LAND 12 The day started badly: I arrived at Slusegård just before sunrise without my rucksack and had to drive home again to fetch it. I was nearly an hour late by the time I finally started walking. It was raining and I quickly found a sheltered spot by the side of the road and set up my tarp. On a field opposite a pair of distant shelduck walked across the dull and sodden field.
I headed north on the narrow road towards the hill of ‘Rispebjerg’ through an open agricultural landscape, a seldom visited part of Bornholm. Repeatedly my eyes were drawn to the farms, large and small, that dotted the landscape.
Sometimes I walked on the main road, but often I kept to narrow country lanes. Eventually I arrived, completely soaked through, at Sct. Povls kirke, a wonderfully pretty and well-maintained church, which sits beacon-like in the landscape. In the lee of its thick whitewashed walls, I sheltered from the wind and the rain.
I continued west and arrived at Ringeborgen, a fascinating archaeological site that over five thousand years ago had been the site of a sun cult, with temples, woodhenges, and palisades. More recently still, it had been Bornholm’s largest iron age fortification with ramparts, dry moats and earthworks. One of the sun temples has been recreated, and from here it is possible to appreciate the defensive position of the site with commanding views of the surrounding area, now dominated (at least in my present state of mind) by industrial pig farms and silos.
The rain was finally blown away and replaced by a bright sun and blue sky, the wind even stronger now. The sky was suddenly filled with the incessant trilling of skylarks. Something (a peregrine, surely?) put up mixed flocks of gulls, crows, starling, and lapwing – a conveyor belt of confetti panic that exploded from the fields and wheeled and soared around, buffeted by the wind.
I sheltered a while on the edge of a small pine plantation.
Along country roads, my eyes were repeatedly drawn to the geometric shapes of the huge pig farms.
As the sun neared the horizon, I walked through the tiny hamlet of Stenseby. Recently the locals had banded together to buy and demolish a derelict building, which they had replaced with an outdoor centre for the community to gather in – ‘Downtown Stenseby’ declared the proud sign.
I walked a little further a made one last sketch before, thankfully, being collected and driven back to my waiting car.
WEATHER REPORT – Rain in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. Windy. Temperature 8 degrees. Wind 6 – 10 m/s from the south and west. Hours of precipitation: 5 hours. Hours of sunshine: 4 hours.
STOPS with the BIVVY – 1
KILOMETRES WALKED – 17.57 km
DAY LASTED – 11h and 50m
PEOPLE TALKED TO – 2
BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 37 species: 3 new (linnet, song thrush and golden plover, running total = 68 species)
LESSONS LEARNED – Always, always bring a spare pencil.
IN MY HEAD – again, the planned biogas expansion, and all the things I should have said in the various meetings, interviews and debates I have attended. I recorded observations and arguments on my phone, which seemed to help a little. But I wish I could drop it when I’m out working.