Day 23 – Waffles

I started early again and as always it was cold.  Not as cold as the clear skied nights but cold.  My legs felt heavy and tired.  There seemed to be no fuel in the tank.  I promised myself a stop and some food at the next hill top, but never stopped.  I ate small handfuls of berries as I went.  They did let seem to do anything.  Still I kept moving determined to get the first 25km done in under 7 hours.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

The trail climbed as it had on previous days but today I had to stop and rest frequently.  I knew I had a steep climb ahead but had no concept of how far.  They I reach a river and see the trail climb steeply from it.  It is time to eat something.  I have 7 ration packs so can spare one.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

I use the wood I collected two days ago to warm some water.  The cold wind means the water is not even tepid when I run out of wood but I make a meal anyway.  Crunchy, salty and fuel regardless of the odd combination of couscous and oriental chicken.  I am getting dangerously cold and I have a wide river to cross.  I step from rock to rock, avoiding the inevitable need to go into the water.  The water burn my feet and makes my legs ache.  I am across and need to move fast so that I can warm up.  I start the climb and push as though in a race.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

The climb plateaus, climbs one last time and ahead I see the hut and the longest descent I have ever seen!  I run.  My quads start to burn and still I run downhill.  A woodland section, meandering, avoiding fallen trees, checking for trail markings and out into the open.  The cabin is ahead.  I have arrived ahead of my planned time.  

I enter the cabin and as always look for food.  I find waffle batter mix, wine, Jägermeißter, tea, crisp bread, porridge and mash potatoe.  I take it and promise myself some alcohol and waffles if I can make the next 18km in less than 6 hours. 18 of almost constant uphill, climbing to around 800m.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

The climb begins after a river crossing.  I am even given a choice…

Wet feet or head to the bridge and add on 2km.

I pick wet feet.  They are already wet from the bogs.  I wander across, lose my balance, create enough circular motion to allow my additional food to swing around and smack me on the side of the head.  The river gets deeper but I am across, and after a wrong turn I regain the trail.  It climbs and the 14km of uphill begins.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

It seems like I’ve been climbing for hours, unable to see far in the birch woodland and wandering how long before I reach the cabin.  I climb and get above the tree line.  Still no cabin and my leg is hurting after a collision with a branch and an unfortunate twist of my foot that had me at a standstill from the pain.  I am tired.  I am hungry. I am getting cold.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

I set a time… 7pm and I stop, eat and sleep.  I eat some crisp bread and move on, pushing with the renews energy that a quick rest provides.  I swear at the rain and the hill and hold no hope of seeing a chain once I reach its brow.

‘Abisko in 3 days’

To my surprise I see the cabins.  The exhilaration of reaching the end of day takes over and I run.  Fire is made, kettleIs on and I settle down for the eve.  

Tomorrow, a new mantra…

‘Abisko in 2 days’

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6 thoughts on “Day 23 – Waffles

  1. Excellent buddy. Great reading the blog from 3 days during my lunch break. Keep on moving brother, hope the leg starts to improve though. Bye for now dude

    • From the description of the place I think I’ll enter and leave with supplies quickly. Sounds like a busy place full of people 😉
      Thanks for the supplies too. Huge help over the next 1200km of nothingness

  2. Fantastic read bud! It’s the tough sh*t that makes everything more euphoric – he says whilst sitting in a hammock, east toast and supping on an espresso 😉 Always admire what you take on and enjoy your reading your thoughts. Run strong, run safe mate. Oh, and enjoy the waffles and Jägermeißter! 😉

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