Monday, July 23, 2012

Last night

We thought yesterday was going to be all about fighting the pain and just push on but it turned out to be pretty magic. We woke up yesterday to the rain pounding our tent again. We had no urge to rush things and start the day getting soaked so we decided to wait it out. It resulted in that we didn't leave the camp spot until after 2.30pm and when you have a plan to make it at least 100km, 2.30pm is seriously late. We were lucky at first though. The weather seemed to be clearing up and we were making good progress. We are now riding through the northern Swedish forests. The landscape is alternating between low growing pine forests and open marshlands. We also spotted our first family of raindeer as they crossed the road in front of us just a little bit too fast for us to get our cameras up. Then a couple of hours into the ride the sky suddenly changed color. A huge rain cloud came over us and in minutes we had gone from sun to one of the worst rains of the trip so far. Lucky for us it didn't last for more than about 30 minutes but it was 30 minutes without shelter and enough to drench us completely. Now also remember that we are only about 200km from the Arctic Circle so when things get wet, it also tends to get cold. Our rain clothes kept our bodies dry enough but our feet and hands were freezing. Eventually we got to a town where we could light our camping stove and cook some food and make coffee. By now it was close to 9pm and of course nothing was open. Our feet were like icicles. The first local we met realized how frozen we were so he went home and packed up a bag of freshly made cinnamon buns his wife had just baked and brought them back down to us. The next couple we met parked their camper van next to us, filled up our water bottles and when we had finally decided to get going again, they opened the door to the camper van and passed out a bottle of nice red vine for us to enjoy on later occasion. We have said it before and it is worth saying again, the people we meet are so awesome and helpful! When we got on the bikes again it was way past 10.30pm. We had made a goal to make it at least another 20km, about 1-1,5hrs more before call it a night. We were pretty set to spend the next hour in pain and cold and the first few minutes were just that. But we pretty quickly forgot about the pain when we saw how beautiful everything was. Up here the sun doesn't fully set at night at this time of the year, so the evenings are almost like a never ending sunset. The sky was glowing in a beautiful pink color and in addition, the cold air had covered every lake, every pond and marshland in a mist. It was magical. We gained new energy and instead of just wanting to lay down and sleep whenever it felt like we could ride forever. At about 30 minutes past midnight, still light enough to ride without strong lights, we did decide to find a camping spot and get some sleep. These are the nights you sleep the best. Knowing that you had to fight a little to get somewhere but when the reward is so incredibly worth it. //Jonas

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