Another mighty high pressure had parked itself over Scandinavia (et al), and so the morning was entirely clear, although the night had been a bit on the chilly side. All guests who were leaving did so without much ado, and I was free to go for a longer day tour at last. I established a self-service shop in the vestibule, since there were so many campers about, and left in light attire around 09:15.
I talked some with Marco and Maja before jumping into the stream, which was slightly less cold than last time. The self-service shop had seen some use, and I collected everything before returning outside to my former colleagues. Before long Fredrik, a photographer out on a long journey honing his craft, walked up, having taken a detour up onto the large hill overlooking Visttasjohka. Soon the Danes also started arriving, but they camped on the far side of the bridge as expected. M&M then left, after which the Danes started filing in to 1) leave garbage and 2) shop. A light shower followed, and then dinner.
More light showers passed by during the evening, causing both rainbows and some nice light effects. I spent most of the time talking with the few indoor guests I had, and as I prepared for bed around 22:30 the sky was growing clear again after a refreshing evening.
Another clear morning, which I spent out on the porch trying my best to mend the boot soles while the Danes passed by for another garbage run before going on towards Alesjaure. It got warm quickly, and it was a relief when clouds covered the sun, which also enabled me to finish sawing the last of the log pile. Fredrik arose around lunch, having been up to Vássaloamijávri in the middle of the night to catch the early light, and he seemed quite pleased with the expedition. Sitting outside was very warm, but the warden's room maintained a cool atmosphere which offered some easement.
Eventually a group of four arrived, stopping to shop before continuing towards Tarfala with some grudging comments on the temperature. The following evening was equally fair, and in the middle of it a single woman came from Alesjaure. After talking some with her out on the shadowed porch I went over to the campgrounds, where several parties were in the process of pitching their tents, and left a package of dried yeast in the care of a man who would be heading to Nallo on the morrow – during my visit the other day Karl-Erik the warden had told me he lacked this precise thing to be able to bake bread, and since I had found several leftover packages inside I had promised to resolve the situation. The evening ended as it had started, and it was rather a warm bed that waited for me at 22:15.
As expected the day dawned clear and warm, and I prepared for another day tour, this time in the other direction. The woman was also planning to go up on the heights, but Fredrik was to go on to Alesjaure. Just as I was about to leave I spotted a hiker out on the heath across the stream, and I waited for him to walk up; as suspected he had come from Unna Visttasvággi, but as he did not require any services from me I started my own little Vássaloamijávri expedition at 09:30.
There were two people inside who were staying the night, and a Dane outside who bought the very last of the soft drinks before going on. At the Visttasjohka bath I met a couple who had just packed up, and they would probably be camping on the other side. Soon the single woman came back, having found some ripe cloudberries up there; a fact which I noted. I had a couple of Norwegian overnighters from Sälka, and then it was time for dinner.
In the evening I was visited by the Meditator – a man who was out in the wild for five weeks in order to meditate – whom the woman had told me about earlier; he had arrived before she left on her day tour. Now he made an appreciable dent in the shop's stores, as well as paid for a good number of things he had taken from the self-service selection earlier in the day – I had noted the missing items (and missing payment) with some dismay, but it thus all turned out well in the end. The air slowly cooled off, more rapidly so after the sun had passed behind Šielmmáčohkka – before reappearing in the Unna Visttasvággi dip for a pretty send-off.
Nope, no clouds this time either. After the known people had left I went down to the lower cottage – and found a whole heap of stuff outside, as well as a German guy inside. They had arrived after midnight, and the aforementioned heap partly consisted of his two comrades sleeping in some type of bivy bags. It was time for laundry, so I took care of that out on the porch, and the weather was perfect for drying with generous amounts of both sun and wind. A short walk later I prepared for a slightly longer one, bringing lunch with me, and left for it just after noon.
I walked around the campsites and then continued out onto the open heath, where I sat down on a dry, even patch and ate in the sun. I remained there in a half-reclining position for a good while, enjoying the beautiful day to the fullest, and after noting that there was scarcely any water left in the closest arm of the Stuor Reaiddávággi stream I returned to the bridge – just before which I met a man who had just come from the direction of Nikkaluokta.
Back at the cottage I spent some time in my cool room listening to the radio, while the Germans finally left. They were later replaced by a couple of heat-affected Swedes from Alesjaure, and they were followed by a whole bunch of other arrivals during the course of the evening. The late light was as pretty as ever, and the wind had died down, so it was another beautiful end to another beautiful day in the fjelds.
Clear? Clear. Most of the guests were leaving, but an Australian(!) couple were staying; the husband was an avid photographer and intended to explore the vicinity for such purposes, while the wife was happy to relax in and around the cottages. As for me I wanted to make use of the seemingly perpetual good weather and check out the route to Unna Visttasvággi, and left to do so at 09:30.
I talked some with the Australians, finding out a bit of what had occurred on the premises during the day, and after having a nice bath I talked with a group of three girls who had just done the same before they went on towards Nikkaluokta. It was still windy but fair indeed, and it was nice out in the shadow. People came and went, most of them (as usual) choosing to camp (and shop), but I had some overnight guests in addition to the Aussies. I had another visit from the Meditator, and then relaxed with and without a book. Just as I was almost about to call it a night a runner came from Nikkaluokta (yes, all the way), and I saw him in before going to bed at 22:00.
One more clear morning, one more day of rest – and this one was even warmer than before. There was another brief elk visit – a younger one this time – as well as a number of human and canine ones, one of which turned out to be a woman whom I had been in digital contact with before. More people passed by during the evening, and the campgrounds started to fill up again, but no one stayed inside.
Finally, a cloudy morning, but the cover was only temporary. On a visit to the storage building I acquired a deep splinter, and it took quite some time, effort and pain to dig it out – with a knife. Uuh. I listened to the radio and served some day visitors, and then went out for a lunch tour just after noon.
I walked across the bridge, noting that only one of the multitude of tents still remained, and then took the drier path up the slope. I crossed the little ridge, and then a somewhat wet mire strewn with not-yet-ripe cloudberries – followed by a drier area with a considerably higher concentration of the red knobs. I continued up onto the larger hill from the south, walking on nice heath, earning a very nice view up (and down, for that matter) Visttasvággi from the top. It was, however, also rather windy, so I went down a bit to the (much) larger cairn visible from the cottages and sat down in its shelter to eat.
This hill is informally, at least among wardens, known as the "telephone hill" since it usually offers mobile connectivity – for some reason, signals penetrate here, whereas it is completely quiet down at the cottages. At the moment, though, I could raise nothing, so I went back up to the actual summit where it did work, albeit barely. I managed to check and respond to some things that needed tending to, and then started the walk back down.
I began by walking over to the steep eastern edge to get a good look of the meandering Visttasjohka, and then followed the weakly defined ridge leading down to the path. Back at the campsites I crossed the first arm of the Stuor Reaiddávággi stream to the islet that it formed, and then followed a larger course down to Visttasjohka itself, returning to the bridge along the brink. I was back at the cottages at 14:15, with no one else around.
I waited for the arrival of a trio of people I had seen further up along the Nallo route, and they took quite some time to cover that last bit. I spent a good while talking with them before it was time for dinner, followed by a pleasant evening. A bit later a bloodied woman of Swedish origin and her Australian (again, !) companion arrived; she had slipped on a duckboard along the Nikka trail and hurt her lip. I read for a while and then entered into another lengthy conversation with the trio, which turned into a communal minute of sun-gazing at the daily (and rapidly shrinking) Unna Visttasvággi appearance.