We are standing with packed backpacks at the starting point Leipzig / Halle Airport and can hardly wait for the bus to finally arrive to take us to the adventure Sweden. The anticipation has reached its peak. First in the bus we travel via Berlin, Hamburg and Puttgarden to Lennartsfors. More and more people join us until the bus is full and after 19.5 hours of driving including two ferry rides we arrive a bit tired but happy at the base camp of scandtrack. After a small snack we go to the material distribution. We repack our stuff into waterproof duffel bags and on to the water where we get assigned our canoe, loaded and then quickly away from civilization. It is now afternoon at 15:00. So the tour takes us only five kilometers to Dano 11. This will be our home for the first night. At the island is already a houseboat, whose inhabitants, a nice young couple on their honeymoon, we meet several times in the next few days. This always causes a smile on both sides, because the area Dalsland / Nordmarken is so wide that it gives the impression that you would follow each other, if you see each other so often. In peace and quiet we settle in and clean out the "food garbage can" completely to see what we have. The first dinner is still quite meager. There is tomato-cucumber-salad, bag soup and bread. That goes fast. One becomes full. We don't go to bed too late today, because we have to recover a little from the long bus ride. Fascinating how bright it still is at 23:00 o'clock…
A wasp wakes us up with its buzzing sound. Nature is our alarm clock. Time does not matter. We have arrived. Totally relaxed we have breakfast, wash up, pack everything, load the canoe and start despite a strong headwind and waves, as we would not have expected them in a lake, towards Trollön, the border island between Norway and Sweden. Sometimes we have the feeling to stand on the spot despite paddling, so when the wind increases even more we take a little forced break. But soon we go on and arrived on Trollön, we meet other canoeists, who decided to take a break day with such wind. Also the houseboat is back. We explore the island. Unfortunately the Dano is occupied and at all the nice places where we would have pitched our tent, there is already one. So we get back into the canoe and this time paddle with the wind to a small island, which has a connection to the mainland due to the low water level at the moment. A perfect mooring for us. Sarah puts up the tent and sets up camp while I take care of the firewood. That evening we cook over an open fire, as it should be done. We have spirelli with fried salami with onion and tomato sauce…Delicious. We hang our bucket of fresh food – potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and onions – on a tree to avoid attracting mice and other potential eaters. Whether this is absolutely necessary, who knows, but it has not hurt.
Today the car cemetery on Bästnas is our destination. It is interesting to see the many old cars, through which partly already meters high trees have grown, weathering before itself. We came to this place by geocaching. The can is of course also successfully logged. Afterwards we cross the lake in search of a Dano for the night. At least six such shelters we drive to, unsuccessfully. On the way we meet the houseboat again. Take the time for a short chat. Then we continue until we admit to spend this night in the tent. Unfortunately on the windy side of Getön. The camp site is not ideal, but we make the best of it. Twelve kilometers paddled, then wind and waves force us to break off at this point. I have never pitched a tent in so much wind before. As a precaution we secure all the pegs with stones. Also fire is not to be thought of. So we crawl after cold kitchen into our sleeping bags. In this night it is still thunderstorming, but we lie in the dry, so everything is fine.
It is only 6:00 o'clock, but we are already awake and want to go on. Unfortunately, instead of stopping, the wind just changed its direction. We explore the island a little. On the other side it is calmer and warmer and so we break our emergency camp without breakfast and start to look for a better place for ourselves. We head for an island and find a nice sheltered bay, where we stay for a short time to have breakfast. Now we are strengthened and want to try our luck to reach Barön. But with so much headwind this is just no fun and since the forecast for the next day is better, we decide to camp on Getön Öst at Dano 15. So there is time for other things. So we wash clothes, swim a little, and try our hand at fishing. For this you need a fishing license, which we bought on the first day in the base camp. And an instruction in fishing from a friend who knows about it is also highly recommended. The little masters in swimming. Diving should not suffer after all. In any case, tonight we have a small perch as an appetizer. And our decision is made – fishing is not our hobby. We are divers and prefer to see the fish alive. During the fishing also the fishing hook gets caught in branches at the bottom of the lake. Fortunately quite close to the shore and not deep I think, get rid of my pants and walk determinedly along the fishing line to save the bait. But I do not come far. The bottom is so soft that I sink almost up to my knees in the silt and quickly rescue myself to the shore. The sole of my left sandal unfortunately disagrees and remains in the mud. The next idea is to lay stones and balance myself piece by piece to the bait. The plan works. We do not have to cut the fishing line. There was also enough to laugh at this spectacle. And so quickly the evening is here. I light a fire again. It works better and better to handle the ignition steel. There are hearty fried potatoes with onions and bacon. Two more canoes have arrived on the island during the day and so we sit around the fire at a late hour and exchange our experiences that we have made so far.
Get up. Breakfast. Washing up. Packing things. Loading the canoe. On to Barön. The weather is perfect. We arrive relaxed. It is really very beautiful on this island, but for us there is only the lunch break and already it goes further direction Uprann. Dano 20 is already occupied, so after a short exploration we get back into the canoe and go to Dano 21 on the other side of the island. The comfortable evening can be rung in. Today we have bean salad. Hunter meatloaf with potatoes. The food is well deserved. We have made seventeen kilometers today.
We are reliably woken up again by a wasp. There is breakfast. Routinely everything is done. Now we sit down together and look at the map, because we haven't chosen a destination for today yet. The choice is quickly made. Already we can start. First again in the direction of Barön and then we want to have a look at the Stora le, a side arm of the Foxen. To save time, we have lunch on the water today. Sarah paddles, I eat and vice versa. Also nice. Our way includes for the first time also a transfer point. It is exhausting to carry something from one wet to the next wet, but also worth an experience. When we have to go along a forest path for a while, we put the canoe down, take pictures and send them via Whatsapp. Laughing reactions, if we had misunderstood something with the waterways, are not long in coming. At the place, where we use the canoe again, it is however again very muddy. So we build a small jetty out of driftwood and stones to better load and board the boat. After 16 kilometers we arrive on Lilla Sundsbyn and move into Dano 39. I make fire and Sarah kneads dough…Today we have outdoor calzone…The best calzone ever… Of course we have dumplings for dessert, but we can't fit much more in. The rest we will enjoy for breakfast.
The penultimate day is unfortunately very cloudy. For now we are still paddling north with no destination in mind…Just a little bit to enjoy the peace and nature. But it is all of no use. We do not want to spend the last night too far away from the base camp. For tomorrow a lot of wind is announced and the chances are 50:50 that we have that in the back. We expect that we will paddle against the wind and so we go to Lennartsfors and sleep in Dano 12. Now rain starts too. Not much, but steadily. Except us we don't see any canoe on the water, Dano 12 and surroundings are all occupied, but we find a nice place for our tent. The first time in this vacation we build a canopy with the tarp. I sit down under it and cook with the spirit stove spirelli with fried bockwurst onions and tomato sauce. Satisfied about the beautiful vacation and also sad that it will soon be over, we lie in the tent and talk about what we have experienced.
We enjoy our last breakfast especially. The sun is shining. It is windy, but we are in a quiet corner. One last time we go swimming in the lake. When sun and wind have dried the last raindrops from the tent, we pack everything and start towards the base camp, which we left a week ago. We have quite a fight to get ahead. It was a good decision to keep the last stretch short. After ca. Three kilometers we reach our destination and the procedure of the first day is repeated, only in reverse, until we are again standing with our backpacks. Now we have a warm meal and a packed lunch and the bus leaves for home. It was beautiful. We become repeat offenders!