After a hearty breakfast, we bid goodbye to Shella. We gave him our blog address, so if he and his wife are reading this, thank you again for your hospitality. And of course, we hope the treatments are doing their job.
We only thought afterwards, when we were already several kilometres outside Vagnhärad, that we should have got a picture of Shella, his wife and their dog. A beautiful golden retriever he was, Ozzy.
I asked Justin if he can remember Shella’s wife’s name. He can’t either. It might seem a bit weird, but we only met her briefly when we arrived. In the morning, she had already left for work before we went in for breakfast. Ozzy, on the other hand, was around the whole time.
From Vagnhärad. we set our sights on Norrköping, 104 kilometres south. Our last stop by the sea before heading inland and across towards Malmö and then mainland Europe.
The weather gods smiled upon us again and with only a slight headwind and flat roads, it was easy riding. The roads were quiet as we cycled through farmland and picturesque villages. What struck us was how all the villages, even the smallest ones, had prominent and beautifully looked after churches and church grounds.
When we arrived in Norrköping, the daylight was waning. By the time we found a spot suitable for camping, it was dark.
It proved difficult finding a spot for wild camping in Norrköping. There were plenty of beautiful spots by the sea, but a lot of it was too built up. Or the ground was too rocky or uneven.
We ended up cycling close to six kilometres out of Norrköping until we found a good spot. It was on the grounds of an old villa that now operates as a restaurant. There, in a quiet corner, we found a decent patch of grass and pitched our tent, looking towards the sea and the lights of the town.
Although we couldn’t enjoy the view much in the evening, it was a lovely spot to wake up in. It was a lot warmer morning than we’d had lately and Justin even braved a quick dip in the sea. I was a chicken and passed.
We passed more small villages and kilometer after kilometer of farmland on route from Norrköping to Linköping. Seriously, so much farmland on endlessly flat roads.
Flat roads might sound like the cyclist’s dream, but it gets quite monotonous after a while. You start yearning for some hills and a change of scenery.
Despite the flat roads, we only rode 60 kilometres having set out later than we should have. That’s the danger of great camping spots. It’s too easy to get comfortable and linger in the morning.
In Linköping, we opted for a campsite rather than wild camping because everything needed charging.
One of the challenges of wild camping is keeping all your electrical equipment charged. I apologise if I have mentioned this before. I feel I have, but then sometimes I think about things but don’t get as far as writing them down.
This applies to saying things to Justin, too. Not realising I haven’t shared my thoughts, I expect him to know what I’m talking about. And get cross because I think he hasn’t been listening. Then I realise I never told him, only thought about telling him.
Then, on the other hand, there are the times when I repeat the same thoughts several times…
At the risk of repeating myself, we have a lot of things that run on batteries. Our phones, the laptop, the GoPro, our watches, lights and the power bank. The power bank has solar panels and should recharge itself. However, it isn’t very good and only works properly when it has been fully charged from the main supply.
For our next tour, we need to invest in a better solar charger. One that actually works with the sun.
The campsite we found in Linköping wasn’t great. It showed signs of former glory, but had fallen into disrepair. The kitchen equipment was old and the toilets and showers weren’t the cleanest. At least there was plenty of hot water for a proper wash and a kitchen where we could charge all our electricals whilst cooking and eating dinner.
Wish I could say we had a good night’s sleep, but there were some “rowdy” youths whose music and chatter disrupted our sleep. They were not really that rowdy, nor were they up all night, it’s just me being grumpy and old(er) and needing my beauty sleep.
When our journey continued the next day, we discovered a shop with a curious collection of nostalgia and a place with a connection to my hometown. We met other cyclists and helpful strangers and finally found some hills and got a change of scenery.
Until next time, and as always, thank you for being here.