Saturday, July 14, 2012

First half of Sweden

Over the last week we have traveled from Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast, up past Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden and northeast through the forests of Värmland and Dalarna. First of all, this particular region has had one of the worst summers in a long time in terms of rain. And holy crap have we had to deal with it… It started raining already the second day as we traveled up the coast. And we have been rained on every day since then. Since we sleep in a tent it didn’t take long until pretty much everything we had to wear was wet. Or, it got wet, we managed to dry it, but then instead traded the moisture for that musky smell you would otherwise only associate with the male changing room after a football game. You know the situation is starting to get really out of hand when the dirty clothes you had put aside at the bottom of the trailer suddenly again becomes the “cleaner” set of clothes in comparison to everything else you have available. We decided to find a camp spot with a washing machine to fix things but only to get hit by another rainstorm the following morning. If this wasn’t bad enough, we have also left the world where humans are the top predator and entered one ruled by little annoying biting mosquitoes and their allies, if possible even more annoying, the gnats. Any moment of relief from the rain and they will find you. And when they find you they call on their whole families to come and join the party. The only way to get a good break is to put a fine mesh bag over your head so they can’t get in your eyes and ears. Our sleeping routine has also changed slightly and now includes a 10 minute hunting session before light out. When all the flying bugs inside the tent have been exterminated you can see how their friends on the outside are trying their best to find a way to get through the tent wall. It reminds me of that scene in ‘Jurassic Park’ when the little blood thirsty dinosaurs are trying to get into the kitchen and you can see them on the outside through the window. It may sound like I’m complaining but honestly, life is pretty sweet. We get to see so many places I have never seen before, meet so many interesting people and experience nature in what I think is one of the best ways, although I could live without the bug bites. We also know that the best is yet to come as we continue north towards the Arctic tundra and the mountains. Yes, there will likely be even more mosquitoes up there and yes, the weather forecast is still looking very uncertain but it doesn’t matter. We are still having fun, we are in good spirit, our bodies are holding up good even though we have covered about 3000km on our bikes. The only problem is that it is hard to shoot video when it is raining but I will try to figure something out. Hoping to get some video and more pictures up soon if we get more internet time. J.

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