Day 1: The Way Into Sarek
07.09. Jokkmokk - Ritsem - Kutjaure. Walking distance: 4.5 km
It was a long day. It began early in the morning at campsite in the Jokkmokk, which is just few kilometers far from the Arctic Circle. From here to Sarek it is about a 150 km drive.
The forecast promised some improvements in weather starting the next day, but for today - strong rain and wind.
According to the plan, we left our car in the parking lot in Kebnats near the Saltoluokta ferry station. At 12:30 we caught a bus to Ritsem. The bus stop is located at the pier, 200m from parking lot. The ticket price for 2 persons from Kebnats to Ritsem cost us 324 SEK (about 33 EUR) and we were able to pay by card.
The bus made a 1-hour stop at Stora Sjofallet. On the bus company's website it was written that we would have to change buses here. However, we actually remained in the same bus, but we did get a new driver. So it is better to double-check everything. Otherwise, in a hurry, you could grab a seat in the bus with the "old" driver and go back to Gallivare.
We arrived in Ritsem at 15:00. As it was not possible to take a ferry on this day, we booked a helicopter to Kutjaure. It’s quite a pricy pleasure, although there are some pluses. First of all, we saved a whole day for the trip and the second; we always dreamed about flying on a helicopter. It turned out to be kind of a little expedition 🙂
Meanwhile, the weather got worse and we even doubted that the flight would take a place.
We came to the station ahead of time. The helicopter was already there, the pilot too. There were no other passengers besides us. The rain stopped for a moment, and so we flew.
After a flight of just 15 minutes we were in the middle of the tundra. Alone.
We had planned to pitch a tent somewhere at Kutjaure, not far from the lake. But the wind was too strong, so we decided to go further towards Kisurisstugan. Shortly thereafter, we found a quiet place near the bridge over the river.