About one and a half week ago me and Tilda decided to go on a small hike before the cold rains and winds of autumn embrace southern Sweden. We found out that we had three days to spare and the weather seemed to be more than okay taking into mind the time of the year we are experiencing up north. The decision for our little adventure fell on the costal walk trail around the Bjäre peninsula. It is divided into four sections, but since the terrain is fairly neat we thought we should be able to do it in three days instead of four.
We headed out from Båstad towards Torekov (SL1, section 16 and 17) just before noon this Monday. The weather was a bit cloudy and no wind what so ever. The first section up to Knösen headed along the cost outside Båstad before we turned south, up through the beech forest of the northern hillside of Hallandsåsen. The walk through the forest was utterly stunning with leafs exploding in fiery colours, small gorges and babbling brooks.
After a while the trail left the forest and we entered a more open landscape and left the dirt trail behind and continued on paved roads through a silent and wide farmland before disappearing in to the woods again, leading us up towards Knösen; a good viewpoint over the landscape, and the end of this section.
The second section of the day took us down the forest from Knösen and through the hillsides of Hovs Hallar and down along the more flat seaside landscape towards Torekov. We stopped by the hotel at Hovs Hallar to refill our water bottles before we walked the remaining kilometres (approx. 8) to the shelter north of Torekov. The remaining hours before reaching our campsite was cornered by wobbly stone sections, sheep and endless fences to be climbed (well, maybe to climbed since there was stairs to use..). With sore feets after a long days walking we were able to light a campfire and make some warm risotto around 19.00.
Of course I had managed to forget some olive oil or other grease to cook in. But as every Swede know there is a solution to this problem- Försvarets Hudsalva, a lip balm used by the Swedish military (and everyone else). Though the years I have read countless times that this is not only the world’s best all-round lip balm or hand cream- you can also use it for cooking in emergency times. So it was two rather over exalted girls that where making dinner this evening since they finally can claim that they have been cooking with this almighty lip balm! All in all, a great first day along the coast of southern Sweden.
At the small hill south of the parking lot at Hovs Hallar
After a somewhat okay night’s sleep we woke up to a overcast Torekov. After breakfast we changed boots with each other (Tilda had new hiking boots that rather would have liked to stay inside in a cosy warm house that being outside and my well-worn boots somehow managed to cause me some great pain.) and headed into the tourist information centre in the village in order to find out whether we could spend the next night in Grevie backar, or if we had to take an alternative route and find a shelter. It turned out that we had to go for the second option. We followed section 18 of the route (Torekov Vejbystrand) along the cost through a rather flat landscape. Neither this day did we meet so many people, just two or three older locals enjoying a day outdoors. It quite fast became obvious that this area is mainly visited during the summer season. Every time we left the pasturages behind and entered a small village we were overwhelmed by the silence and rows of empty summer houses.
I have spent quite much time in Torekov when I was younger, and this boat cabin was the main attraction. Unfortunate it was closed today.
We reached out campsite at Gryteskär around 16.00 and were greeted by the first rays of sun for the day after walking the last 50 minutes with our shoes in our hands. As everyone that loves to hike knows, it is not the pain while walking that is the main problem, in is when you have been taking a break (and changed back to your own boots) and then slowly have to start walking that the problem arises. But it sure gave us some very good laughs where we were tried to forcing the easiest terrain ever seen.
After some hours of relaxing, eating, limping around in the camp and looking at the stars we put the fire out and when to bed. Tilda had got a cold and slept very bad and I was mainly paranoid that the man with the shotgun that had walked past our camp earlier that evening was going to come back and kill us. Oh don’t you just love those paranoid thoughts?!?! But we survived the night and woke up to a beautiful morning where the fields where covered in fog and the rays of the sun was peeking through the clouds. Tilda´s cold had developed into fever during the night and I could hardly walk in the shoes that I had with me so we decided to not walk the last section, nr 21 from Ängelbäcksstrand back to Båstad. I guess that is the positive side of living close to the area that you decide to explore- there is no need to actually finish the planed walk just because you have to- the trail will be there next week and in one month too.
Tired, sore but satisfied Tilda´s mother picked us up close to our campsite just after 11.00 AM and one hour later I was back in my super Skoda on the highway heading back to Halmstad.