I finally got my new car! Actually, I got it last week – I drove to Östersund to pick up the car and my sister, who came to visit me for the weekend. It was great to see her and we had a good time with hiking, walking, eating waffles and chatting. All of that means that my shiny new Suzuki Vitara-S (or not so shiny now that it’s been through some gravel roads) had to wait until I could get better acquainted with it, so yesterday I took it out for a long trip to find out how it really performs.
I picked out route Røros-Tufsingdalen-Drevsjø-Idre, added a hike to the top of Städjan and logged a few geocaches on the way.
The car behaved brilliantly, occasionally it reminded me that it had a small engine but the engine packs a lot of power for the size and I can’t imagine any situation where it would give me a problem. The automatic gearbox tends to overwork in some hills (Yaris flashback) but you can switch to manual gears to solve that. That’s really the only negative thing I can say about the car, and considering how many features I love about this car, overall, it is everything I had hoped for! One feature I have to mention is the all wheel drive, you can set it in different modes depending on the situation. I drove home on the 311, where the Sörvattnet-Tännäs stretch is in contention for the worst road in Sweden. It’s one thing if it’s narrow and winding, but then you also have to dodge the potholes and reindeer and hope your engine doesn’t fall off when driving over all the bumps. I was happy to find that the only thing rattling in the car was my teeth! I enabled the Sport-mode for the AWD and it made a huge difference in taking the corners, it really would have been a smooth ride if it wasn’t for the lousy tarmac.
Besides enjoying the new car, I also enjoyed the route I had picked out. I didn’t have much expectations for the road 28 from Os to Drevsjø, but it turned out to be very nice. It’s not filled with great photo opportunities and I drove past just about every good opportunity there was (the Norwegians don’t bother with adding a lay-by at every scenic spot and the shoulders are too narrow to park the car), but it’s a beautiful road and well worth another trip. Most of the mountains you see along the way are rounded like our mountains here at home, but they look different anyway – they are covered in lichen, which you just can’t find here thanks to the reindeer. The highlight is when you get to the southern end of the Isteren lake and you get views towards the Sølen mountains, where the highest peak is 1755m!
The day was turning out great and I had warm sunshine on me when I started my hike to Städjan in Idre. When I got up on the mountain, I saw rain in every direction and my biggest concern was the showers in the west. But the wind was roughly south-west so I got lucky, not a drop fell on me even if the clouds overtook the sky when I was going back down.
Städjan is an interesting mountain, it’s a bit like Stor-Mittåkläppen here – it’s a tourist magnet and it has a completely different profile depending on the direction. It looks very boring when you approach it south-west from Gränjåsvallen (which is the shortest route) but if you see it from Nipstugan in the north-west, it looks more like a volcano with a cap. And as I was driving home and saw it from the south-east (through the trees), the profile is even more pointy. Fascinating!
I was really tired when I got home. The hike wasn’t long or demanding but I guess the combination of sitting in the car for hours and then hiking takes its toll. Well, that plus not sleeping very well. That’s my new thing, waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep… Anyway, from the pictures I’ve seen on social media, we had a great sunset last night and I totally missed it but honestly, I wouldn’t have had any energy to left to anything with it anyway. Which seems to the story this year, we’ve had some great sunsets this summer and I’ve missed every one them. Story of my life, actually… every time I try to catch a sunset, it’s a dud. If I just stay at home, it’s great. So all the other photographers out there, you’re welcome – I can just about guarantee a nice sunset for you when I don’t try to catch it myself!