Hiking St.Olavsleden : Rödön to Faxnälden to Hälleborg 

I’ve decided to put these two days into one post as they are both rest days and the first of which was very simple for me.

Our lovely hosts in Rödön drove me to where we would be staying in Faxnälden so I could rest my foot further, as there were no buses that I could take.

I arrived at the cute cabin I would be staying in, owned by Helene and Allan.

Once Helene had arrived home she showed me around and made me feel welcome before leaving me for a few hours with her laptop in the warmth.

I am starting to get very bored of resting my foot now and missing the trail, even though so many people have made it better for me. Hopefully there is only a couple of days left of this.

Once Helene returned we chatted for awhile and waited for Angeliqa to arrive. Soon Allan came home from work and started to prepare dinner.

We had arranged to meet Putte in the evening who manages the trail project. He had invited us round for dinner so once Angeliqa was ready, we walked to his house and met him and his family.

We had a delicious dinner of smoked reindeer meat, lingonberry jam, mashed potatoes, salads and chanterelle mushroom sauce.

For dessert, Putte’s wife Nicki gave us homemade traditional Hungarian cake.

We talked a lot about the trail and how much work has gone into bringing it together, as well as life in this area and other parts of Sweden.

The next morning we had breakfast with Helene, and as it was frustratingly another rest day for me, Helene took me to the woods with her to pick lingonberries, which really made the prospect of another foot rest day feel a bit better.

We picked up her friend Anita and drove deep into the forest. I love how complicated and vast the forests are here, they seem so wild!

We picked several buckets of berries, with the odd blueberry and even a raspberry found in the mix. I used a special berry picking shovel to strip the berries off the bushes.

This was a real highlight of the trip so far for me, it may sound strange but something as simple as picking berries in the woods was really exciting for me. It was soothing and felt good to harvest something you can eat from nature.

After picking, Helene took us to her secret cabin for Fika – tea for me and homemade lingonberry cake and sandwiches.

The cabin was in a beautiful location with views across a huge lake and towards the mountains, surrounded by pines and wild berries. Inside the cabin was also very cool, it had some taxidermy moose, antlers and lots of orienteering memorabilia.

After Fika, we took the berries back to the house and headed to Glösa Algriket where Allan works and where we would be meeting Angeliqa.

This place is a museum dedicated to the Stone Age, where locals, tourists and school children can come and learn about the history of the people in this time and how they lived. There were some great weapons and hunting tools that Allan showed us with great enthusiasm and we learnt lots of interesting facts.

We had another Fika break with coffee and homemade moose shaped papparkakor made by Allan.

He then took as down to the waterfall to see carvings in the rock that are thousands of years old and very special to the area.

He taught us about the carvings wearing his traditional Stone Age dress.

After this Helene drove me to Hälleberg where we would be staying with Lisa for the night in her cabin.

On arriving at this cosy cabin, I said goodbye to Helene and Anita, whose company I have really enjoyed over the past 24 hours. Helene and Allan were so lovely to me, I can’t thank them both enough for all their help and hospitality.

Lisa showed me around the cabin and was very kind to give me some fish, potatoes and other ingredients, so I could cook a meal for myself and Angeliqa when she arrived. I really can’t believe how lovely people have been here, it really does give you faith in humanity – all these little acts of kindness towards strangers mean so much. I think it’s the biggest lesson I am learning so far on this trip. That people truly are by nature, extremely kind and helpful – you only have to ask for help.

I really enjoyed making a meal from some random ingredients – I think it came out really well!

When Angeliqa finally arrived, we ate dinner and then chilled out with blankets on the sofa, listening to music and then finally got a much needed early night.

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