Backpacking in Skåne (Sweden) – Part 2/3
In the first part of the Backpacking in Skåne series we arrived at Söderåsen National Park. The cafe we were looking forward to have dinner at was closed so we prepared our own (dried-food) meal. Wild camping is not allowed in Söderåsen National Park so we tried to find a place nearby to set up our tent. It was already 5 o’clock in the evening and we were pretty tired. We found a campsite nearby but it was closed and we weren’t in the mood of calling the reception so we decided to set up the tent nearby Söderåsen National Park.
Friendly Dog People and making Friends
Naturum – Röstånga
The next morning we woke up to a promising blue sky. Without having any access to the internet we just tried to speculate about the weather forecast and planned our day accordingly. I got really excited about the fact that we had access to a toilet and a sink which were part of the cafe nearby. I packed my toiletries and just wanted to go there when I saw that a forester came our way. I felt a bit embarrassed to have a conversation with him since I haven’t had a shower in days and didn’t had a chance yet to brush my teeth or my hair. When arriving at our tent, he complimenting us that Bobby was on a leash. He explained to us in a very friendly way that we were not allowed to wild camp here since this field still was part of the National Park, which we didn’t know. He patted Bobby on the head and gave us some tips on were we could set up our tent.
I was so surprised about the foresters friendly attitude that I completely forgot to feel embarrassed about my odor and looks. He seemed so happy with his job and was so friendly to us. He didn’t seem upset or angry although we haven’t followed the wild camping guidelines of that National Park. Although he said that we could take it easy and have a breakfast first before breaking up the tent we packed our stuff immediately and walked to the campsite nearby. The next place to set up our tent was either in the mosquito infested bush bush of the National Park or a shelter 5 kilometers away. We were still a bit sleepy and hungry so the campsite seemed to be the easiest choice for know. For about 24Euro we very unexpectedly stayed one night at the campsite. It was a very simple one with one building on it. In that building you had access to a kitchen, a shower, toilet and even a television. For me, when backpacking, the most luxurious things you can have access to are a clean water, a toilet, a shower and a sink. In our everyday lives it is so normal to have clean water all day long. Everywhere you go you will find a toilet…but when backpacking you realize how much easier and comfortable it makes your life. Disinfection spray was probably the most used item in my backpack, except maybe my camera. Whilst my boyfriend set up the tent, Bobby started to eat some bugs nearby and I went to have a nice warm shower. I immediately used the opportunity to wash my clothes in the shower, too.
At 11 o’clock we went to the cafe (Skäralids Restaurang) which already was closed the day before and had a super nice lunch. You could either order a dish or eat from the buffet. We chose for the buffet of course and I ate the best potatoes ever! It was so nice to have real food again and the people were very dog friendly. We sat outside on the terrace where we had a great view on the lake. Lots of people were visiting the National Park with their family and it was nice to see that all these people appreciate nature.
I also noticed that almost all people were very gentle with their dogs. They were talking in a soft, calm voice and handled their dogs very calm too. In the Netherlands I often see people nearly screaming instead of talking to their dog as if (s)he is death. During our lunch Bobby received lots of cuddles and people were very interested in his breed (I wish I could answer this answer with 100% certainty but unfortunately that will never be the case). He got cuddled by babies, children and even full-grown man who just could stop cuddling him. It always makes me so happy if people like my dog hahaha
At the campsite we met a British couple in their late fifties. They drove by train from North-England to Brussels and from there cycled the entire way to Sweden, crossing Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. Such an insane adventure! When Bobby is too old to have long hikes I would love to go on vacation by bike with a dog bike trailer. But for know I believe hiking vacations are the best choice for us. Bobby can’t get enough of hiking provided that it is not too warm outside.
Making more Friends and facing my Nightmare
Röstånga – Jällabjär
After a turbulent night with heavy rainfall and thunder we woke up to a grey sky. The tent dried pretty quickly so we could pack our stuff and hit the trail again. Having spend one day the campsite felt a bit weird and lazy so I was excited to leave the “habited world”. Of course we had a lunch at the cafe first! Bobby couldn’t wait to hike again but had a bit trouble when we had to climb a rather steep “mountain”/hill. After about 7,5 kilometers we arrived at the village/city Röstånga where we could resupply our food. That way we didn’t have to carry the food for the entire trip. I love visiting grocery stores in other countries because you always see new things. We entered the store alternately (because of Bobby) and I bought the best ice cream ever. The biscuit dough tastes like Frisian “suikerlatten”. Since Bobby still had diarrhea from the freeze dried K9 food I also bought some canned dog food and fruit. I am not a fan of canned dog food but this was still better than having a dog with stool problems.
