Tuesday, 19 June 2012


On the way to stockholm

Your just a man on a bike and Nitro glycerene

I left my  free four star campsite, it had TVs washer dryer a miniture golf course and 500 caravans, Free because i turned up and the reception was closed, i did try to see someone official, but was told pay in the morning  anyway your just a man on a bike. By morning Id left, after using the full 4 star services, before reception was open what was i to do i was just a man on a bike, and headed out of Karlstrad campsite. I had a little rain, so  waterproofs on, but why bother you sweat so much in them.  I headed into the town for a look around  and was approached by another bicyclist  and we talked and cycled into tow. Most of the people I meet love to talk and in some way they are envious of my adventure. The town was empty shops didn't open until 10 and i had a good look around. I came across of a statue of a are chested women with a broken sword in her hand and she was standing on a cut off head of an evil looking soldier.Great statue but why she needed to be bare chested I'm not sure but most statues are aren't they. There was also a large outside exhibition of photos depicting the lyrics of a  Bob Dylan song very moving.
  The day itself was pretty much quiet it was Saturday and the roads were quieter. By the end of the day I was aiming for a village called Gyttorp. I found the lake that led to it and followed it around to the village, and  as I cycled along  I found a suitable place to rough camp, it was a little early to set up rough camping, not wanting to annoy the locals and so I headed for the village for supplies I came across a village information sign that informed that in the 1940s the village was home to the production of Nitro glycerin. The company had enlisted the services of the English architect Ralph Erskin to deign the village.
With time on my hands I headed for  the restaurant for a pasta meal and was looked on by the locals as i entered. I ordered food and a cold beer. I notice to my side was a large group of women mothers grandmothers and daughter having a meal. I was taken back as to where all the men were. My bizarre thought was that the men had died of a male only disease affected by working with the Nitro. So curiosity made my enquire, the answer the men are on the fruit machines! Later on I bumped into the men and we talked of me, politics, the state run gambling machine, murderers, and putting the world to right, we drank more beer and the chef and waiter joined us, the women went home. Some further beers later and after talk of the deadly moose and wolves around here i was easily persuaded to sleep in the garden of this fine new friend of mine. We went to his house and with his son watching on they looked amused at the smallness of my tent. It amuses me too, small but it is home. The next morning i was kindly invited in to their fine house for breakfast and coffee. How many of us would have done the same! I left after photographs and I will probably never see them again, but they do have the opportunity to follow me as he has bookmarked me on his computer. If hes reading this then thank you once again you were very kind.

The madness in my mind

The roads in Sweden are very good but as in Norway they are used to the full advantage of the motorist and in particular the heavy goods vehicle. As a cyclist you sometimes don't have many choices as to the roads to take as often there is only the one going in your direction. My maps are certainly not detailed enough and therefor do not show the little side toads that would give you some peace. However On this day I was looking at my map perplexed when a local came up and showed me a really nice quiet road that took me into the forests and lakes with good road surface as well. Id been cycling along for a while thinking to myself that I hadn't seen much wildlife, there had been much talk of the bear the wolf and the moose but considering the area id been through not a Dickie bird, whatever a Dickie bird is! It was at this time that out of the corner of my eye I saw something in the woods, I slowed down and waited and there some 100 yards away was a black bear and by the side of it looked to be a youngster. I have been told that you should stay clear of any form of wildlife especially when the young are involved. Do i go forward, stay still or go backwards. a bear will attack and can outrun me was I a threat would it leave its young. So many considerations.So I reached into my bag pulled out my camera and tried to get an image, steady try and zoom in if only i was closer the wind was not in there direction they couldn't smell me,so i moved a little closer, quietly does it, i zoomed in and wow there was the perfect picture of a rock and a smaller rock by it. what a fool.
You would think that I would learn my lesson but no in search of the great outdoors the desire is stronger than reason. Some couple of hours later I was coming out of the woods when out of that same corner of my eye, I must get it checked, I saw the remains of a large fish. I slammed on the breaks and pushed the bike backwards and looked down into the ditch that  was going into the lake.It must be a half eaten fish from a bears dinner or a wolf the grass around it looked beaten down as if something had been through there. As I edged closer it looked as if there was a spear coming out of it, and this is roughly how my mind worked, oh my god it isn't a fish its a section of a large snake by the size of it probably a Boa constrictor that's either escaped or been left loose  because it got to big, that makes sense of the beaten down grass, it wriggled along getting to water prob got impaled on a metal rod or speared by a local and a wild animal has been along and having a great feast. and then reality kicked in it was just a section of drainage pipe spiked to stay in the ditch. I really must drink more water.