Klarälven to the North Sea - July 14 - day 7: Deje - Karlstad (37.3 km)

Klarälven till Västerhavet - 14 juli - dag 7: Deje - Karlstad (37,3 km)

Hey!

 

The last day on Klarälven was a day with similar features as the previous days, a variation of total joy and occasional hopelessness. 

 

After a night of restorative sleep, we set off from central Deje to start the day in the best way: to lift past a hydroelectric power plant! 

The camp in Deje.

The lift included some technically complicated steps but was still one of the shorter lifts, which was gratifying. Aware that this would be our penultimate lift (we thought…), we quickly paddled further downstream. 

 

In recent days, the temperature has risen, which has made us bathe more frequently to cool down. A cooling dip after a hard lift does the trick!

 

A few miles later we arrived at the last dam of the river: Forshaga power plant. To our seduction, we quickly realized that here there were very poor conditions to carry around with the kayaks. However, after a while we found an old hidden canal next to the power plant that turned out to be part of a lock that used to be operated here. Klarälven was the last Swedish river where timber was floated, then through, among other things, this closed lock and canal we traveled through. In fact, it was as recently as 30 years ago exactly, in 1991, that the last logs floated on the river's water. 

The old lock in Forshaga.

In any case, we finally found a reasonably okay road to carry around the power plant and the lock. By this time, however, energy levels began to fall to the bottom. We had only eaten a little oatmeal for breakfast, which was now noticeable. The problem was that the lock was on the wrong side of the river opposite where civilization and society existed with all its restaurants and grocery stores. The 30 minute walk in each direction was not worth going as we wanted to get to Karlstad as soon as possible. Instead, we drained the last thing we had in the kayaks: 2 cans of tuna, a slice of lingonberry coarse and a few liters of water.

 

It felt like the heat was starting to rise further before the lift. Somewhat strengthened by the only food we had, we made one last effort to get past this last damn hydroelectric power plant which normally had zero adaptation for kayakers. 

 

In the end, however, we were in some miraculous way on the other side and the last kilometers to Karlstad began to tick down. 

The last bit before arriving at the Inner Harbor.

The joy of being present was expressed in a roar of victory on Sandgrundsudden. That joy was almost blown away, however, when we in our quest to paddle into the Inner Harbor in Karlstad encountered two closed lock gates in the canal we paddled through. The longing for food was more than palpable and another lift was not something that was on the wish list. With bitter taste we carried past the locks and could then paddle on. 

Carlarnas sluices in Pråmkanalen in Karlstad.

Like waking up from a dream, we were all of a sudden there in the harbor that was buzzing with life at all the outdoor cafes with live music. 

 

Believe it or not but there was actually a welcome committee! It was the legend, Värmlander and the founder of Melker, Pelle Stafshede and his weapon bearer Henrik who with open arms welcomed us to sunny Karlstad (there was a thunderstorm just before we paddled into the city). 

 

However, the hunger was reminded, which was expressed in the fact that Noah and Lowe ran to McDonalds the first thing they did when they came ashore to replenish their energy reserves. 

The heirs visit the city at the same time. 

Tonight we sleep in the rental hatches that Melker operates in the Inner Harbor in Karlstad, it is not possible to sleep more centrally. With the smell of coffee in the air from the adjacent coffee roastery Löfbergs, we then went into the hatches for a good night's sleep.

 

All's Well!

 

//William 


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