely nothing, just enjoying life and relaxing. We had the absolute best spot! I was surprised by the absence of mosquitoes though. I actually thought I´d get stung to bits like back in Italy where I had something over 50 stings after 3 days of beach holiday. But therefore horseflies are a problem. I was bitten by 5 or 6 of them and those fuckers get pretty big out there in the wet swamp lands of the lake. But I did not care much about that since I was too busy being lazy in the sun, working on my tan. 😀
In the evening time we then started packing up the camp and had a nice sunny dinner to prepare us for the trip back. Obviously we left the camp site as clean as we had found it.
When we left the island the weather was super nice, no wind, no waves, perfect kayaking conditions. However, after we circled the island to the opposite side we found the answer to the question why so many boats had previously come around to our side of the island group. There was some seriously strong wind and wave conditions going on here and the islands had blocked it all out so it was calm on one side and stormy on the other. We had to do 3 big crossings of open water with motor boats crossing on all sides and waves draining us in water. The waves and winds alone are manageable but the motor boats are a serious problem. The captains do not give a damn about who is around them, the drive where they want and go as fast as possible. So we had loads of ghost and cross waves making it super difficult to progress and nearly tipping us over a few times.
On the way back we decided to jump from island to island since the winds and waves were pretty exhausting, especially in loaded kayaks. On one island we got some suspicious looks from yacht owners when we entered their private marina to get out of the wind. Yacht club members are the same all across the world. Soaking wet and with sore neck and shoulder muscles we made it back to the small harbor we started our journey from. Unloading the boats and cleaning them took a while and we nearly attacked by a family of Swans, the dicks of the bird world. Next on the list, driving back to our kayak storage and then off to Max, the Swedish answer to McDonald´s. I have to say that the steak and bacon burger I got there was among the top 5 burgers I had in my life. I strongly recommend going there if you visit Sweden!
One thing about the Swedish sun in summer is the strength of it. We went to Malta a year ago where I spent 7 days in the blasting sun at 35°C with not one cloud in the sky and barely any sun cream on me. I only got a very minor sun burn on a bus tour and it was gone after one day. However, one afternoon in the sun in Sweden, with sun blocker lotion on was enough to give me the worst sun burn in 20 years.
Catch ya later,