I slept well until about 5, when I went out into a world of wetness and whiteness – was my luck running out? After sleeping some more I got up at 7, at which time visibility had improved but the rain was still falling. I had breakfast together with the two women and then swept the kitchen before starting to pack. Outside the rain wavered back and forth in intensity, but all the while it was growing lighter and now I could see that there was a bit of fresh snow upon Máhttoajvve. As I was finishing up the clouds started breaking apart from the west, aided by a cold wind, and I decided to wait for a bit to see what was afoot weather-wise. The Americans had now come inside, and I spoke some with them before finally deciding to scrap the rain clothes and bet on fair conditions. I left around 9, wearing the thermal underwear pants underneath the hiking trousers due to the wind.
Scaling the initial slope was more tedious than it was taxing, and a very weak sun oversaw it all. The higher I got the grander the view over Vastenjávrre became, and across its hue-shifting waters the border fjelds were getting clearer. Up on the flat section there were quite a few duckboards, and it was not long before I passed the two women, who had left a while before me; they were to take it easy and enjoy the outdoors – as one should – but I wanted to press on so as to arrive at Kutjaure in good time for the exchange. Vierttjajċgċsj can be an obstacle after heavy rain, but as it was I simply walked across without slowing down.
I met a hiker going in the other direction followed by another one a short distance behind, and then I established contact with the first of many reindeer on the stage. Now I could see that it was raining again at the far end of Vastenjávrre and the sun was gone, but save for the wind which was chilling my hands the weather was good enough. Shortly thereafter I noticed some drops in the wind, and a micro-shower passed so quickly that I scarcely perceived it. After descending from Loadásj I met another hiker, and as I was drawing closer to the bridges I saw a large metal box beside the first one; this bridge was entirely new, having been built this summer, so I assumed that the box was some kind of storage space.
The bridge itself was enormous for one of its type, and the pylons had been visible for many kilometers; it was also rather steady, even though its 80-m span across the swift Vuojatädno was still exhilarating. The western end of this bridge lands on a small island with a small hill on it, and as I climbed this hill and looked out over the eastward vista I was dumbfounded, for concealed on the other side of the hill was – a caravan! Obviously this was for the benefit of the construction workers, but the sight was very much of the does-not-compute kind. Just beyond the caravan was a well-used campsite where I sat down for lunch at 11:45, just as the sun came out.
On the other side of the river a man was camped, and soon he went down to the water and started fishing. In the other direction the rain was hanging just behind Svártinjunjes, and as it seemed to be approaching towards Sállohávrre I decided not to extend the lunch break. Before leaving, however, I took off the thermal underpants as it was now quite warm. The next bridge was of older make and somewhat rickety, and with the current water levels also largely unnecessary. The third and final one, however, was much longer and definitely needed, and walking across it was an unsteady experience; it is worth noting that the first bridge used to be exactly like it, only even longer, which had earned it some infamy.
The continued trail consisted in large parts of duckboards across cloudberry-strewn mires, and I ate some that were close enough to be reached. The rain was now moving northeastwards behind Gċdotjċhkkċ, and more was falling further off to the east and also southwest, but at my position the sun was shining most of the time. After a short detour to a nearby cloudberry patch I felt some drops in the wind close to Vájsá-Dujbbe, but nothing more came of it; the adjacent rainfall was continuing on its route along the trail to Vájsáluokta, and when it had moved off the clouds it brought with it started to lift. There were quite a few reindeer about, and at one point a group of them ran back and forth ahead of me for an appreciable distance.
Then I spotted a berry-picking fellow without pack ahead, and when he spotted me he turned back northwards; quite obviously the warden I was to relieve. Just about then a keen westerly wind picked up, and soon I caught sight of the Kutjaure cottage. As I crossed the bridge over Sieberjċhkċ I noticed a girl sitting down at the stream on the near side, and then I walked up the last short slope to Anders who was awaiting my arrival on the porch at 13:45.