Sea Kayaking in Sweden

PART ONE: Quest for the 'The Islands'

Our explorations saw us head North via the train from Copenhagen to Stockholm. It was a day of solid lugging with all our gear on numerous train changes. We finally arrived in the dark in Stockholm and after assembling our bikes on the platform we had a pleasant conversation with the police who thought we had had them on the trains! We then had to squeeze out through the metro gates with the man at the ticket office shouting "This is not GOOD!" opps, I didn't know Swedes were so anti bikes on trains!

We wandered through Stockholm the following day and visited a real orienteering shop filled with all sorts of goodies. We biked to and from the town center from our campground via the swooping weaving smooth cycle parks which I distinctly remember from when I visited Sweden as a 12 year old.

The next day we planned to head out for a 3 day sea kayaking trip on the archipelago. We hired kayaks from the university kayak club and set off through the forest lined channels. We spotted a grassy spot and set up camp.

Emily jumps with joy!

The quintessential light house

Our great plan was to visit the windswept rocky outcrop islands we had seen when googling sea kayaking in the archipelago. We had a tiny map of the area and the determined goal to make it out to the distant cluster of dots on the map we were sure were 'the islands'. All day we paddled past tree covered islands dotted with cute little houses. It wasn't until 6 oclock after a very long paddle we realised perhaps this so called 'islands' were actually a solid 2 days further paddling away!

So we gave up our quest and camped on this cool wee island we claimed for ourselves (there was a yacht moored to the other and another sea kayak on another nearby). In the morning we set out for a long paddle home into a strong head wind.

By the time we got back we had covered about 50km and my arms were dead! We caught the train to Tyreso to the youth hostel where we met up with the whole gang of Kiwis for Aaron and Sara's wedding; Penny and Jamie just arrived from travelling Indonesia, Gordon and Viv from Poland, Lara and Matt from NZ, Georgia from Sweden...

The wedding on Saturday is covered in the next blog. But seeing this blog is about sea kayaking I'll go on to tell you about our second sea kayaking trip after the wedding.

PART TWO: Mass Attack on 'The Islands'

Having enjoyed our first trip so much and still secretly hoping to find our idealised archelpelagic islands we were convinced to head out again after the wedding with a whole crowd of others from a place called Dalero near Tyreso. Matt, Lara, Penny, Jamie, Aaron, Gordon, Lance, Russel, Jacqui, Viv and Chris and I hired kayaks from a friend of Sara's and set out on Sunday afternoon after a delicious brunch at Sara's parents house. We paddled for about 1.5 hours in some windy seas before setting up camp and a nice hot fire.

The wind and waves were still up in the morning so we decided on a circumnavigation of a nearby big island. After a couple of hours we beached on a mosquito infested island, but luckily located beside a warm restuarant where we found some hot coffee. After that we continued round the island until Matt and I (the ones with the maps) decided on a great route choice through a narrow channel which turned out to be solid reeds. After a considerable amount of cursing, towing and bush bashing we made it out to the otherside, opps.

The 'oldies' (they won't like that) (Viv, Russel, Gordon and Lance) who had cunning avoided our reed bashing route choice were seen heading out to sea having missed seeing a better route between some more islands, after waiting for them to catch up we were all even again. We paddled across a windy bay all feeling pretty tired and beached on a cute island with a huge rock in the centre. A wonderful fire was quickly lit and we sat around enjoying yummu cups of tea and dinner, what a hard life!

In the morning we were up early and back across the bay to say goodbye to Matt, Lara, Jamie, Penny and Aaron. The rest of us continued back into Stockholm where we were to catch the ferry to Tallin in Estonia that evening. Chris and I headed to our campground to collect our bikes while Viv and Lance waited with our gear in Gullmarsplan. We were sitting on the metro train and noticed numbers seemed to be diminishing. Thinking nothing of it...until the train came to a stop in the pitch dark and the lights went out! There was noone else on, and we suddenly realised the train had parked up for the day! All the doors were locked and when I saw the driver walk past I started banging on the windows.

He let us out of the wagon and lead us into the front 'cockpit' of the train where he took us for a ride back to the previous station! We jumped out and caught the next train to our campsite....the whole thing was very odd but provided the other Kiwis great amusement when we finally made it back with our bikes.

After that we had lunch in Stockholm, then boarded the ship to Tallin called the 'Romantiker' which turned out to be a giant cruise ship with restaurants, bars and a dance floor! We had a cool cabin with bunks and a shower. It was great standing on the deck sailing past where we had paddled the week previous.

That huge looming ship is the same as the one we were on!

In the morning we arrived in Tallin at a youth hostel invaded by Kiwi rogainers. Tommorrow we are making our way South to Tartu for the Rogaine.

PS. We never really found 'The Islands' so I think we might just have to go back to the Archepelago in our kayaks and search further (-:


Keith said…
Em your blog is classic, your lucky the tube driver took you back, in london they'd probably just leave you there... Have a good time in the rogaine.
CrispNZ said…
Oooh exciting adventures...

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