It was raining, of course...
On Sunday the 29th of April, I packed the kayak on the pebble beach just below the famous Almedalen park, which is the ”acting place” for all Swedish politicians once a year when the ”Week of politics” is held. The kayak was REALLY heavy when I took off and a bit unstable if I’m honest. But the light tail winds soon got me relaxed and I passed the harbour where all the huge ferries come into Visby and continued south towards the first of a number of ”klints” I would be passing on my way around the island. A ”klint” is a high cliff next to the sea and Högklint is one of the most impressive ones. It’s 50 meters high and a popular spot for people to visit. You can walk out to the edge of it and of course you should get photographed while you’re standing there, with only the sea underneath you. I wasn’t in the mood of getting out of the kayak already, just after about an hour of paddling, but I was thinking that I must be more unique, seeing the ”klint” from the sea instead... ;-)
It was such a nice feeling to be on the water again and knowing that I had a possibly two weeks of paddling infront of me. Or three if the winds and the weather would be working against me. The first day was pretty grey, until I decided to call it a day and while I was pitching the tent on a cute little sandy beach, miss Sun came out and painted the surroundings in such beautiful evening light. Everything was sparkling like gold and I had a BIG smile on my face when I crawled down into the sleeping bag. This was going to be a good trip, I already felt it there that evening.
Today Gotland is situated 90 km from the Swedish mainland but the island rose from the sea about 400 million years ago. At that time it was lying close to the equator and was created out of limestone, coralls, dead organisms and sea shells. The first people arrived about 7000 years ago and between the Vikings and the Middle ages, Gotland was a very important place for trade and commerce. Visby is actually a World Heritage place, because of all it’s remnants from that time that are very well preserved.
On the second day I woke up by my ”biological kayak clock” at 04:50. I paddled past a few islands on my right that turned out to be the big and little islands of Karlsö. This time of year the islands are protected as bird sanctuaries, so I don’t think the birds, or the bird wardens, would have been all excited if I paddled out there. But the islands looked very impressive from a distance I must say with pretty high cliffs. I guess I have to return to Gotland and visit those two islands at some other point.
The day passed really quickly and I enjoyed every paddle stroke untill I decided to get off the water and find a place to camp for the night. After 10 1/2 hours on the water I thought I deserved a delicious meal cooked on the camp stove. Pasta and veggie bolognese. Mmmm...
And then the cold arrived. Chilly winds were starting to show up. The were lurking around the corners and as soon as I stopped paddling, I could feel that they wanted to get inside the dry suit. I better keep moving, so I tried to keep the breaks on land as short as possible. I also had to deal with pretty strong easterly winds today. That is off shore winds in this case and since Gotland has millions of stones that have been thrown out in the water just off the beach, I had to think a bit carefully about route choices. I had to do a mini crossing of a bay, Burgsviken, and I didn’t want to get pushed towards the sea too much so I had to fight the head winds for a while before I could safely cross the bay. Once on the other side I was getting closer to the south westerly tip of the island and high ”klints”, cliffs, were welcoming me with their proud posture.
It had been another great day on the water I thought just before I closed my eyes and mr Sandman arrived.
If you click the pictures, they will be presented in a Light Box.