Here’s the recount of day 51 that didn’t make the data dump in camp last night ...
The rump and legs were feeling it when I set off after yesterday’s 136 km hit. A coffee was needed. However here’s the thing. The further north I have travelled the prevalence of coffee shops, cafes or anywhere to satiate the caffeine bug have become fewer and farther apart. Spain and France you couldn’t count the number of bars and cafes in every village. Germany less so and more often than not one had to rely on a bakery for a coffee hit. Denmark I don’t recall seeing one at all on my ride from the south coast to Copenhagen nor on my ride north. Sweden? Not a chance . The occasional bakery that might just do a coffee but your best bet is in a supermarket or petrol station where you have a self serve machine type thing. So breakfast was a stop at a supermarket at the 2km point and consisted of two bananas , a self serve coffee and mango juice.
The road out of Tylosand runs parallel and pretty close to the coastline affording the rider lovely views across open farmland to the sea. Of course the wind, however light, was into the face.
Pretty soon you’re hit with what in my opinion are typical Swedish views
The Spanish have tapas. The French their patisseries. The Germans have their bread. The Swedish? Wholesome food presented almost on a par with the Japanese standard of presentation. Ask for the breakfast board and it’s not merely one food slapped onto the other and handed to you on a plate. Nope, here in Sweden it’s almost an art form and almost too good looking to eat. Almost. I think I was her first ever customer to request a second board. I then rang my bank manager.
Do we think this horse is going to suffer from an identity crisis at some point. #zebraorhorse?
Picturesque bird boxes with “electrifying” views. I hear the rent is “shocking” .
Camping for one. Perhaps they heard I was an Aussie.
Dinner. Two pots of Maggi 5 min pasta in sauce. A bag of pretzels. Can of beer. What the photo doesn’t show is the cone of chocolate ice cream purchased at the camp shop not long after the above had be devoured.
The Swedish are a seemingly patriotic lot . Many of the houses I have ridden past in the countryside will have he national flag aloft or something similar .
Thoughts / observation of the day...
The Swedes are also a very ernest lot. Everything is done with purpose and a tangible goal to be met. Not as light hearted as the Spanish but certainly not as regimented as the Germans . I noticed in camp last night that a man was mowing the lawn around his caravan site. Who brings a lawn mower on their summer trip? A Swede does. In his defence as I later found out, plenty of these “campers” come back with their caravans to the same plot year in and out and stay for 2-3 months. In essence it’s their summer home. I’ve walked past many caravans where the owners have gone to the trouble of placing pot plants on their steps or vases of flowers on their tables to give their plot that homely feel, and of course there’s always the ubiquitous mobile satellite dish.
The Swedish drivers it seems went to the same school of cycling respect as the French. Not quite as good as the Spanish but a long way ahead of the Germans. The Swedish drivers also like their American cars. Both vintage and modern. I’ve seen more Mustangs and Corvettes and old Buick’s in 2 days than the rest of the ride combined .
Last year on my ride from London to Rome I got stung by a single wasp that upon finding itself inside my helmet decided his game was up and stinging his way to a glorified death was the best way to go.
Well this year on this trip I have gone past the dozen mark. None however was as big as whatever landed inside my helmet today. Think small WWII bomber size . Like the rest of them he too decided against deep breaths and taking an intellectual way to get free. Just stung his way to death. The resulting welt on my hairless forehead can be seen from the moon by all reports.