E1: Mullsjö to Borås

Having read Cesars description of the route between Borås and Mullsjö, in particular all the road walking I had decided to start in Mullsjö and complete the road walking first, it proved to be a good decision. I arrived in Mullsjö late on a warm evening. Setting off around the lake I was soon following trails through the woods. It was a pleasant evening and I was happy, as I wandered past the lake (Stråcken) over a bridge and under the bridge.

 
Bridge under bridge Stråken

 

I meandered along the trail keeping an eye out for a campsite.

Finding the only place I felt was suitable I set up camp, cooked and ate dinner while watching the fish jump in the lake. I went to sleep to the sound of a driver trying to burn as much rubber off their tyres as possible, whereas I was awoken in the morning by a wood pecker, the contrast could not have been more stark.
 

Ultamid Stråken

I packed up and was on my way early as I expected to spend a long day on the roads and was uncertain of my final resting place. One thing that can be said about road walking is that is hard on the feet and legs, but it is easy to cover distance quickly, which I did. Furthermore, wandering along the roads allows you to take the time to take in what is around you and to experience nature at its finest, even if it is a cold windy day. I have also noticed that it is rare to see anyone out in the fields (maybe because they are using drones) though I did see one farmer and gave the customary “hi” as I passed by. However, it was evident that the grass was growing, the flowers flowering, as well there is the ever expanding optic fiber network in these small hamlets. During my recent trips along the E1 in Sweden I have noted the installation of new optic fibre cables in what I would consider to be somewhat remote areas, this is a far cry from my country of berth, where they are struggling to extend the optic fibre network in the large cities. I wondered if it is possible for a first world country (Australia) to regress to a second world country.

The kilometres passed by, the legs became tired but I kept walking. Looking for shelter I stopped at Kölingareds Church and sheltered from the cold wind on the steps of the church, I noticed that the grounds looked well kept,  but it seemed to be that the church was rarely used.

Reaching the end of section 10 of the Sjuhäradsleden there was the customary excellent information board indicating that the next section was only 100% bitumen. What can I say (I was ecstatic), I did the distance and in the late afternoon arrived at Böne Church the culmination of the section, and the commencement of the next. Here there was another information board which provided me with inspiration for a campsite a further 6 km along the trail.

By now my legs were getting tired of the roads, but with a campsite in sight it took little energy to keep walking. Before long I arrived at Jordkulan. It was a somewhat surreal scene, there laid out in front of me were several flower decorated trestle tables. As well as the earthen house a tack room and a new shelter.

 
Jordkulen 1

I found a spot and settled in for the night.

Table Jordkulen
 
Jordkulen is an earthen shelter which was used in the 1700 and 1800 by persons living in remote areas, often these folk were poor. This one has been maintained by Ekomuseum Falbygden Ätradalen and is a popular place for visitors. Among the last residents was Anna Katrina the fourth wife of Jonas Andersson (he outlived his other 3 wives) he lived there till his death in 1877. She finally left the hut in 1885.
 

Inside

 
Meanwhile I sat in the newly built wind shelter and cooked dinner appreciative of the protection from the cold wind. I needed little persuasion to retire for the night, the quiet evening after a long day soon had me asleep, only to be awoken by rain during the night.
 
As I set off along more roads the weather was clearer and noticeably warmer, however, the good news for me was there was only 60% bitumen.  As I approached Ulricehamn I stopped at the large horse riding establishment to fill my water bottles, here the local equestrians were out practising their “western riding” (think cowboys) I was happy to head into to town thereby completing section 8 of the Sjuhäradsleden, you are correct this is a countdown.
After stopping at the information board, by the way the kommunes (local councils) need to be congratulated for their efforts in providing excellent information on each section of the trail, something which is lacking in Denmark as well as Australia. Now it was time for more bitumen as I walked along the old railway line connecting Ulricehamn to Borås. I arrived at the Brown church and by now I had become quite a fan of churches for their conveniences, water,  and in this case the flat grassy lawn to stretch out on in the midday sun.
 
