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Kungsleden – the Huts

The STF (Svenska Turistföreningen) runs a series of mountain huts (fjällstuga) along the Kungsleden trail. The huts are only open until the 20th of September but they all have an ’emergency hut’ which stay open year round which one is able to stay in.  Leaving Abisko and heading south, the first hut is Abiskojaure.

Kungsleden sweden travel photography: route and distance signs at start of trail in Abisko

Kungsleden sweden travel photography: Abiskojaure hut

Fire warms the kitchen in Abiskojaure hut.

Kungsleden, Sweden, Abiskojaure hut sign

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A Day in the Cairngorms

Monday May 5th was our third full day in Scotland. The weather of the preceding two days was typically “Scottish,” so as the morning fog cleared cleared into a brilliant blue sky we headed straight into the Cairngorms to take advantage of such a day. Despite the amount of time I’ve previously spent in Scotland, I’ve never hiked in the Cairngorms before. I had planned on a 6 day through hike on my first trip, but a broken camera forced me back to Glasgow to get it repaired, and I never made it.

We didn’t have any particular plan, other than to avoid hiking near the hideous funicular railway that takes tourists and skiers near to the summit of Cairn Gorm. So off we headed on some trail or another.  A stream crossings here, a muddy peat bog there, then we finally started gaining a bit of elevation along some gentle ridge. One things I love about the highlands is the ease of cross country travel. Sometimes you’ll get a bit more muddy than planned, worst I’ve managed was up to my waste in some bog in the Cuillins and then had to “bathe” in a creek before hitching back to Portree, but generally the rugged tundra like terrain means you can just choose a direction and go. So after we got a bit higher up, I pulled out the map to check things out. Hmm, looks like heading up to Cairn Lochan go be a good idea, so off we went…

travel lifestyle stock image: Female hiker in alpine terrain of Cairngorm mountains, Scotland

Travel stock photography: Female backpacker hikes near running river in cairngorm mountains, Scotland

Once we reached the summit plateau we took a short break for some chocolate and lunch, or is that lunch and some chocolate. Well, Sabine ate lunch while I was running around taking pictures. No time to worry about an empty stomach in such nice conditions.

Panoramic stock photography: Female hiker takes in view of Cairngorm mountains from near summit of Cairn Lochan, Scotland

Back on the way again. Below is the summit of Cairn Lochan with Loch Morlich below in the distance. At 1215 meters it’s nothing especially high, well, nothing in Scotland is especially high for that matter.

Travel stock photography: Person stands in distance on summit of Cairn Lochan in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Adventure stock photography: Female hiker crosses snowfield near summit of Cairn Lochan in the Cairngorm mountains, Scotland

Adventure stock photography: Female hiker crosses snowfield near summit of Cairn Lochan in the Cairngorm mountains, Scotland

View of our way, keeping mostly along the ridge and making our way to Cairn Gorm, rising in the left of the photo.

Scotland stock landscape photo: cairngorm mountains in spring. Cody Duncan photography

View again towards Loch Morlich and the Town of Aviemore (‘adventure capital of Scotland’) off in the distance.

lifestyle stock travel photography: Female hiker stands on cliff near Cairn Gorm in the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland

Starting to ascend the gentle slope of Cairn Gorm. This photo is looking back from where we had come. Cairn Lochan is the peak in he center of the photo. What a day and what a view!

Scotland stock landscape photo: cairngorm mountains in spring. Cody Duncan photography

Panoramic landscape stock photography: Cairngorm mountains with spring snow, Cairngorms, Scotland

Panoramic landscape stock photography: Cairngorm mountains with spring snow, Cairngorms, Scotland

Finally, the top of Cairn Gorm.

Cairngorms, Scotland: Summit cairn on Cairn Gorm. Cody Duncan photoCairngorms, Scotland: Summit cairn on Cairn Gorm. Cody Duncan photo

(all panos can be viewed larger by clicking on ’em)

San Felipe Morning

Travel stock photo: fishing boat on beach at sunrise, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Travel stock photo: fishing boat on beach at sunrise, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

A couple more photos of San Felipe from back in March 2008 while I was there for the Baja 250. The beach is covered with fishing boats, which often take out tourists on ‘sport fishing’ trips, but the locals seem to use them for their own fishing needs as well. By day the beach is alive with activity but in the first hours of morning all is quite as the sun rises across the Gulf of California.

Across the Minch

Some twenty or so miles across the Little Minch rise the mountains of Harris. I was there once, on some journey years ago. For some reason the Hebridean isles have been on my mind lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen any ocean since last July, the longest period in my life, so the idea of wandering along an empty beach with a cold north wind on some wild and rugged island on the edge of the world is like a dream.

Isle of Skye stock photo: view across the Little Minch to Isle of Harris, Scotland