Lapland Revisited in June - July 2003
Kvikkjokk June 27 - July 3
with side trip to Staloluokta
Kamajokk seen from just below the tourist
Go to "A Look back in time"
For map of Lapland - click here
For a map of the area including Kvikkjokk, Saltoluokta and Staloluokta
Stopover in Jokkmokk
We arrived in
June 26 after having traveled all day before from Lyon to
Gällivare, the last piece of the way by bus. Gällivare is
getting to be more and more of an international mining town, which we
noticed at the only open restaurant in town, the Quality Hotel down by
the railroad station. The style was somewhat the Irish pub style and
there was a multi-lingual crowd chatting happily around brown wooden
our way to
Kvikkjokk, we had planned on stopping over in Jokkmokk to visit Ajtte,
the Sami cultural museum of world
was more than worth the visit.
spent hours there
scenes from traditional Sami life, costumes, art objects, photos and
texts telling us
about the Sami history. We also had lunch at their restaurant. It was a
Thursday, so, faithful to old Swedish tradition, they served peasoup
with diced pork and after that, in the menu of the day, you got the
standard thin Swedish pancakes (more or less like French crêpes).
(Pictures from Ajtte are all from their brochure - private photos are
not allowed in the museum.)
Kvikkjokk - Part 1
next day we took the
bus to Kvikkjokk, an approximately two-hour
ride along the beautiful Lilla Lulevatten, an endless stretch of lakes
wide and narrow going from lake Sakkat and the Kamajokk-Tarraätno
delta land from Kvikkjokk to Jokkmokk
and further east to finally join up with Stora Lulevatten in
a brief climb up the hill from the bus stop, here we were at the place
where I (Siv) had spent several weeks with my family decades ago. The
place had changed a lot. There
is no longer a restaurant here, but the sleeping facilities have
very substantially. Kvikkjokk
tourist station / in English
There is easily room for 20 people, four bunks to a room, two
comfortable showers in the basement, a washing machine that can be used
by the guests and a drying room
Nice big kitchen with two stoves
and two sinks and a shop where you can
buy most of the things you forgot to bring from home. There is a big
dining room with a wonderful view over Kamajokk and friendly atmosphere
is included in the deal. Delicious breakfasts are served in the dining
room, and you can take care of dinners yourself in the spacious
kitchen. Since it's a kickoff point for hikers who are going into
Sarek, there is a fairly international crowd in Kvikkjokk, which can
make for friendly and chatty evenings and breakfasts.
The little one-room cabin where we
spent weeks when I was a kid, one
room with four bunks and a tiny kitchenette, was still there (over on
the right in the picture), even though it had been somewhat transformed.
after our arrival, we took a walk down to the jokk and marveled at its
wild beauty, no canoeing rapids here, just wild water falling over huge
bolders. The sky was pretty much clouded over but the sun came out all
of a sudden and the rest of the day was all sun and light white clouds.
We also took a walk down to the
boat landing to see where we
would take the boat from the next morning. On our way back to the
fjällstation, we saw a pretty bird flying from one birch to
another. I haven't found out yet who the bird was. It had a strikingly
yellow breast and it was not a song bird. It was quite voluble though
in a chirping way.
With help from a Netherlands source (Arie van Erk), it now seems most likely that this beautiful bird is "Motacilla flava thunbergi", in English: the "(Northern/Scandinavian)
Yellow Wagtail". His voice is a powerful 'psib' or 'psri'. In Swedish
it is the species called 'ärla', not sädesärla
though, which is not yellow, but grey with a black skull cap and white
cheeks (Motacilla alba).
Down at the Kamajokk you have a
tourist station, looking up through the birch trees.
This is as close as you can get to
the midnight sun in Kvikkjokk. It was
the day of our arrival.
Even though it's a little before midnight, it
looked pretty wonderful from down in the valley where Kvikkjokk is
nesting. At midnight, the sun will be just below the line of trees. We
had had a long day and we were not about to climb a mountain that
Kvarnen & kvarn-tjärnarna
For most of the walks you take from Kvikkjokk
you have to take a
rented boat ride to get to the beginning of your walk. In this enormous
delta land where two rivers join, Kamajokk and Tarraätno, there is
the most intriguing and wondrous delta land where mosquitoes breed by
the millions every summer.
The first day we had
agreed with Kenth, one of the two motor boat pilots, to take us to the
beginning of a short walk to a former mill about 3 kilometers along the
Tarraätno to what's called, on the Jokkmokk web site, KVARNEN
& KVARN-TJÄRNARNA (Jokkmokks
turistbyrå / in English).
It was a pleasant walk
to a mill from the beginning of the 19th century which had been
restored in 1970. If you walk a short distance inland you get to a
beautiful little lake - 'tjärn' in Swedish. On this
walk we first discovered the masses of
globe flowers you get to see at this time of the year.
Austria it used to be a big deal whenever we came across some
europeus), but here we saw them again and again, in huge numbers.
There were lots of flowers of various kinds on this walk, and,
among others, very pretty rödblära, which we were to see on
most of our walks. It's a subfamily of carnations -
Caryophyllaceae, nejlikväxter, Latin name - Silene dioica - Rote
Nachtnelke. It's a very pretty, rather tall and graceful flower. I just
wish it had a better name in Swedish. It is closely related to
fjällglim, but it has a long stem, and we always admired them
whenever we saw them, which was just about on all our walks. I'll call
it long-stemmed silene instead.
John is lying down on the dock waiting for Kenth to come and pick us
We had tried but without any success at all to walk back along the
river to the beginning of a path up to a small peak. We just got into
bogs and shrubs that were totally impossible to penetrate so we gave up
and went back to the dock. John stretched out on his back while waiting
for the boat to get there.
On our way back, Kenth took us through the
calm back waters of the Tarraätno delta. It was a
fairy-tale tour with ducks and a line of
ducklings following the mother duck - and other water birds in their
is one of the back waters of the delta where you feel as if time has
stopped and the water belongs to the ducks and not to human beings who,
when they get a chance, destroy the wilderness more than they care for
protection. The six National Parks that make up Laponia World Heritage
are, however, created to protect the wilderness and the wildlife in
View towards the Tarra mountains across the perfectly smooth
surface of the Tarraätno delta, as seen on our trip
back in the boat with Kenth.
Here is where the Kamajokk falls
into the delta. Down on the right you can see approximately
the same view on a sunny
day. You can just barely make out the tourist station on
the hillside over towards the right.