Vinströmmarna wild life, here we come

August 4 – With packed bags we left our base camp by bus to Vinströmmarna. Vinströmmarna is in the middle of Sweden and about 1/1,5 hour from our base camp. We were excited to go camping!
The group was divided in 4 groups: Björn (bear), Varg (wolf), Järv (wolverine) and Lodjur (lynx). Each group has his own activities, sometimes with another group.

Vinströmmarna

First thing we did was explore the area, our tents and after that we ate lunch. After lunch we settled down in the 5 big tents with our sleeping bags and our bagage. Each group had a tent.
The camp in Vinströmmarna was organized by a man named Urban and his two children helped him.

Vinströmmarna

In the evening the Björn-group went away for the bear safari and all the other groups were going to spot beavers. We were picked up by a mini-bus and dropped in the middle of nowhere next to the river. We were actually cargo, 5 people in the back of the car, without seats. It was actually quite funny.
As we waited for the rest of the group to come, we slowly carried 2 big canoes down to the river. It was really steep and sandy. With us were Urban his two kids to guide us and two young guides for the canoes. Each guide had a canoe and when everyone arrived, we stepped into the canoe with our lifevests.

Spotting beavers

Everyone had to paddle, and we had to paddle synchronicly! It was funny in the beginning because some of us had to get use to the paddelling.
Our canoe started out right…. yeah not. We immediatly paddled into large branches, hanging over the water. We, in the front, yelled that everyone had to lie down. “LIE DOWN!!, LIE DOWN NOW!”. So we did, well I went down like I was participating in a limbo-dancing contest and because of that I got all the branches scratching my face. We were all wet and we had leaves in our hairs but it was so funny. What a fail haha.
The rest of the trip went smoothly and we became better than the other boat. We were in front the whole time and if they were approaching, someone yelled: ‘winter is coming!!’. You know, like in the game of thrones. We found out that it was an internationally loved show.
Johannes from Denmark sat next to me and he tried to teach me to make sounds with hands. I had to close my hands together, expect my thumbs, and blow into the whole between my thumbs. Well that was funny. I really sucked at it, so I closed my hands and held them against my mouth and I started making monkey noises and so on.

In the far end of the beaver-spotting trip we saw a beaver swimming. You could only hear the nature her silence and we didn’t make a move. As we got closer, the beaver kept on swimming and ‘FLATS’ it was gone. The beaver went under water and used his tail to ‘clap’ the water. It was a sign for the other beavers that danger was approaching.
That was the only beaver we really saw, after that we only saw the tales of two beavers who made the same move. What we did see was a small dam they built, a deer and five white birds that followed us.

Overall, spotting beavers was a fun experience with a lot of singing, silence and nature.

Rahel (Switzerland), Patrick(Germany) and Mirkka (Finland)

– Johanna

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