Monday morning, the 24th of July
It is time to pack up our things and continue our way along the Padjelanta trail. We pack up with mixed emotions as our camping spot for the night beside the river with no name (at least no name on the map) had been so perfect. We don't want to leave but then again we do, as we are eager to discover what more beauty is waiting ahead of us. So without delaying too much we pack up our tent and get organized to get going again. We do take the luxury to drink a cup of hot morning tea at the river side, whilst enjoying some nutritious breakfast.
The views are just as gorgeous today as they were yesterday and the sun is greeting us cheerfully, although a cold wind makes it rather chilly. But no, no more excuses for delay! Lets put on those hiking shoes grab our backpacks and start moving. Goodbye river, goodbye valley, thank you so much for letting us stay here.....
We are about 3 kilometres hiking from Tarraluoppalstugorna and about 1 kilometre after getting out of the woods, when walking from the direction of Såmmarlappa. The trail ahead of us seems easy and with fresh energy we continue our way towards Tarraluappalstugorna.
Our aim for the day is Tuottar. So far we have hiked four days, day one from Kvikkjokk - Njunjes, day two from Njunjes to Tarrekaise and day three from Tarrekaise - Såmmarlappa. Yesterday we finally reached the border of the Padjelanta National Park while hiking from Såmmarlappa to here.
For the ones that don't have the time or energy to walk the whole Padjalantaleden, there is an alternative. There are helicopter flights on a daily basis that fly from Kvikkjokk or Ritsem to Staloluokta in the middle of Padjelanta National Park on the edge of the beautiful lake Virihaure. They even make a stop at Tarraluoppal or Kutjaure if you wish.
The costs for a flight (2008) are
Kvikkjokk - Staloluokta:
850:- SEK (Children under 12 years of age: 600:- SEK)
Ritsem - Staloluokta
850:- (Children under 12 years of age: 600:- SEK)
Kvikkjokk - Ritsem
1.530:- (Children under 12 years of age: 1.080:- SEK)
The maximum luggage is 20kg and for children under 12 it is 10kg. If this is not enough, you can arrange to take more with you in advance. Every additional kilo will cost you 20kr. Although do bare in mind that you have to cary those additional kilo's on your back as soon as you arrive.
You can read much more information and see the timetable of the helicopter service on the website of Lapplandsflyg. Unfortunately the website is only in Swedish, but the time table is rather clear, even without understanding any Swedish.
If you want to fly to Tarraluoppal, please bare in mind the following:
The helicopter flight is the usual flight from Kvikkjokk to Staloluokta, but it can make a landing in Tarraluoppal on request. It requires at least 2 persons (850 kr per person) to have booked a flight to Tarraluoppal. For only 1 person the costs of the flight will be 1350 kr instead.
For me one of the absolute charms of Padjelanta is not only the amazing nature within the park, but also the fact that its location is so remote; far far away from the hectic modern society. The only 'real' way into the park is by foot, using a helicopter feels wrong somehow. But then again, who am I to judge? What I do know that the walk into the park is a part of the hike that I wouldn't have missed for the world, a hike that is beautiful in its own right! It takes more time and energy, but it feels so good to slowly leave the 'world' behind with every step you take, with every hours that goes by. And the reward is to finally take that step into Padjelanta and be hugged and surrounded by its beauty.