We did not know them yet, but in Sweden and Norway we were introduced to them. They are even smaller than a pinhead and they don’t sting, no they bite! According to sources, they have a jaw that causes a wide wound. Very irritating all round!
The first time we seriously had a lot of them around us was at Evertsberg in Sweden. The campsite was closed, but it was also the municipal swimming pool in the lake. It was already late, as in Mora we took shelter from the rain in a restaurant where you can get a hot meal from the buffet for a fixed fee. When we were dry and saw that it was also dry outside, we decided to cycle on. And so we arrived late at that campsite that was closed. A few swimmers confirmed that we could camp there just fine and a toilet had also been left open. After a lovely swim in the small lake, we felt nicely refreshed and ate the bread meal that had otherwise been our lunch. And then they came! Whole swarms of them! And they knew how to find every uncovered piece of skin. Fortunately, by now we had bought the mosquito-resistant trousers at the Decathlon in Stockholm, but there was no way to keep our faces clear with our caps and buffs and such. So, once again, we were lying in the inner tent a lot earlier than we had actually thought of…
In Sälen, due to the announced bad weather, we took a cottage (in a ski resort) for 2 nights and had nothing to worry about.
The next stage took us into Norway. We found a spot in the forest along a river. We hoped there would be fewer mosquitoes along running water. Unfortunately… right by the spot we found was a “dead” stretch in the river. Even as we set up, we were surrounded by mosquitoes, including knut! Moving from the grass to the stone path hardly helped. Several people had already suggested we make fire and it was safe to do so here. A large area of stones and lots of “trimmings” surrounded us. And indeed it helped if you stayed so close to the fire that your hair almost singed. Sitting in the smoke was also possible, but it gave you such burning eyes. Afin, as long as we kept the fire high, it was manageable. At night, we had to pee and where ordinary mosquitoes usually “sleep”, knut turned out not to. What a nightmare! Next day legs full of red spots and itching…
The next morning, without breakfast, we left as soon as we could. A few kilometres further along the main road, we descended on a large open stretch with a turn-off and lots of asphalt to have breakfast. That was a good move. Very few critters here and so could sit relaxed. We couldn’t make out what the passing drivers thought, but they kindly waved back.
The camping boss at the campsite in Elverum told us it was the knut. Until then, we had not heard of it. He also said they weren’t at his campsite. That was not entirely true, but at least there were far fewer of them than the days before. When we saw mosquito nets in the local supermarket that you can put over your hat and head, we didn’t have to think long 😉
And so from now on you can find us in front of the tent in the evening with long mosquito-proof trousers, long-sleeved shirt and possibly jumper and a mosquito net over the head 😁
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