The first day of our Kungsleden adventure starts with a great surprise: our host Carl-Magnus takes us back to Luleå on the way to work and drops us off in the middle of the city. Unfortunately, no shop is open yet, so again we are not able to buy camping gas.
A few more calories for breakfast before we hit the Kungsleden
With a queasy feeling because of the lack of fuel we search for a suitable opportunity for breakfast and find it at the Espresso House in Luleå not far from the bus station: we order a caramel cheesecake with a Chai Latte for Katharina and for me a blueberry cake and a cappuccino. While paying, the friendly Swede behind the counter answers my question whether I can pay by credit card with a pitying smile and a gesture at the sign in front of him. There is a sign saying in English: “We are a cash free restaurant”.
From Arjeplog onwards our bus also delivers the mail
From the bus station in Luleå we continue our trip to Jäckvik. The first bus, a large coach, takes us to Arvidsjaur. There we change buses to Arjeplog. In the few minutes waiting I quickly sprint to a small shop in search of gas: unsuccessfully. Since the Swedish bus system is perfectly coordinated, we neither have to wait long nor fear to miss the connection when changing buses. In Arjeplog the bus is suddenly pleasantly small. Only hikers get on the bus with us and we learn from one of our fellow travellers that there is definitely a chance to buy gas in Jäckvik. We are relieved!
Our little bus also serves as the mailman out here in the vastness of Lapland. Again and again we stop at collecting points with several mailboxes and our bus driver distributes the mail conscientiously. However, at no time we see a house belonging to the mailboxes.
Finally we arrive in Jäckvik: now we’ re off to the Kungsleden!
Final stop in Jäckvik is a small gas station. It sells everything a hiker’s heart desires and in fact there is still more than enough gas even at the end of the season! With one gas cartridge each in our backpacks, we set off around 3 pm in bright sunshine. Our plan is to cover a few more kilometers and maybe even the first rowing passage today.
Accommodation and shopping in Jäckvik
At the bus stop in Jäckvik there is a gas station with a small supermarket selling everything you need as a hiker.
As there is no STF hut in Jäckvik, so you have to arrange your own accommodation there. Kyrkans Fjällgård offers fixed accommodation with 80 beds, shower and, if necessary, food. Dogs are allowed there.
More information about the accommodation: www.kyrkansfjallgardjakkvik.com
The first few meters on the Kungsleden are not so exciting and after about an hour and a half we are already on the shore of the lake with the first boat passage. We are also lucky, because two boats are well moored on our side of the lake. We grab one of them and row the short distance across the lake. I don’t like that at all, as I have a distinct antipathy to rowing, but Katharina enjoys the short break on the lake.
We find a perfect first campsite at the lake
We walk a little further until we reach a fantastic campsite directly at lake Haugajaure, about half way between Jäckvik and Vuonatjviken. In light drizzle we pitch our tents and then hide in my home for cooking. With the inner tent partially tied up, it offers us protection from the weather while we cook. The warm food makes both of us feel good, nevertheless we soon crawl into our cosy sleeping bags.