I think we might just be getting somewhere. Two countries down and 300 miles into Sweden, its going well! We have left the artic circle and the snow on the hills and heading for the warmth down south.
The views have been amazing throughout northern Scandinavia and we have been treated to an apparently rare glimpse of Elk and lots of Reindeer, including a couple of stubborn ones that we have to basically chase of the road.
We have however been struggling with the endless pine trees, lack of villages and unchanging landscape, all of which hasn’t affected James’ enthusiasm as he has been off-roading a few times to spice things up.
Cycle touring is a funny one, when you are on mile 80, with 20 to go all you want is to tuck yourself into your sleeping bag and go to sleep. And when you are asleep, with Mozzies feasting on your blood, riding your bike can’t come fast enough. To escape the bloodthirsty blighters we have found a few fancy places to sleep.
Other than the church we also found a gondola station/cafe. Ready to sleep under the veranda in 5 degrees, Alec tried the door thinking of course this won’t be open but ‘by Jove’, it was! It didn’t take long for our stuff to be thrown all over the cafe and for us to bask in the 20 degree warmth.
After a few beautiful nights next to rivers and lakes, last night we rolled into Boden absolutely knackered. Food being the biggest priority, we filled our basket and as Jim was searching for the porridge, Stephen, a Scottish guy who worked there walked past and pointed James in the right direction. You couldn’t make this up. After chatting to Stephen we explained what we were doing and that we were looking for a place to sleep, he kindly offered up his veranda so it wasn’t long before we were sat in his kitchen stuffing ourselves full of pasta. So a big thanks to Stephen, Helena, his wife, and the kids for having us. Luckily we were offered a shower so didn’t smell too bad. After a great nights sleep, helped along by a few glasses of whiskey, we left and headed to the bike shop to grab some bits. (Tom will cover mechanical and the great game that comes with it in a later post).
Despite leaving the shop at 11.15 we have managed to get in 90 miles: our daily target and we’re feeling good about the next few days.