Starting Location:Â First CampÂ KolmÃ¥rden
Ending Location:Â Overkalix
Total Distance Traveled (including this day):Â 2685kmÂ
Bike Comfort Factor (1-10) :4
“Tired” Factor (1-10) :47
From about 5.30am Chris and I were too miserable to even try to sleep. Â We packed up our soaking wet gear and got ourselves ready for a long day of “northwards”. Â A few hours later Roy (aka Rested smug git), Vladimir (aka very rested and amused smug git) and Gregg (aka monumentally happy it wasnt him in the wet smug w*&ker) got themselves ready and tried not to laugh at us. Â We knew we were bad when even they were saying “seriously, you guys look fucked”. Â First objective – coffee.
We rode back into town in our damp gear and coffeed up as much as possible, then took the North East coast up the E4 to Umea. Â At this point, I could notice the landscape changing. Â More random boulders appearing. Â Still lots of trees, but a different type, and the beginning of mountains with snow at the peaks. Â The rocks got darker and the sky changed colour. Â Sounds stupid but it started feel like a more primitive landscape. Â About 300KM into the day, Vladimir waved us to slow down. Â We were a few seconds behind an accident on the motorway. Â A young girl got distracted and Â had flipped her Saab into the motorway midsection. Â By the time we got there, she was out of the car. Â We rendered assistance until the rescue services appeared. Â Although horribly unlucky, she was lucky on two fronts.
1 – She flipped into one of the parts of the motorway that actually had a real middle section (most motorways in Sweden are separated by a cable that can be removed so the road can be used to land military aircraft).
2 – She was in a Saab. Â Â I joked with the girl that Vladimir could push it back on its wheels and she could drive home. Â The girl had minor cuts and shock, but all was good.
Gregg’s GoPro was taking photos all day, so we have a picture of the car unintentionally.
We proceeded north, at a more sober pace, suddenly not feeling the damp as badly. At Tore we came off the E4 and heading NorthWest on the E10. Â The problem with working in so many miles on days like this is we passed so many things we would have loved to see. Â The plan was to always get north and take a more leisurely approach south, so we passed incredible towns and campsites, with steam-engines and amazing bridges. Â Frustrating, but we just ploughed on.
By the time we reached OverKalix, Chris and I were wrecked. Â We headed straight to the camp site I had selected. Â By a lake, great facilities, lovely land.
Oh yes… closed. Â Summer season didn’t start until June1. Â 3 days away. Â I had not factored this into my research. Â Not to worry, we passed a hotel a few minute before. Â At this stage I was willing to pay for any type of bed.
Also closed. Â European election day (shakes fist at sky). Â This though, is when the best things happen. Â Random people offered to lead us back to a cabin site we passed en route (about 8km back). Â We drove back. Â They had rooms. Â I knew that I was supposed to stay in a tent, but there was a bed and I needed it. Â Not only that, they had a massively overpriced restaurant which we also used!
This photo was taken at 10pm. Â There was no real “nighttime” anymore. Â Taking advantage of cabins, we charged absolutely everything. Â I worked on my broken scotoiler, Chris re-packed his bike, Vladimir and Gregg abused us and Roy washed his BMW (a nightly process – the only person I have ever met that washes the bike on a tour). Â I passed out about 11pm.