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.
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.
I found a spot and settled in for the night.
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”.
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.
I chose a spot near the house to camp, hoping that no one would see me.
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.
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.
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.
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.