Starting Location:Â Jyderup
Ending Location:Â First CampÂ KolmÃ¥rden
Total Distance Traveled (including this day):Â 1950km (approx)
Bike Comfort Factor (1-10) :8
“Tired” Factor (1-10) :2
Tracking availability -Â Good!
We all work early and Chris and I set about packing up our tents. Â In the meantime I did spy an aging Harry Potter (aka Gregg Eldred) heading off for a shower.
Camping as a holiday makes no sense to me. Â People drive for hours in slow big mobile homes just to sit somewhere. Â We were just using these places as stops for the next day’s travel. Â Seriously. Â When you have signs like this
..and toilets like this
..you have to wonder what the hell you are doing there.
The objective for the morning was to get past Stockholm. Â Vladimir suggested bypassing it totally by taking a circular route, so off we went on the 53 and then the 55 passing the big city to the East of us. Â Rejoining the E4 North. Â En route we stopped at Wiks Slott (castle) but it was closed. Â The heat and pace were both high, cased by extreme heat and Vladimir on a 1200cc Vareadero. Â North past Upsalla we continued onwards with only food and petrol stops. Â The idea was to use the good roads of Sweden and get as far north as possible early while we were still fresh, and it was working for us. Â Every petrol station in Scandinavia offers 95 or 98 octane petrol. Â Almost all stations are card reading at the pumps (don’t bother with American Express – rarely works over there). Â Hot dogs are everywhere and that was the staple diet. Â At this point, Near Upsalla, Vladimir wanted to change the route and head west sooner into Norway as he wanted to get there and back before he had to return (he could not stay for the whole trip). Â Democracy ruled though. Â We had a plan to get miles in, so stuck to it. Â When we were approachingÂ HÃ¤rnÃ¶sand, we noticed *very* dark clouds following us north. Â This did not bode well. Â According to local followers, it was not supposed to rain, so when we arrived atÂ HÃ¤rnÃ¶sand camping site, Chris and I elected for tents again. Â The other three took a cabin.
First mistake – blindly taking a grass area the lady pointed out for our tent.
Second mistake – taking a break before setting up the tent.
It started to chuck it raining. Â Thunder, lightening. Â The whole 9 yards of “rain god” onto us while we were trying to set the tents up. Â The wind picked up too. Â By the time our tents were up, we were soaked through. Â Now we had to eat. Â Nowhere open for food, so I had protein bars and this lovely bar of chocolate (that may have suffered in the heat). Â We all still ate it though!
But wait, Chris Harris had brought a burner. Â He also purchased the fuel earlier (which ended up in my topbox as I somehow thought it would be fine to carry flammable liquid around on a bike). Â Fortunately I had nothing to fear because.. well.. it was the wrong liquid and we couldn’t light anything. Â Amid much laughing and bad language Chris kept trying until the three in the cabin realised there was a cooker there (“You didn’t ask if we had a cooker!”). Â Of course, that didn’t work either so we just gave up and went to our beds/tents.
The wind picked up at midnight, along with the rain and the thunder. Â By 3am my tent was anchored to motorbikes to try to prevent it (and I) being blown away.
Â Half of my tent floor was under water (I never checked the land – back to the “first mistake” above). Â People passing by our tents would have heard a conversation like this.
Me (grumbling) “For fucks sake”
Chris: “You awake Paul?”
Me: “Is that a serious fucking question?”
Chris “What the hell are we doing here”
Me: “I wanna go home”
We got about 2 hours sleep and at 5.30 am were already packing and trying to dry things. Â On to Day 6.