The darned 13th day: it’s the first day when the sky is cloudy in the morning. What a luxury problem! However, already at breakfast it clears up and when we start walking the sun roasts us again like every day. After a short but crisp climb to warm up, our path is more or less flat until we descend to Västenden, where Akkajaure begins.
First destination: Västenden, the western end of Akkajaure
We reach the west bank of Akkajaure and the shelter Västenden after a little more than two hours. This wind shelter is similarly dilapidated as the two huts before and the toilet is also full to the brim. We make only short rest, to renew our mosquito protection. Directly around the shelter Västenden it is difficult to camp, since it is surrounded by forest. However, a small distance behind the hut you can pitch your tent on the beach of Akkajaure when the water level is low.
From Västenden on, it gets rough. Be it because we are just a bit tired after twelve days of hiking outside or maybe because the trail is really difficult. The fact is that we really struggle through the following part. We walk over the headland between Akkajaure and Sievgokjávrre through a dense birch forest. The trail constantly winds up and then down again. However, it does not lead very far above the shore of the Akkajaure.
Things are getting rough behind Västenden today
The path winds through the forest and we keep getting stuck with our backpacks on low birch trees or stumble over roots. Time doesn’t seem to pass at all and our goal, the fourth shelter on Mount Sievgok just doesn’t get any closer. After a seemingly endless time, however, we leave the forest again and climb high above the tree line.
Around 16:30 we meet a person again after more than two days: an approximately seventy-year-old woman is in good spirits on the trail and seems to enjoy the path more than we do. However, she still has the worst part of the forest ahead of her. She tells us about the dog between Røysvatn and Vaisaluokta, of which we have already read at the hut in Røysvatn. We will definitely report the matter in Ritsem, because we are not only worried about the dog, but also about the owner. The woman was out there three days ago and she has washed away in the ford herself. Nothing happened to her, but she lost a hiking stick.
Suddenly Manuel sinks into the bog
After the chat we walk a little further. Light birch forests alternate with damp and boggy open areas. All of a sudden Manuel finds himself stuck in the mud up to his knees. I have never seen anything like that before. The sinking in happened within seconds! Manuel describes that the bog around him felt like concrete. Only with great difficulty he can free himself again. Socks and shoes are soaking wet and dirty and he has to change clothes.
Back on the trail, we cross a small stream at about the 600 meter elevation line, behind which we pitch our tent. Up to the shelter it is probably still 1.5 kilometers, but today we’re simply not in a mood to hike any further. We enjoy the silence once again on this last evening and I get a little sentimental that we slowly have to say goodbye to the wilderness.
Goal for the next tour: take more rest days!
At dinner we reflect that we probably want to explicitly plan rest days on the next long tour, so that we are not quite so tired at the end. On this tour we had calculated rest days, but then – apart from our rest day at the Sitashytta – we have not taken them. Maybe it will help us to tie rest days directly to places in the future. Or at least we manage to become a little more mindful of when our bodies need rest. With these plans we go in our tent for the last time.
Immediately behind the Gálavárddo shelter we find a flat and level meadow: an ideal camping spot. For breakfast and dinner we can comfortably use the shelter.
Day 13: Gálavárddo - Sievgok
Until Västenden the path leads mainly downhill. Soon the trail continues through the forest, which – the deeper we get towards Akkajaure – becomes denser and denser. At the westernmost tip of the Akkajaure lies the shelter Västenden in the forest. However, there are no good campsites and the mosquitoes feel very comfortable so close to the lake and protected from the wind by the forest. We move on quickly.
From Västenden the trail runs mainly through dense forest. We find this part exhausting; especially mentally. About 1.5 km before the shelter the terrain becomes flat and offers many good possibilities for camping. Since we are tired and there is also a small stream here, we decide not to walk any further. The next day we discover that there is only a small lake but no running water at the Sievgok shelter. We do not regret our decision to stay here.
About 1.5 km before the shelter flows a small stream with fresh water and the flat terrain offers many opportunities to pitch a tent.