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KYST 17 Two days later than planned, thanks to a nasty and never ending cold, I finally made it back to Store Sandkås in time for the sunrise. It was mild and still but overcast.
Before carrying on along the coast, I made a short detour to the mouth of Store Dal, one of Bornholm’s many nearby ‘sprækkedale’ (a narrow and deep valley formed by a fault line in the granite bedrock). Here I sat in the hidden wood and enjoyed a carpet of white anemones and a rather muted dawn chorus.
I returned to the coast and my parked car where I had my breakfast and a flask of coffee waiting for me. There were no people around, and only a few birds. The day seemed different to my other walks, it really felt like a Sunday. The clouds had by now vanished and the monotonous lilting trill of the willow warblers and distant cawing from a rookery made me drowsy. I packed up my things and walked along the sandy beach for a while. To my right the hotels and summer houses of Sandkås. Eventually I stopped by a fine and well situated Alder tree. I painted the tree from the trunk upwards, as it grows, my paintbrush following the twisted branches and ending with the first shoots budding on some of the outermost twigs.
I walked on and found a spot on the beach where I set up the M60 brolly and tried to sleep. I was still unwell and exhausted. I couldn’t sleep and was drawn in by the strong sunlight on the granite outcrops.
I slept a little, woke and walked over to the water’s edge. A huge mink emerged between some boulders not three metres from me. Instead of rushing off in fear, he slowly slinked off unconcernedly, with me cursing under my breath my lack of paper and pencils. A little later I spotted a stunning sand lizard basking in the sun. This time I was prepared and inched slowly closer until I was near enough to really study him.
I continued along the shore. The granite here was veined and coloured differently. There were pools and meadows with flowers and green growth between the granite shore and the coastal path. The day was hot and tranquil. I found an exposed spot where the wind was more invigorating and watched a group of swans milling about by the shore. It was a peaceful enough scene but one cob was feeling aggressive and territorial and spent the whole time posturing and blustering.
I carried on and tried to paint the reflections in a rock pool, but the hot sun dried the paints too quickly.
As I continued towards Tejn Harbour I could see ships and boats of all sizes entering the harbor. The shore became less sandy and more rocky, crossed with small streams and swampy marshes. In one of these I hid between stands of sea rush and drew some ridiculously yellow marsh marigolds.
I finally made it to the harbor, cursing my heavy pack, the unwieldy M60 brolly, and the awkward camp chair. Tejn harbor is large and industrial and was busy with groups of sport fisherman returning back with huge rod-caught salmon. Together with the locals, clusters of hale and hearty Germans, Norwegians and Swedes set up barbeques and drank beer in the late afternoon sun. I was a little jealous and must have cut a somewhat forlorn figure, traipsing past with all my gear. By now my resolve was fading fast as I walked all the way to the harbor arm. Instead of looking at the harbor, the fisherman, or the fine town of Tejn, I turned my back on it all and watched the shadows move and the colours transform on a group of boulders on the pier arm in the fading light of the day.
Weather report = Sunny for almost all of the day. Temperature between 10 and 14 °C. Wind between 1 and 4 m/s from the northwest. Visibility: moderate. Hours of sunshine: 13 hours 30 minutes.
Lessons learned – it is definitely worth putting up the M60 and painting in the shade rather than painting in direct sunlight.
Stops with the M60 = 2
Kilometers walked = 8.98 km
Day lasted = 14 hours, 59 minutes
Birds seen and heard = 43 species (3 new ones = barnacle goose, house martin, gadwall = running total 79)
Other stuff = an amazing aerial show by four white wagtails zipping, diving and plunging after each other. Insanely fast and maneuverable, almost beyond comprehension.
People talked to = 2
In my head = Incredible changes in the 9 days since my last trip – this really is the most dynamic time of the year. Funny how the coast is probably NOT the best place to be at the moment. Endless internal moanings about how shit I felt. Realization that I have been so lucky with three sunny days on the trot. Fear that I am owed some rain and wind. Hope that I will be healthy on Friday.