With some windy weather expected, we decided we needed to find a good place to moor and Docksta provided just that. Plus it is right next to a national park so there would be plenty to do for the next few days of northerlies. I had looked at the harbour and there was one spot I was keen to get which meant that we would be well protected and could leave the boat there. So an early start meant that we could got the pick of the places. It is still quiet up here – during the week more than 2 boats in a harbour and it is positively crowded. White Haze followed us in in – I am sure they must think we are stalking them. We did beat a large German boat in – a rather satisfactory beach towel victory moment.
We were greet by an incredibly friendly and helpful harbour master Tommaso and his wife Anna and it was a surprise to hear their Italian accents. Tommaso was speaking at full tilt and by the time we had put the 2nd rope ( of 4) on ashore he had given us a map of all the hiking routes, told us the best routes to go on and given us the brief on the facilities!
The following day with Mags dosed up on ibufofen for her dodgy knees, we set of along part of the High Coast trail in the Skuleskogen National Park. We walked though ancient pine forests with rare plants and lichens, past Bronze age burial chambers, saw cobble fields (beaches) at 200 m above sea level and walked
across bare rock with knurled pine trees growing in the most unlikely of locations. Steep climbs rewarded with great views of the islands below.
Arriving at a beautiful lake with a little red bothy for the trail hikers and a couple of fire pits, it was the perfect lunch stop. Our route returned through the Slattdalen Ravine – created over 1.5 billion years ago with steer granite walls and rocky floor.
Continuing on the High Coast Trail the next day, we past a suspended seat with different positions as demonstrated by Mags– which is part of a series of architectural installations along the trail.
From there we climbed Skulebergets, which has the worlds highest shore line at 286m above sea level and it has a cobble field at this height – meaning that it over 8000 years old. When you see the sea way down below it is incredible to see how much it has risen.
I am pleased to say that Mags knees held up and she managed both days without limping!
We decided to hire a car to explore the area and visit some prehistoric rock paintings. There is a reoccurring theme with the coast of Sweden – trees and vast swaths of them. Thinking there might be a little variation in scenery we headed inland – as we are all treed out. But no – the vista of trees didn’t change.
We took a guided tour round some of the 2600 carvings which are believed to be between 6000 -1500 BC. Their proximity to the roaring water of the hydroelectric dam is a dramatic situation for these unique carvings.
They depict elk, people, salmon, bears and boats. Believed to be carved with quartz, they are painted in modern times as they would be impossible to see otherwise. It is debateable whether this is the right thing to do but it does make it easier for the untrained eye.
We discovered the Fjallraven Outlet store – lots of cool outdoors kit though an alarming number of people wearing socks and sandals. There was a danger of spending serious money here and blowing the sailing budget – but as a friend said we could always park the boat and continue by dinghy!
On the roof of the harbour clubhouse, there was a nest with 2 seagull chicks that were only 3 days old – cute feathery brown balls.. The only problem being to go to the loo you had to pass close by with both parents on guard duty. In other harbours, we have had to negotiate artic terns that attack you with their beaks but the seagull just swoop at you – harmless you think but when they really don’t like where you are – they deploy the ultimate deterrent with the bombing accuracy of the dambuster bombs – father seagul scored a direct hit all over me.
We invited Ada and Akko and a British couple Helen and David over for drinks and enjoyed more tales of daring do around Patagonia and other exotic boat locations. Carra’s high seas Hummus was made for the occasion.