Again, a lot has happened since the last post.
I spent a great time in Stockholm being spoiled by my Aunt and Uncle and even had the opportunity to go for a high-speed boat excursion with my cousin in his powerboat. Cruising at 50 knots…
I also had time to finish rebuilding Sir to its natural glory and went for a trail ride in Nackareservatet. No bags, the proper suspension fork and mtb tires make for a very nice ride! Sir is more or less for sale now that it is restored to a suitable condition, but I can’t say that I would be too disappointed if I was forced to keep it. I can see many more bikepacking oriented trips being possible in the future…
But my new bags finally arrived and it was time to hit the road again. The original plan was to take the ferry back to Gdansk, but I did not really feel like getting back on a long-distance ferry again and started considering other options.
Last time I came back to Stockholm, I started over again. Maybe I should do that this time as well?
In the end, that is what I decided to do. I would ride down the east coast of Sweden, to Trelleborg and take the ferry there across to Sassnitz in Germany. It’s only about 900 km…
All the way to Gamleby I kept crossing the route that was the start of the-walk, 6 years ago. It is strange just how much you remember along the small country roads. I swear that I recognized individual tress and bushes along the way!
In Västervik I was lucky to be able to stay with Daniel Peterson and his girlfriend. Daniel is a backpacker turned long-distance cyclist, turned kayaker. It was a great evening filled with stories of cycle trips in Africa.
I also had time to get diagnosed with Lyme disease. I got bitten by a tick in Estonia and had been keeping an eye on the bite and when it got inflamed and started getting bigger I contacted a doctor who diagnosed Lyme disease.
Nothing very serious when diagnosed this early and a 10-day antibiotics cure should fix me right up.
I am glad that I decided to ride down the Swedish coast, there are many beautiful things to see along the way and I have been lucky to be able to find some very nice smaller gravel roads and have avoided the main roads and all the traffic.
In fact, I was riding along, enjoying the scenery and thinking about how much there is to explore close to “home”. We don’t really need to jet off to Afrika, South Amerika or Australia, there is a lot of beauty right here. Then, just as I was lost in thought about what to explore here in Sweden, a cold gust of wind made me stop and put on a warmer jumper and I remembered that winter was on the way and why I really want to be further south as soon as possible!
In Kalmar I got a call from my sister, telling me that my grandmother had passed away. Very sad news, especially as she was the last of my grandparents still living, but as she was in her high nineties, it was not extremely unexpected. Still, if anyone was to reach 100, I would have expected it to be her.
Today, Sunday, I am having a rest day in Kalrkrona after more than 635 km in 6 days, with only about 300 km left to Trelleborg and the ferry to Sassnitz where I hope to start the Trans German bikepacking route.
The-ride so far has been through 6 different countries and more than 2900 kilometers, actually already making it my longest bicycle tour. But everything so far had just been the warm-up and trial period. It feels like it will start properly next week when I take the ferry to Germany and try to find the start of the Trans Germany bikepacking route. Then it will be time to get serious!