It was raining in the morning in Gällivare, and kept doing so on and off along the road westwards. After Kebnats the Áhkká massif started to emerge from the clouds, and the entire Sarek group was visible to the south. Ritsem itself was bathed in sunlight, but it was clearly raining upon the southbound trail across Áhkájávrre. I made my presence known at the reception, where I found both one of the Vakkotavare wardens as well as my warden-colleague Ulla, who was out doing her usual journeying. The blue hole above was growing, but the rain across the reservoir remained, and the easterly wind was chilly. After sitting outside for a while I went inside the residential building where I listened in on an inspired conversation regarding ultralight equipment. After a period of more clouds the local sky began to grow clear again starting in the southwest. I read some in the guestbook and then started dinner while the showers continued to the south. I finished up my pack and touched by the reception before walking down to the boat jetty. The sun was now out in full, and it looked to be a rather nice evening.
The boat departed on time in fairly high waves causing quite a bit of sway. Just a few minutes out, however, the skipper decided to turn around, since he had received word from Ritsem that a couple of food parcels intended for Vaisaluokta had ended up at the reception rather than at the boat, and he judged that smaller vessels would not be able to make the run before the food was needed due to the wind. At Änonjálmme there were quite a few people waiting to embark, and a fair number of mosquitos kept them company. I made some final adjustments to my pack and then left before most of the others at 18:15.
I passed three people almost at once, keeping a high tempo, and the rucksack felt fine. I saw no one as I passed the Akka cottages, but at a stream with polished rocks a bit later I spotted a man who looked like he had just finished bathing. The clouds were lifting more and more, and once I had climbed up to the plateau on the other side of the vertiginous bridge over the mighty Vuojatädno, things looked fair enough – and I was warm enough from the self-imposedly arduous start – that I decided to remove one layer of clothing, as well as the rucksack's rain cover. As it happened, the sun broke through just as I started walking again, and everything felt lighter somehow.
The trail is very easily trodden in those parts, and I picked up speed again. I passed through sparse, dry forest which turned denser and wetter later on, and on a mire with not-quite-ready-to-be-picked cloudberries I saw the first of many lemmings still alive scurrying under the duckboards. The weather was really nice, but there was still a fair bit of clouds around – most of them to the west. After a park-like stretch of birch forest I came to the campsite next to the stream from Sjnjuvtjudisjávrásj, which was occupied by a tent at the moment – there was room for several more in the immediate vicinity, but I was not planning on stopping there anyway, so I contented myself with refilling my water flask, as I knew that the following stretch would not offer any fresh water for a good while.
Back out in the open I spotted a couple of tents off to my right, and I wondered where they had found water; perhaps they had settled for the small ponds that could be found here and there. The sky was getting clearer and clearer ahead of me, and I saw the plateau where I had camped last time well before coming up onto it. There was no tent there, but I decided to press on a bit further. The sun was now passing into the western clouds and the wind was back, both lowering the ambient temperature, and after crossing a region of somewhat sparse but leafy vegetation I came out onto a sizeable area of heath. I was now feeling tired, but since there was no water in sight I had no choice but to keep going. Luckily that place is not far from Treparksmötet (Three-Park Meet), where I soon found myself. There was a tent a short distance away from the Sjnjuvtjudisjåhkå bridge, but as I preferred the silt-free water of Sjpietjavjåhkå I walked over to the next bridge, and then followed a path leading to an area of many old campsites before 21:15.
After looking around I chose one that was most to my liking, and accompanied by quite a few mosquitos I pitched the tent without delay. After an evening snack I was starting to feel cold, so I took the opportunity to jog up onto the nearby rise both to get warm and to have a look at the views. Back down I moved in, and after looking at the evening light reflecting on the gathering clouds I turned in around 22:45. Since it was fairly warm I did not bother with thermal underwear, and I in fact had to exit the sleeping bag and use it as a duvet instead. Almost immediately it started to rain, and a bit later I heard and then saw a field mouse running around in the vestibule, so I moved the food pack into the inner tent to be safe, and then finally found rest.