Bornholm Coastal Trail – Day 3

DAY 3 – Wednesday Sep 16, 2020 (37.4 km)

After placing my card key in the reception mailbox as I promised to do the afternoon before, I departed at 7:15 am. Walking on sealed roads for the first part this morning, I passed Bornholms Familie & Strand Camping Dueodde and at Dueodde Ferieby I turned right towards Bethesdavej. At Broens Odde I began my walk heading up the northside of the island. One can follow the “Kyststi” signs along the beach to Snogebæk at Broens Odde.

I opted to follow the main road to Snogebæk because I wanted to buy some supplies in town. When I reached Hovedgade in Snogebæk I turned left and walked to Dagli’Brugsen.

Here I purchased some trail mix, a couple of food bars and a ham and cheese bread roll for a mid-morning snack. I found out later in Nexø that I could of purchased some food there instead and there were so many shops in Nexø to choose from too. The locals were glaring at me in Dagli’Brugsen Snogebæk. I’m not sure if they thought that a homeless person had moved to the island and was hanging around Snogebæk 😂. At this stage on day three of my adventure I was unshaven, my clothes were dirty and my skin was tanned by the sun.

I used the toilet at Dagli’Brugsen before I left and then I found my way down to the beach area at Snogebæk harbour. On my next hike here on the Bornholm Coastal Path I will camp at Snogebæk Harbour instead I think. Here at Salthammer Odde there is a shelter combined with a fireplace and a covered eating area. Near the shelter I’m sure that I could pitch my Tarptent Notch. With the Notch’s little footprint size I reckon that it wouldn’t be an issue. There are toilets close by and it is also possible to purchase take away food or order café or restaurant meals. I reckon it would be a good option anyway considering that there is not much else to choose from in the immediate area.

Between Balka and Nexø at Skarvig there is a wild reserve called Vildtreservatet Nexø Sydstrand. There were millions of swans, ducks and geese there. There is a bird watching tower hidden back in the trees and it is possible to observe the birds here all year round.

Just after Balka Beach and Balka the town Nexø comes into view. With a population of nearly 4000, it is the second largest town on Bornholm. When I arrived at Netto I used the shade of the building to take a rest and eat the bread roll that I had bought in Dagli’Brugsen Snogebæk. Next time I’ll buy some food and supplies in Nexø instead. I then walked through town passing Nexø Church first.

After the church in the town center there is a Fakta, Kvickly, Lidl, a chemist and lots a take-away food shops. I filled up on water for the next stretch at another modern, very clean toilet and then I walked out of town past Nexø Camping until I came upon Stenbrudssøen which is an old quarry filled with water and is now a lake.

On Stenbrudsvej and immediately after Stenbrudssøen the coastal path turns right. I followed a bush track down to the coastline where the trail then hugs the rocky beach once again.

Before Årsdale this section offers some beautiful and historical trail. Only a few places in Denmark can boast as many ramparts and cannon batteries as the coast of Bornholm. In the 18th and 19th centuries quite a few cannon batteries were erected on nearly all points along the coast. They are made of banks of turf and have straight fronts and backward bending flanks. The stands of the cannons in the battery are built of stone giving the cannons a firm foundation and a free field of fire. The one called Lerskred Batteri is the first one that I came by after Stenbrudssøen.

I noted that the trail from Nexø to Svaneke was very rocky and seemed to go on forever with the only chance to refill water being at Årsdale. I probably thought this at the time because it was so warm and the sweat was dripping off me. At Årsdale Silderøgeri (smokehouse where you can buy smoked fish and other specialties) I was very tempted to stop for lunch. It is located right by the roadside / coastal trail path. People were dinning there eating fish and drinking cold beer. I forced myself to go straight past.

At the bus stop just past the smokehouse there are some toilets where I filled my water bottle. Note that the trail continues just past these toilets. You have to jump the barrier and cross the beach to find the trail again which continues over some large rocks around the point towards Svaneke.