Brunn Church

Finally, after relaxing on the lawn I headed off and stopped to take a photo of the church, as always there is someone(s) who want to photo bomb. So here they are in all they glory as they say “if cows could fly”.

 
Cows

I continued along roads and trails reaching the end of the section and gaining further inspiration from the sign it was off to Raska-Minnas stuga for the night (note the video was taken in 2010 but nothing has changed). The good news was there were now some forest trails, and even though it was warm I was relishing the walk as I passed through small hamlets which were alive to the sounds of lawn mowers. I also passed a walker and then 2 more one wearing a large bush knife strapped to his waist. I wondered why?  Anyway after what seemed like a long climb I was at Mina’s, sadly she was not home, having left in 1943.

 
Raska-Mina's Stuga

I chose a spot near the house to camp, hoping that no one would see me.

Ultamid camouflage
 
The house has stood since 1860 and is left open for those wishing to visit it. I spent a pleasant evening on the front lawn. Grateful for all those who had gone before who had pioneered this country and suffered undoubted hardships, some of whom had emigrated to the USA, between 1870 to 1900.
I awoke to a beautiful morning as I set off along forest trails, everything seemed right with the world as I followed narrow footpaths through the forests before descending to a major road which I followed for about half a kilometre then climbed away from the road, resting, I listened to a gaggle of geese (a group of cyclists in this case) who passed by on the road below chatting away about who knows what. Did they even notice the birds singing? I suspect not.
I continued to climb in the cool sunshine, wandering through forests before being confronted by the shelter guard.
 
Shelter guard

Having convinced the guard I was just looking, I moved on, passing some small farms before entering Stålarpmossen a large expanse of high swamp, which at this time of the year seemed dry. Descending along the trail I stopped at Stålarp spring to collect water.

Spring Stålarp

It was Ascension Day and the bells were tolling as I passed by Toarps Church along the former Borås Ulrichamn railway which I had walked along previously. Crossing over the main road I climbed to the shelter at Karlsfogarna, having completed another section, it was time for lunch. By the way the shelter comes complete with a kettle.

Shelter Karslaflogarna
I sat happily eating my Vegemite tortilla, whilst listening to children playing in a nearby house. Here, out of the wind, it was pleasant and I could have been convinced to linger longer, but with an uncertain destination I decided to wander further along the “Esker” before climbing up onto the plateau. Soon I could here the vehicles speeding along the freeway, however, there was still some walking to do across an open peat swamp and along forestry trails before I would pass under the freeway and enter the outskirts of Borås. I weaved my way through the side streets abundantly aware of the burglar alarm going off in one house and the realisation that civilization was rapidly approaching.
However, I thought I had one last chance at a wilderness experience, as I entered the area surrounding Kypergårdens friluftsgård. Little did I know that on a warm Sunday afternoon, this was the centre of outdoor activity for Borås and surrounds. There were walkers, joggers, runners cyclists along with fires going in fireplace and single use BBQ’s supporting a scorched earth policy.
In amongst all this mayhem I was looking for a campsite. So I set off to find a spot away from the maddening crowd. Having found an area I began to locate an ideal campsite only to be disturbed by a couple who were looking for a geocache in the vicinity. Okay, maybe I should move, which I did. Further away I found what was perhaps a better site so I decided it was coffee time. Soon a young lady came walking down a nearby path and took one look at me and ran in the opposite direction, I decided it was time to move further away, which I did. I finally found a less than ideal spot but was well away from the crowd.
 
 
Ultamid Kypegården
Having set up camp I relaxed and ate dinner before retiring, only to be awoken about 2 am by dogs howling. Dozing off to sleep again I was then awoken by what I thought was a gunshot, the next 4 gunshots confirmed my suspicion. It seems that I was not supposed to get a restful night. All went quiet and I arose as it got light, determined to leave as early as possible and walk the 6 km into Borås and head home. As I headed into town I passed an establishment titled “Cherry Massage” I did wonder how you massage a cherry and what were the benefits.