Whilst my boyfriend was in the grocery store I waited outside and met two children. They seemed to be Syrian refugees, although I am not entirely sure about their country of origin. They lived in a building next to the store with lots of other refugees. The children seemed intrigued by Bobby and I could see that they, in secret, wanted to pet him but didn’t dare. I sat next to Bobby on the ground and started to pet him. I also told them his name and very very slowly they came towards us. Bobby is a very calm dog and to date very good with children. He loves getting petted! The children were a bit scared of his head which followed their hands every time they tried to touch him. Bobby always does this in case one has a treat in the hand. After a few minutes they actually stroked and petted him and it was so nice to see them so happy. Dogs can make so many people smile by just being there.
Since we already were in Röstånga we decided to buy some dinner instead of making it ourselves. A lady at the campsite told us about a very good Pizzeria in Röstånga which we wanted to try. Having difficulties finding the place, we asked a woman. She didn’t feel comfortable to speak English but did her very best: “Yes, Pizzeria. Very good pizza. Left and than five houses. Five! Very good!” We walked back to a junction, took the road on the left and indeed after five houses we found the place. I found it so funny how specific the woman tried to explain us the way “5 houses”. So cute!
My boyfriend bought himself a Pizza Hawaii with Pineapple, Ham, Banana and Curry. I chose a Falafel wrap which weighed about 1 kg. After our belly’s were full we continued the hike.
It already was a bit late and we wanted to set up our tent next to a shelter with drinking water. We left the village behind and entered a nature reserve which remembered me of old fairy-tale movies.
I couldn’t wait to set up a tent in this beautiful nature but my happiness came to and end when I realized that we had to cross meadow land with horses and cows on it. Everyone who knows me, will know that I am super afraid of cows. I mean…I would like them if they wouldn’t act so strange. I don’t know why but most of the time I see a cow it gets super aggressive. I know this sounds so stupid but you should see them. I don’t even eat them so I really don’t understand why they don’t like me xD I couldn’t believe that I had to cross that meadow and I searched for different ways to avoid it…I would have walked another 10 kilometers if that would mean that I didn’t have to cross the meadow. The animals seemed pretty calm though and after a while I realized that the cows only were calves which immediately made them less scary. The horses however were quite big and I get super afraid of horses unless I know them. Bobby started to feel my anxiety and began to bark at the animals every time they came near the fence. I have never heard Bobby bark in such a way…he simply tried to protect me! I realized that I had to calm down otherwise we would never be able to cross the meadow. Who knows what would happen. My boyfriend went first and the animals walked slowly away. That was my chance to cross the meadow, too. I grabbed my backpack and Bobby and almost run over the meadow trying to keep calm (and not to step in any cow shit). The meadow was so big that you couldn’t see the other side of it and it took us almost 10 minutes to cross it. You cannot imagine how relieved I was after we finally arrived on the other side. Unfortunately the shelter already was occupied so we walked a little bit further to set up our tent. When backpacking I can get quite annoyed by simply seeing other people. In a way they destroy the whole experience of being away xD Bobby fell almost immediately in sleep and I made the cutest picture ever! He was sleeping with his tong out!
Jällabjär – S Hultarp
The next morning we had super nice breakfast with products we bought the day before at the grocery store. The air was muggy which made it difficult to hike and we walked through jungle like forests that were full of mosquitoes. We found a cute place next to a river and had some lunch. My boyfriend and Bobby shared some hotdogs and I had a cooked egg. The trail was full of little ladders we had to climb..not always easy with a dog but we managed. This part of the trail was a bit boring because we walked mostly on the streets. That way you see all the beautiful village houses but at some point it looks all the same. Almost all Swedish people drove very careful which was nice. They slowed down in advance and kept a lot of distance to us which made me feel safe hiking on the road.
When we arrived at the shelter I dropped my backpack and went to get some water. Most shelters have tabs or water pumps were you can get drinking water. Sometimes you have to boil it fist but water from the tab is always fresh and clean. On our map it said that this shelter was equipped with a water pump but I couldn’t find one, neither my boyfriend. I got a bit scared since we only had 1 liter of water left..for the three of us. We still had to cook our dinner with that water and we needed it during the 10 kilometer hike the following day. After a while we found a sign that said that the water pump was closed down due to the e coli bacteria. Unfortunately they didn’t replace it yet…I walked back to the street in the hope to find a house nearby. Eventually I did find one but didn’t dare to ask for water. It took me a while but in the end I rang the doorbell. Nobody answered. On the one hand I was relieved because I didn’t have to talk to someone but on the other hand I was disappointed because we only had 1 Liter of water left. I walked further and saw another house, a bigger one with someone walking in the garden. My boyfriend, Bobby and I walked over there and I asked the woman of the house for water. She was very friendly and said that I was not the first one who came to her for water. She filled up our bottle and even gave me another 1,5 liter bottle with drinking water. I was in heaven and she didn’t even want our money. I took a picture from the house so that I would never forget the lady who made our trip so much easier.