Day 1 of a two-day hike along Sörmlandsleden.

Section 9 goes through central Södertälje and is unlikely to go down in history as anyone’s favourite, least of all mine. I understand why it exists, and it was my own choice to walk it, and if I had to make the decision again then I’d probably make the same choice. But it was rather dull.

Section 10 was pretty typical Sörmland. Some open fields in the beginning, and then rocky pine forests with bilberry bushes. I notice here that all my photos are of the open areas – the whole section definitely didn’t look like this. The fields with their ripening heads of grain just felt so much like late summer.

This was my first solo overnight hike. I had a heavier pack than I normally walk with (sleeping bag and stove and all that, and more food of course) so I was slower than usual. I didn’t know exactly how much the pack would slow me down, so I was a bit worried that I would arrive very late at my planned camping spot. I needed to find the spring which was supposed to be there, so I’d have water for cooking dinner, and I didn’t want to have to look for it in the dark. So my walking was at times less relaxed than usual, and my breaks shorter. (I am a worrier, though I make an effort to avoid it.) In the end I got to the campsite shortly after seven in the evening, which still left me enough time before dark.

I cooked myself an excellent dinner – a hearty stew with carrot and tomato and lentils and wheat grain. Then spent some time reading while there was still enough light from my campfire and the setting sun. Then applied one last layer of mosquito repellent, and went to bed. The mosquitoes were repelled enough to not bite me, but they kept buzzing so close to my face that I had to use earplugs in order to be able to sleep.