Monday, 23 December 2013

Day 13 - Sundsvall to Soderhamn

I successfully woke up at 7, had a shower (there was very conveniently a shower right next to my bedroom) and packed my stuff up so I was ready to leave. I was planning to go for a swim in the lake but sacked this off as was too tired. I had yesterday's lunchbox buffet for breakfast along with the remains of a baguette - delicious. I got my bags together and wandered over to the others who had all camped together. I remember speaking to Tom about not eating anything last night. He said that he was really hungry in the night so ended up putting the headtorch on and eating everything he had in his bag. We were all ready to go by mid-late morning. Kinza asked about her Garmin watch - I told her that it wasn't in the kitchen area where she had left it. We then went back over to the cabin and she saw that it had gone. I explained that I had heard someone come into the cabin in the early hours of the morning assuming that this would be her. It wasn't and it was clear that someone had stolen it, along with some map print-offs. This led to searching everywhere, asking everyone within close proximity of the cabin, Kinza calling the police, asking at reception and even checking the bins. No luck. She was understandably very annoyed with what had happened. Eventually after eliminating every possible place that the watch could be with no luck, we left at about 2pm. We went to Lidl for a good food session before properly setting off on the day's ride. According to the map there was a quieter road leading to today's end destination, but with the massively delayed start the only option for us to remain on schedule was to take the E4. Morale was low and remained like this for the afternoon, not helped by the E4. By about 7pm we stopped at a nice petrol station for food. I remember Chris talking to some motorcyclists who were doing a big tour. By now the general mood was getting better, helped by the fact that the rest of the day consisted of a quieter road. The weather was good, the roads were great, the rave train was going and we were all in relatively close proximity of each other - life was good again. Michelle was loving the scenery and stopping for regular photos. The nice cycling continued for the majority of rest of the day. We were relatively close to the finish by 10.30pm when we saw a McDonalds so of course we went in. Having no other food I reluctantly ordered some food too (this was my first McDonalds meal of the trip). I went for a limited edition Chakalaka burger meal and was actually quite pleasantly surprised - it was relatively tasty and filling enough. At 11pm McDonalds closed so we had to leave. I said we should camp in the car park - this was not a popular opinion, so we pushed on a bit further. We were looking for somewhere to camp straight away. I'm not sure if Kinza had arranged a campsite/had an idea of where we were meant to be going tonight but for the first time during the trip we didn't sleep at a campsite. We ended up cycling around until gone midnight looking for somewhere to set up the tents - Chris had had enough by this time and was ready to camp on some grass next to the road. Kinza said this was too open and pleaded with him to carry on and find something better. Chris begrudgingly agreed and we eventually ended up bumping riding around a nice suburban area and luckily someone let us camp in their garden. I was not in a good mood, couldn't be bothered with putting up the tent and lay down on the grass with my sleeping bag whilst the others sorted the tents out. The others reasoned with me to put my tent up saying I would get bitten by mosquitoes - I just put my Buff over my face and kept my hands tucked in. The plan was for everyone to get up around 8am.

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