It was a public holiday in Denmark but here in Sweden it was a normal work day so as I arrived at the bus station as the well dressed workers were rushing to their place of employment. However, I was happy in the knowledge that I had not only completed a section of the E1, but overall had enjoyed the journey and the variety of challenges it had presented.

I intend to return soon to head further north.
Gear Reflections.

As I lay ensconced in my Zpacks Down Sleeping bag on my Klymit Insulated Static V Lite inside the Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent (with the upside down logo) sheltered by the HMG UltaMid, all of which is carried in my HMG Windrider 3400 I decided I had a thing for US made Lightweight hiking gear, all of which works for me providing me with a warm and comfortable nights sleep, in a  bug free environment protected from the rain.

The Primus Eta Lite provides me with hot water whenever I need it, the Sea to Summit Delta Mug keeps my Freezer bag meals hot as well as providing hot steaming coffee on demand. The Roclite 295’s eat up the hard roads so that my feet can party all night long.

When the wind is blowing, the MontBell Tachyon provides a wonderful shield and if rain threatens I can call on the Demand  (sadly I am in need of a UL replacement, Jöttnar’s Hymir maybe). In other words my gear list is pretty much settled, all I have to do is the walking and the carrying.

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8 Responses to E1: Mullsjö to Borås

  1. As always nice to read your musings, particularly as they offer a fresh view on my native country. But a Jöttnar’s Hymid? Is 330 grams really what objectively could be called ultraligth? Except in marketing blurb of course 😉

    • Thanks Jorgen, yeah the weight is a bit high, but for long distance trips it could be an option. For more local (shorter) trips I would use a lighter jacket, such as the Essence or a Pertex Shield jacket.

      • Jon says:

        I also noticed the kind of heavy Jöttnar jacket. Any special reasons for his one? Personally I tend to sometimes go with my favourite brands even though there are better alternatives available just because I like the style and fit of these.

  2. Thanks Jon, I like the style of the Jöttnar and the Neoshell fabric, which I have in a Montane Further Faster (which is another 100 gms heavier). The fabric does breathe well in my view, but it seems that at the moment there are not any Lightweight offerings. I will keep looking and hoping the Demand reappears.

  3. peter says:

    So I see you decided to go with the Six Moons Serenity net tent for your Ultamid… How do you like it so far? the length seems fine (with the bathtub walls to help…), but the 26″ width just seems too narrow, especially with the sloping walls of the net. I would like my sleeping pad wider than this-:)
    Anyway, may I ask your height & general size ( ie shoulder width?). I plan for a long walk in lapland late August & early September, so I may not need a net tent for my ultamid. But I could use one here in the US this summer.
    tusind tak

    • I decided to try the SMD net, and for me it fits well, there is not a lot of spare space. I use a Klymit Static V which has a width of 25″. My main complaint, as it is with most of these type of nets, I prefer a T zip entry it makes it easier to get in and out (and cook) no matter which side of the shelter the inner lies on, nor which end your head is. I am contemplating getting the SMD inner modified with a T zip. What I do like about the net tent is that it can be pinned down at 6 points. My height 5’10’ and shoulder width about 20″. I will be in Finnmark in July so I have decided to take my Notch for its better all round bug protection, small footprint, and its compact size when packed.

  4. Cesar says:

    Nice report and photos. And thanks for the shout out! Things get much better going north. I really loved VV trail, especially the northern half of it, and also loved Bergslagsleden–but I am guessing you already know how I feel, having read my reports perhaps? 😉 I will do another section hike in a few weeks and can’t wait. Happy trails and I’ll be sure to check back on your progress from time to time.

    • Thanks Cesar, reading your latest post reminded me of your comment. I very much enjoyed the VV trail, and am looking forward to heading further north, but it may be a while and as you have noted traveling to the start and the end of some sections becomes difficult, especially if you are based in Denmark as I am. However, visiting these areas has also opened my eyes to the many opportunities available in this part of Sweden. Looking forward to reading more of your reports.

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