In pursuing my aim of section hiking the E1 between Padborg (Denmark) and Nordkapp (Norway) a total distance of 3683 km. I returned to Fjärås to head northwards along the Hallandsleden before connecting with the Bohusleden.
Alighting from the train at Kungsbacka and while waiting for the bus it seemed to me that Mohawk hair cuts were back in fashion, in Kungsbacka at least. A quick bus ride and I was on the trail at Brackaskolen. It was late and the plan was to walk for about an hour before camping the night. All was going to plan I located a flat spot and started to set up camp, but anyone who knows the geology of the area will know the problem I experienced. Much of Sweden has a layer of bedrock covered by soil with the rock is evident in places, and in other places it is covered by a thin layer of soil. The spot I had chosen to camp had a layer of soil about 10 cm deep below which was bedrock, which is not ideal for staking out a mid in windy conditions, after some experimentation, and cursing, the Ultramid was erected with a nice flat sleeping area inside. A magnificent sunset provided a backdrop as I settled down for dinner. By morning it was misty and wet which I had expected. Setting off into the mist along the well marked trail north, I descended and then ascended, which would be the pattern for the next 2 days, down then up or was it up then down, needless to say I had climbed 3000 metres by the end of the walk whilst never being more that 150 metres above sea level. I wandered through the pine forests before descending to a road adjacent to which was a house who clearly did not want visitors with a sign on the gate indicating “GO AWAY” and another one stating “DONT EVEN THINK OF PARKING HERE” I moved on and descended to the shelter and relaxed in the dry, recently painted shelter, whilst looking out over the mist covered Stensjön.
Soon I was slipping and sliding in the mud as I returned to the road before passing through the village of Hjalm after which I climbed through what appeared to be a holiday house area on the banks of Stora Iglakärr.
I was back in the forest again and contemplating lunch and after some walking and further contemplation I found a spot a little off the forestry road and settled in for lunch. While I was preparing lunch one of those heavy mechanical timber munching monsters passed by, the driver was oblivious to me as he went about the task unloading logs . With lunch consumed I relaxed, and when I woke up, I set off in the weak afternoon sunshine passing through more pine forest along muddy trails. Unexpectedly I was soon standing next to a sign proclaiming that I was about to start walking along the Bohusleden. It was a revelation, especially as the church bells began to toll and the sun appeared brightening up the view across Blåvatnatt. I passed by the shelter at Blåvatnatt all I can say is it is not recommended as a shelter. I then headed off on what was a less muddy trail, From here the walk seemed to improve in variety as well as in scenery. I entered the well maintained, and street lit Östra Lindome, which incorporated Bunketorp clubrooms well manicured lawns before I descended to the main road and returned to the forest. Does anyone need some boots?
Entering the forest I climbed through an area that I considered to be an option for camping until I read the sign indicating that this was an Archery hunting shooting range and as a result, I kept an eye out for any budding Robin Hoods as I passed through the area adorned with targets. Some road walking led me to a a large sporting complex at Kållered. After which I entered the forest and by now it was getting late and a campsite was my focus, arriving at a rather wet and slippery board walk across Stora Tjärnet (lake) outlet I decided now was the time. Once on the other side with an 8” Easton stake in one hand (for bedrock depth testing) I set out to locate a campsite and after a climb above the shelter adjacent to an Stora Tjärnet I found a tent sight and settled in for the night. The wooden shelter is small and in reasonable condition, personally I would prefer a tent.
A very pleasant evening was spent in the peace and solitude of the area with only the ever present hum from the freeway to the west to remind me of my close proximity to Gothenburg. I awoke to an overcast morning and took my time breakfasting and packing up, before heading around the lake and through the forest I took time to enjoy the swirling mist across Rävekårrs Långvatten.
Soon after I reached the grounds of Gunnebo Castle I chose to walk past the castle along the old cobblestone pathway, and if desired there was the coffee shop and restaurant tempting, but I kept walking.
I returned to wander around Stensjön (lake) before climbing through the residential area and back into the forest where a family were happily playing in and around the trees. After a short walk which took me past Norre Langvattnet I passed under the main freeway (E40) and entered the Stora Delsjön precinct. I was immediately aware of the popularity of the area with a number of cars in the parking lot as well as joggers heading in both directions on the 7.5 km circumnavigation of the lake. I set off on the western side of the lake intent on finding a place to sit and relax whilst eating lunch. Little did I realise that with cool onshore wind I would need all my layers to keep warm as the joggers and walkers passed by. There was no doubt that it was a popular area with its multiple parking locations and there were many couples out for walk around or near the lake. After a while I was heading away from the lake to Skatås a popular activity area. However, it seemed that a deer which wandered nonchalantly across the road in front of me was not in the least bit concerned by all the joggers, bike riders, walkers backpackers and any one else who happened to pass by. Passing around a football ground, I took a minute or two to watch the football match before heading into the forest on yet another well maintained trail as young families headed in the opposite direction. Ultimately, turning away from Härlanda Tjärn (lake) I expected the trails to become quieter. It was not the case. I followed the trail as it climbed onto an open area which had the apperance of a sub alpine area, I took a moment to consider the landscape before descending along a slippery trail. By now it was getting late and I was looking for a suitable place to camp.
Locating a place a little off the trail, I set up the shelter for the final time this trip. As it grew dark the lights of Gothenburg twinkled and lit up the low cloud providing an orange glow to the sky. A pleasant wander the next morning bought me to Stora Kasjön before passing under the main road and entering the precinct surrounding Madera, a long lake which provided pleasant views southwards. It was here that I would diverge from the E1, which follows the Vildmarksleden west, instead I would follow the Bohusleden to Jonsered.
I passed by a rather large rock and reflected that ” whilst its journey had come to an end, mine still had a little way to go”.
The trail wandered through the forest before leading me to the overpass to the freeway, or should I say where the freeway entered a tunnel. I then descended to Jonsered and I was impressed by all the red brick buildings, reading the trail notes, I soon discovered that a Scottish Industrialist had established and built the industrial area and importantly he had established social support systems for his workers. The trail deposited me at the railways station and after relaxing in the sun, I was soon heading south, reflecting on what had been a very enjoyable trip. My next trip will take me back to the Vildmarksleden where I well head west and north.