Monday, 23 December 2013

Day 16 - Uppsala to Stockholm

I slept very well and didn't get up until 8.45am - not surprising given my lack of sleep the night before. It was a nice sunny start to the day. I went around the back of the barn for a poo - I had toilet roll with me so it wasn't too bad. I packed up at a leisurely pace, and headed into town for the buffet at about 10.15. After cycling around for a bit I decided on the one I'd like to go to and went in at around 10.45am. The buffet was in a leisure centre so I had to haul all my stuff up the stairs and into the restaurant bit. I positioned myself at the back next to a plug socket so I could charge my phone. After a while I got a phonecall from Chris asking why I wasn't at the campsite - I explained that the campsite was too expensive and I was now at the buffet. He laughed and asked for directions to the buffet. After a few more phonecalls the others found their way to the buffet, and Tom and Mark came in and joined me for the food. Chris popped in briefly explaining that the girls didn't want the buffet so were getting food at a fast food place over the road before going back out again. The plan was to leave in about half an hour so Tom and Mark had to eat quickly. The food was pretty good and there was a good spread to choose from. I ended up eating about 5 burgers and a load of potatoes, pasta and other stuff. I also prepared a lunchbox buffet for later. Unsurprisingly I felt horrendously full, with rushing to finish my last plate of food so we could leave in the agreed half an hour not doing me any favours. We got down to the girls on time - they weren't too eager to go. I filled up my water bottles at the fast food place and sat down for 5 minutes before we left. I was far too bloated to be cycling and felt sick for the first hour or so. We stopped at a supermarket after maybe 2 or 3 hours - I definitely did not need any food but the girls did. We were all in a silly mood what with our rest day in Stockholm to look forward to tomorrow. I remember Tom getting into some kid's play car thing and Kinza pushing him around the supermarket. After this we pushed on to Stockholm. We had split into 2 groups and there was some confusion with directions. This led to phonecalls to try and find each other, which delayed things a bit. We decided to stick together as we got closer to Stockholm as knew navigating here would be tricky. Surely enough it was tricky, with Chris's Garmin being used every few minutes at one point. Eventually we found our way to the campsite Kinza had organised, located in a suburban area. We were originally planning to camp as this was cheaper than getting one of the cabins, but it had started to rain pretty heavily so we enquired about getting a cabin. We managed to land ourselves a very good price on a free cabin when we explained to the girl working there about our trip. She also gave us a free sauna token. Our cabin consisted of a mezzanine bed level for the lads and a bed underneath for the girls. There was also a table and stools and cooking area. We were all keen for the sauna so went over after dumping the stuff/locking our bikes outside. I remember having a splash in the sauna before leaving so that I didn't have to go and pay for a shower token. We then went back to the cabin, struggled to sort everything out in the confined space before cooking a pasta, cheese, sweetcorn and ketchup dinner between us and started to get ready for going into town for a night out. A random Australian girl that Mark had been talking to earlier knocked to see if we were going out. We said we were and maybe meet up later. This led to the birth of Lyndsey and Marco - a couple of Australian characters created by Tom. After digging out the only semi decent/clean clothes we had we made our way to the station to get the metro into the city. The girl at the station was very helpful and explained where to go, when the metro stopped running, what tickets we needed etc. We got our tickets and got on the metro. It wasn't long before we were in the city centre. We got off and were in a busy square. It was now relatively late and some of the bars were closing. So we tried to go to a nice bar/club but we weren't let in because Kinza was wearing flip-flops. We had a wander for an alternative place to go. Everywhere within close proximity seemed to be pretty smart, with the only place likely to let us in being the 'Charles Dickens' pub. We went into Charles Dickens and got some drinks. It was very expensive - we were kind of expecting this. It was a nice enough place and good to relax and have a chat. After a while one of Mark's friends who he had been in contact with earlier came and joined us. I think we enjoyed 2-3 drinks each over the course of maybe an hour and a half before deciding to call it a night and go back. We found our way back to the metro alright and thankfully someone managed to stay awake and remember what stop we needed to get off at, so we all got back to the cabin successfully. It was now about 2.30am so we went straight to bed exhausted.

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