At Svaneke I made my way down to the harbour. I knew where things were here because I visited Svaneke when I was on Bornholm in April 2019. At the end of the north side of the boat harbour there is a toilet block . I used the facilities there and then I walked around the corner up the hill into town where I found the local Dagli Brugsen. I purchased a sandwich which I ate quickly and then continued on my journey walking out of town.

Just as I was locating the trail signs again another hiker came around the corner from my left heading in the same direction. It was the same hiker “girl” from yesterday. What a small world. We followed each other for the next section up until just before Gudhjem. We chatted for a short while in the start but then we just used each other to get through the long stretch ahead passing each other intermittently. It was still very warm and when I rang home later that evening the reports for the day were that the maximum recorded temperature on Bornholm was 25℃.

At Listed we passed a beautiful little cove called Høl Strand where some locals were swimming in the water and sunbathing on the beach. Before Høl Strand, at Listed Harbour there were some public toilets that we used and I topped up on water supplies there as well.

After Listed at Bølshavn harbour the only toilet that was open was the handicapped one. There was a bunch of German tourists there waiting to use it. I didn’t need water so I continued without pausing. The rest of the afternoon I continued travelling north passing through Saltuna and then up to Melsted. Just after Randkløve Skår and before Saltuna the trail joins the sealed bike path and that is what I walked on the rest of the afternoon. I guess it was a 5 km stretch.

I wasn’t really sure where I was going to camp yet but I was in fact tired, hot, dirty and very hungry. Oh and did I say thirsty. When I reached Gudhjem Camping, where the trail runs right through the grounds, I decided to stop. I made my way up to the office on the main road. There was a nice guy there, the owner I guess, who wanted to chat a lot. He gave me a good deal for staying there the night. The next morning I paid 109 kroner which included my camp fee, one Danish Royal Export cold beer 🍺 (he had that in the fridge next to the counter when I came) and a shower. I walked a total of 37½ kilometers today.

In hindsight I should of walked an extra 3 km up to Salene where I found a beautiful and small primitive campsite with no facilities the next day. It is located right next to the shoreline and trail but is nicely tucked away behind a thin layer of trees giving some cover from the wind. There are no facilities what so ever at Salene so remember to pack out your garbage if you camp there. You can collect your water supplies at Gudhjem Camping for all your evening requirements. I have marked the site on my map at the bottom of this article. There are two taps at Gudhjem Camping grounds to collect water from and up at the amenities building in the top northern corner there is one outdoors tap also. The trail runs directly through the park so it is a no brainer to fill up here.

When I started to pitch the Notch the winds came in all their glory. All of a sudden wind gusts were blowing up to 13m/s. The problem was that the area that had been allocated for pitching tents in the camping grounds was very exposed with little or no protection from the weather. If I was wild camping then I would not of pitched my tent there. I was worried about my brand new very expensive imported tent blowing away down the cliff somewhere so I didn’t go anywhere looking to buy some food, which was my initial plan. I took a shower and I then returned to my tent which was still there when I came back by the way.

On my way to the shower block the “girl” hiker came by walking through the park. We greeted one another quickly and then I never saw her again. She was staying somewhere in Gudhjem and was taking a zero the next day. A zero is a non-mileage day on trail and is a common term used in American thru-hiking. She was going to visit Christiansø which is a little group of islands situated approximately 20 km north-east of Bornholm.

I had a packet of long-life tuna and two pieces of dry crisp bread and that was my dinner. I placed some heavy rocks on top of the main tent stakes facing the wind and then I went to bed. After I convinced myself that the tent was not going to be picked up and blown away being cast down the cliff face along with me in it, I slept well waking only a couple of times through the night.

Today’s hike covered 37.4 km with 890 m ascent and 893 m descent

… to be continued on next post: Bornholm Coastal Trail – Day 4

The Trail (120 km)

Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of the rest of Denmark, south of Sweden, northeast of Germany and north of the westernmost part of Poland occupying an area of 588.36 square kilometers (227.17 sq mi). The Bornholm Coast Path (Kyststien) is a 4-5 day hike (120 km) around the square sized 1.7 billion year old granite rock island.

My map is also available on AllTrails here

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