The further south I walked, the more trees began appearing in the valleys. The passes were still bare but it was nice to know that the coming valleys would have some shelter from the blustery chill.
On the decent to Teusajaure, I reached back in my pack for my prized Mizu water bottle and was heartbroken to discover that it had fallen out somewhere along the way. I retraced my steps for some time, cursing myself for letting that happen. My pack is so old that the elastic of the water bottle holders is stretched out and prone to dropping whatever I put in them. I usually heard when things fell out, though. I would have to use my 2 L Platypus reservoir for the rest of the trip which would be fine.
There were two rowboats on the north side of the lake which meant I'd only have to paddle across once. The evening was still so the going was quick and the little boat glided across the water without a sound other than the clinking of the oars and the water dripping off of them with each stroke.
After the lake crossing, the trail hiked up steeply. There were no good places to camp (and I was being very picky) so I ended up hiking late. The ground was all boggy and sloped. I finally found a place that was tolerably flat but the night was so cold I could not sleep and was up early and on the go just to get my blood moving.
I made it out in time for the afternoon ferry to Saltoloukta crossing the next big lake. Saltoloukta was an expensive little tourist trap/ lodge. I had been daydreaming of a meal but it turned out to be a multi-course affair going for hundreds and hundreds of crowns. A little bit too pricey for me. Everyone else there seemed to be on weekend getaways, not long walks like me. They were dressed well and I stuck out like a sore thumb. Since I was ahead of schedule, I decided to stick around a little while to charge my camera battery.
I met a family who adopted me for the afternoon and sat with me in the sun. One of the women had moved to Sweden all the way from Brazil after falling in love with her partner.
I hiked out in the evening as it was getting too dark to see. The air was much warmer than the night before. The trail led me high up above the lake and I finally settled into a nice flat spot that must have been used by travelers many times before as evidenced by a little fire ring and worn ground. I set up my tent and watched the faint lights in the Sami village below and was suddenly very lonely. Lonely all the way down to my bone marrow.