On the third leg of his Scandi trip, Kevin Rushby and son kayak the fjords of a huge archipelago, camp on magical islands – and meet not a single other person.
Two’s company … the coastline of Bohuslän is a paradise for kayaking
We round the headland and see the island for the first time: a distant ridge of bare granite with a lighthouse on one end. At the same time we hit the swell and the wind sizzles spray off the wave tops, whipping it into our faces as we drive the kayaks forward. For a moment I wonder if this island might be a little far out for us, too far from the safe inner channels that we have been following for two days now.
Back at our starting point in a kayaking centre on the island of Tjörn, the owner, Patrik, had been very clear about our options, pointing out various camping spots on the 8,000 islands and islets that are scattered to the north of Gothenburg. Each had its advantages: this one was sheltered from easterlies, that one had a grassy flat area. But one particular island had caught my eye: Räbbe Huvud. It was far from any settlements and close to a nature reserve on a much larger neighbouring island.
Birdwatchers talk about recognising the “jizz” of a bird, the mysterious intuitive process of identification that operates beyond words. I reckon that certain configurations on a map can do that. Something about the shape, the position and the name reaches out and grabs your imagination. That place is calling. A journey is required.