Monday, October 01, 2012

Sweden Part 2 - Kayaking the Bohuslan Coast

The coastline of west Sweden is littered with hundreds of islands. The Bohuslan region is blessed with shores of smooth pink granite rock slabs and domes interlaced with intimate coves and secluded beaches.
The shallow sheltered seas between the islands form a network of canal-like passages. This timeless labyrinth delivers an endless series of surprises. One shallow lagoon leads into to another then the next may lead to the open ocean, or a sleepy fishing village with a cafes and boat moorings.

The paddling here is wonderfully laid back. With less than half a metre of tide, there are no currents to plan for and no long steep beaches to carry kayaks up and down. Over three miles offshore from the fringes of the inner archipelago lies Vaderoarna (the weather islands). They keep the really wild seas at bay whilst acting as a kind of holy grail for more experienced and adventurous paddlers.

The pink granite rocks are beautifully enriched by the low red sunlight of dawn and dusk. In between these times the day time is for exploring, finding and discovering.

Wild-camping is the norm here. It is considered everyone's right to camp for at least one night. Many of the islands are uninhabited. However, it is possible to camp on many of the inhabited islands too.

Hamburgsund, Fjallbacka and Grebbestad are the main towns along this stretch. Apart from providing a welcome diversion from wilderness, there are shops for re-supply as well as cafes and bars for rest and recuperation.

I was privileged to be guided for two and a half days along the Bohuslan coast by Ulrika Larsson of Green Adventures who specialise in kayak tours and training courses in these waters.


Dr Blug said...

Looks fabulous Jim. What's it like for midgies?

Jim Krawiecki said...

That's the great thing! No midges!