LAND 09 – Rokkestenen to Bodils Church, 03.03.23

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LAND 09 Windstill and frosty at dawn, the tips of the tallest pine trees burned orange with the rising sun. Marley and I walked from the car park through the forest and up to Rokkesten, the day’s start point – Marley being my dog and enthusiastic fellow traveller for the day.

Rokkesten and Shoemakers Lake

We continued on the rocky and twisting path, down through muddy dells and over granite outcrops worn smooth thousands of years ago by the retreating glaciers. We eventually arrived at a more open area with an expansive view over the southern part of the island, where the blue frost on the grass was burned off by the sun.

View from Skotteklint

Down further still, to Kaasegaard, an attractively undulating landscape kept mostly open by grazing cows, sheep and…alpaca. In the past, ‘Klippeløkke’ such as this – hilly or rocky areas with thin soil used for pasture – were a significant element in Bornholm’s landscape, but very few remain today. Having never been ploughed or fertilised, they support a rich and diverse plant and animal life.

We carried on, past Slingesten and Linkisten and onwards to Gamleborg. Here I sat with a view over the valley and soaked in the warm sun while a pair of buzzards circled lazily overhead. In the far distance, I could hear cranes calling, mingling with the soporific droning of a chainsaw. Closer still, sporadic and hesitant sounds – the mesmeric song of the yellowhammer, drumming of the woodpecker, and bark of the pheasant – confirmed the sense that the forest was cautiously awakening from a deep sleep.

We marched on – past the Altersten and through a huge fir plantation, recently harvested. Heading south again, with the sun long gone and the wind increasing, we took shelter by the side of the Øle Stream.

Øle å

Both rather tired now, we walked up and over ‘Slamrebjerg’, a small hill with fine views over the flat agricultural landscape towards Nexø. Winter had returned, the sunny and warm morning a distant memory. Walking down the hill again, we crossed the invisible ‘Tornquist zone’ that divides the older granite and gneiss of Northern Bornholm, from the much younger sedimentary rocks of the south – a significant boundary.

View east to Nexø

We arrived cold, windswept and exhausted at Bodils Church, our destination. From there, once I had finished painting and the sun had officially set, it was another hour’s walk through the dusk back to the car.

Bodils church


WEATHER REPORT – Sunny in the morning, overcast in the afternoon. Temperature 1 – 4 degrees. Wind 3 – 8 m/s from the west. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 5 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 10h and 49m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 27 species: one new (lapwing, running total = 53 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I am a cat person.

IN MY HEAD – the song ‘Southern Cross’ by Nine Black Alps.