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If you go down to the woods today.......

We are back in the north and a return to the snow, much like when we arrived. It is open Bear country here in north Jampland, although it's said that their numbers are so few that it is unlikely that we will see any.

Dogs on Skies

well did you ever!!!













Molly is happy to see the snow and she is not going to be out run by any old brown Bear. So now it's her turn to take the lessons. She is a fast learner, and after just three lessons she is ready for the cross country championships.

You go girl..........

17th May

We went to bed last night to a beautiful red sky and thought summer is here. This morning we awoke to yet another winter wonderland. We are in a very isolated place with plenty of space for Molly to run and try out her new ski's. She is so happy, on the look out for a Bear at all times but not today they may have gone back to bed, as we did. So later we head off towards Stromsund and low and behold the road ran out of tar and we were on a dirt track for about 20kl luckily for us we didn't meet any trucks just the local snowplough. We got a call to say that my daughter (21 yr.old) is coming our way for a visit in a weeks time so we are really excited.

We spent the night in Hoting beside a river, with good facilities which have been few and far between lately. The weather is improving even though we are moving north. Next we stayed in a campside in Lyclsele as it is time to catch up on the laundry. There are less people around than when we were in the campsite in Mora two and a half months ago. We are trying to get to grips with the fact that summer begins here at midsummer and the proof of this is that none of the tourist attractions open until June 24th. There are a couple of things that we would like to experience, for instance the worlds longest rope car (cable car) which was built in 1943 to transport Ore. It took 1,000 men and women 350days to build, can you just imagine the conditions!! It is 13km long, we would also like to try white water rafting but that too is unavailable to us. Who knows maybe elsewhere. We spent the last three days and nights in Enebacken, north of Lycksele. It is time to take it easy, we did a few kilometers hiking everyday. There is no snow here so we can take in a bit of climbing to start getting us climb fit. We hiked up the back of a small mountain which turned out to be a local ski-slope Kateberget.



We got such a longing to be on ski's that we know that our ski-in days are not over yet. This seems to be a non-commercial venture sponsored by the local shops and small business's. This is a basic facility which includes a cable lift for the surrounding area, mighty ! There are a large herd of reindeer here, which we see everyday. We fell so privileged to be here sharing in their homeland, it seems to be a herd of females with their young. We watch from a distance as the young suckle with ease. They are aware of our presence, and throw a glance our way from time to time. They cross the road to the river which is at a crossroads, the passing traffic is not happy and bip bip until they scatter not knowing which way they should run. Later we witnessed the carcases's of four deer in the ditches at the crossroads. We have noticed an intolerance of most road user's to reindeer (some exceptions). This is Lapland, the wilderness, there are signs every few km's what's the hurry?







22nd May 2005

Testing the waters



Well the weather seems to be on the up. Yesterday was a shorts day for our hike. Today as we head further north we take a small road into the forest to have lunch and maybe get a bit of sun. What a beautiful place awaits us. There is a small lake below us sheltered by the surrounding woodland. It seems like no one has ever been here before, just traces of reindeer and smaller wildlife, and now there is just us. We spend some time here enjoying the sun and our surroundings. We were joined by a couple of sandpipers who were just curious. At last the waters have thawed and it is time for a dip. A bit chilly but when did that ever stop us.



Brondh arrived and we head for Kloverstrask, what a sunset it is hard to choose the pictures for this one. Next morning we walked around the lake the sun shone down to welcome our presence. We found a raft on the lakeshore and someone had to test it's buoyancy, so yours truly was nominated. I got about four feet from shore when down I went. I was wet now and Bro and myself took to the water. Molly is delighted with the new arrival in the camp as she seems to have endless energy for playing chasing and throwing the stick.We spend the day here and take some sun, Bronadh's only request for her trip was to take a dip in a lake and this is the one.



Next we find a waterfall near Alvsbyn the Storforsen Falls. It claims to be the mightiest waterfall in Sweden. What a place, We have seen more spectacular waterfalls, but none in a setting like this. The fall itself is worth a visit, but there are the most amazing flat rocks covering several acres where the water once flowed. We spent the night here and heard the crying of wolves which would make the hair stand on your neck. The next day was again a beautiful sunny one and we picnicked and paddled on the rocks. There was also a very interesting nature reserve with a display of how tar was made from char cole. Some hunting traps, and accommodation for both laborers and their horses were on display, which included a horse drawn hut on ski's.

A secluded place in the forest and a perfect place for a hike is our next call and tonight it's time to light a fire and check out our surroundings. The first sound is that of a woodpecker, so the silent expedition is on, but woody is much too smart to allow his favourite pecking place to be discovered. the fire kept the now familiar mosquito's at bay, they have decided that I am the tastiest bite in Sweden. Next day we took a hike and were joined by a cuckoo along the way. Later we decided to go north across the Arctic Circle and as sure as we headed north we sighted reindeer and 50yds on a moose , soon after the same again but three moose this time. We arrived at the Arctic Circle, no snow this time, just a Sami cot as a bar complete with barbeque in the center. Time for Bro to dip her feet in the water...brrrr...



Smaller than the avarage bear yogi eh eh BoBo......

Well believe it or not this is one of hundred's of look out tower's that we have seen. Hunters are brought on Safari to sit in wait on unarmed Moose, Fox and Hare, or anything that moves. What chance do they have? Some back roads have one every 100yds or so. We have even seen them in secluded woodland area's, it's called sport !!!!



This time we travel towards the coast, and take a turn to find the right place for the night. Lo and behold we run out of road for the second time this trip. Sure enough a ferry arrives to join us to the road. It is guided along a fast flowing lake by steel ropes on either side. Bronadh dipped her toes in the water as we crossed. We settled in a sandy wood for the night and took a walk in the forest.

Next morning we laze in the sun, and there is time for some tunes. Jimmy has been learning some beautiful Swedish tunes, and he has written a new one called Semesterstangt (closed for the season) He is planning to write another with Midnight Sun in the title. Later we light a fire on the beach with Bro, ran through the water (the Baltic sea)and watched the midnight sun. A sight that will remain with us eternally. A reminder of the everyday beauty that surrounds us, all we have to do is look!!!!




As words alone could not convey the beauty that we witnessed together, these are just a sample of the changing colours from moment to moment. It was a magical time to be outdoors, even at two in the morning it was still daylight, there was an eerie feeling as we could fell warmth from the glow of the sun on our bodies.


The midnight sun is visible from the end of may until the middle of July. While everywhere this far is closed until midsummer it is worth coming up here just to witness this phenomena. What a high note for Bro to depart on. We will miss her what craic!!!!



On the arrival of an Irishman that we had our first Arctic fish. Again we head north across the circle, and first cast after the dinner it is landed. A mighty 2lb Bream made for a tasty dish. The sun as before was spectacular this picture of Jimmy and Dave taken after midnight shows the light and brings colour to their cheeks (helped along by the contents of the cans). An open fire and a few tunes kept the night alive for a few more hours.





6th June

We recieved an email from Uppsala inviting us to a session on June 12th, high tea Isish style with scones before hand, how could we resist! As we headed south and bid farewell to Sweden north, the rain arrived to remind us of home. The highcoast was not appearing at its best as the rain poured and there was a heavy fog. Jimmy is looking forward to the music and we hope to enourage Dave to join in too. (he has to earn his scone

so now back south to Stockholm.