LAND 14 Delayed three days because of illness, I somehow cheated the weather Gods and was rewarded with a crystal-clear start to the day. I sat in a field close to Peders Church and looked straight towards the sun rising over the fields.
I headed north, making my way steadily along the narrow country roads. I passed by woods echoing with the song of chaffinch and song thrush. Cawing rooks flapped lazily overhead. In the open fields, skylark song rained down over the recently turned soil, where hares galloped amongst squadrons of feeding starling, fieldfare, and redwing. It was a wonderful sunny early spring morning.
The area I walked through, Smålyngen, was historically heathland and rough pasture, with the soil rather thin on sandstone bedrock. Since the 1800s, however, the area begun to be drained and cultivated. Today it is a gentle agricultural landscape of fields, farms and small woods, crisscrossed by bicycle paths.
I arrived at the Smålyng Sandstone Quarry, which had once provided employment for the inhabitants of a nearby poor house. Closed in the 70s, the flooded quarry is now the site of the municipal waterworks and a biodiversity hotspot. I enjoyed the modernist lines of the waterworks and dozed to the soporific sound of croaking frogs and drumming woodpeckers.
Continuing north the land rose gently ahead, towards Bornholm’s granite centre. I looked back towards the south and the distant sea.
I paused for a while by Egeby Stubmølle, a small post mill built at the end of the 18th century and still in use in the 1920s. In the sun, out of the chilly breeze, it was deliciously warm.
I walked on, in and out of the woods, and ended my day by Hjortebakken – a ring of standing stones in a small clearing deep in the forest. In the centre of the ring stood a twisted oak tree. It felt like an enchanted site, a little unsettling. I was glad to make it back to the main road where I was thankfully picked up just as the sun set. Against all expectations, I had lasted the day.
WEATHER REPORT – Sunny all day. Windy. Temperature 1 – 11 degrees. Wind 3 – 5 m/s from the east. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 13.5 hours.
STOPS with the BIVVY – 0
KILOMETRES WALKED – 14.28 km
DAY LASTED – 13h and 42m
PEOPLE TALKED TO – 0
BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 45 species: 3 new (white wagtail, chiffchaff, common snipe, running total = 73 species)
LESSONS LEARNED – If I am tired enough, I can fall asleep on sandstone
IN MY HEAD – Succession (HBO), my health/tiredness, but mostly just enjoying the sun