-What’s this? Frost? Ice? But it’s the beginning of May, for God’s sake!!!
Hrm... not what I had expected I must say. The night sleep wasn’t very deep that night cause I had only brought my short Therm-a-Rest and my new fluffy Marmot sleeping bag, (that was green,which is my favourite color, but that didn’t help) was way too thin for low temperatures as these. So when the sun came up and started to defrost the world outside the tent, I finally went to sleep for a few hours and so it became the latest start during the trip. I was on the water just before nine o’clock.
But what a day Gotland served me after that cold and slow morning! Blue water, sunshine and light tail winds. Wow! I passed the most southerly point, called Barshageudd, and soon spotted the first rauks in my life. Rauks are standing stones, or stacks, on land or in the water that have been formed by time, wind and water. When all these elements work together they shape the rocks and you get beautifully limestone formations and on Gotland you find a lot of them. They are exciting and fun features in the landscape and they are all a big reason why lots of people go to Gotland. And they are accessible to all of us which is just great I think. I really appreciate that they haven’t put any fences around them or something similar, that would probably be the case in some other parts of the world.
Since I started a bit ”late” this day I paddled into the evening and pitched my tent in a picturesque litle place among some fishermens huts called Hus fiskeläge, just next to the village of Ronehamn. But before I went to sleep, I checked the weather forecast and realised that I had to get up early the morning after, if I wanted to eat some kilometres before the forecasted head winds would arrive.
And so I did. I paddled until noon cause then the winds changed direction and increased. It was blowing about 10 m/second (force 4-5) when I got off the water in Ljugarn. There I found a campsite, that was closed of course, since we’re in the low season. But I found a utility house that was open and I rewarded my self with a hot shower, the first in five days! And oh, that was a nice one!!! The winds were quite persistent during that day and all through the night. (This is when I shouldn’t tell you that I had left the kayak and my paddle too close to the water and when I got back a few hours later I realised it would have been so easy to loose both the kayak and my Black Light paddle to Mr Poseidon that afternoon. I wasn’t expecting the sea to rise that much...)
It was quite windy even in the morning after, so I relaxed in the tent during the first hours on the 6th day and headed off when the winds started to calm down a bit. But I had quite a head wind to fight during the day and it was also freezing cold cause the rain started to fall and it wouldn’t stop for the rest of that day. So when I arrived in Herrvik, I went to see if there was anyone around in the harbour that could maybe unlock the toilets so that I could warm up a bit. But to my big surprise, there was a restaurant in Herrvik. And it was open!!!
Torsten, who ran the place, was a real gentleman that day. I walked in there in my big orange storm cag, totally soaked and cold, asking if I could use the bathroom. Of course I could he said, and then he also offered me the key to his fisherman hut. I could stay there for the night if I wanted to. - And there’s even a wood burner in there and some firewood if you want to use it.
This was an offer I just couldn’t turn down, so after I had put my things in the hut, I walked down to the restaurant and ordered a veggie lasagna that was delicious. Do I need to say that I slept really well that night?
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