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See here for an introduction to the KYST project
KYST 10 After a very early start the day began rather innocuously. I parked the car in Vang habour and walked along the coast and back to the waterfall. There was little wind and the temperature was around 1 or 2 degrees. While some ice and snow did remain, the waterfall was a torrent compared to last week. I struggled to depict the movement of the water.
Packing up my things I walked northward along the coast to ‘Stor Rams’ a huge erractic boulder depositied by a glacier, just by the water’s edge. This part of the coast is really off the beaten track and the only footprints in the snow were those of roe deer and hares. Already the wind was picking up and as I started painting it started to sleet, also on my painting.
My path along the beach was blocked by the imposing granite cliffs of ‘Mulekleven’, so I decided to climb up the wooded slope to the clifftop path. Despite all the weeks of frost, the mixture of wet mud and slush made the going very difficult and I had to make two trips on all fours with all my gear. By the time I arrived at the top I was soaked with sweat, and I huddled under my M60 while huge snowflakes drifted down, followed by sleet, and then rain.
Eventually I packed up and walked onwards along the coastal path towards Hammershus. The thick snow had turned into dirty slush, the path in places an icy brook. Soon my feet were completely soaked and frozen, so I was happy to find a small wooden hut where I spent the next few hours trying to warm up. I painted the view from the open door.
I collected some branches with strange looking lichens and slime mould.
The sturdy hut was built long ago for the coast guard, who would patrol the rocky coast, looking for ships in distress. Inside the hut information panels described their work and some of Bornholm’s better known shipwrecks. When I had warmed up a little I packed up and carried on along the path, first through some weather-beaten birch and wild cherry trees, and later through a more open heathland. Here in the face of a strong and sleety west wind I looked back at Vang harbor. The day felt long.
Eventually the path started descending back to the coast. I came into a large and open wooded area, full of huge oaks with twisted branches. The waves crashed into the shore and the wind roared in the tree tops. There were no birds, no signs of life even, and the atmosphere felt foreboding, threatening even. (see top)
I came down to the beach under the shadow of Hammershus, the ‘Hated Castle’, perched on a granite outcrop. The wind was blowing from the sea right up the valley and I sat and made a last painting, lasting just a few minutes before having to stop. I walked along the valley up to the road, annoyed with myself for giving up before the sunset.
Just as I reached the new Hammershus Visitor Centre I noticed a change in light. Somehow, after such a grey and dreary day, the clouds and sun had conspired to create an awe inspiring sunset. I sat down and drank in the incredible colours, with the castle silhouetted against a constantly shifting backdrop of oranges, purples and reds. It seemed like an amazing reward after a hard and challenging day, and this burst of sudden positivity lifted my spirits whilst I trudged through the slush all the way back to Vang where my car waited.
Weather report = snow, sleet and rain in the morning, light sleet in the afternoon. Overcast. Temperature between minus 1 and 3 degrees. Wind between 3 and 11 m/s first from the north, then the west. Visibility: poor, then better. Hours of sunshine: 5 mins (just as it set)
Lessons learned – take it easy. Take stops, do not allow yourself to get too hot and sweaty. Do not let your inner gloves get wet. Do not ever again go for a walk on slushy paths. Frozen and wet toes do eventually get warm when you walk on them. Stay to the end, it might be worth it.
Stops with the M60 = 1
Kilometers walked = 6.53 km
Day lasted = 11 hours, 22 minutes
Birds seen and heard = 18 species (0 new ones = running total 47)
Other stuff = irony of wanting to be outside all day and ‘away from it all’, but making Facebook and Instagram updates through the day. No bird drawings again.
People talked to = 2
In my head = Annoying development: voice in head commentary ‘should I write this in the blog?’ (including this sentence). ‘… Det er så fuldt af sjov, ude i en skov..’ children’s song in my head all day…