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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 13. From Bollnäs to Tarmsjo

Posted by admin On Julio - 21 - 2010

159 kilometers. 9 hours and 40 minutes.


IVAN: Today’s weather forecast called for drizzle from noon onwards and called for downpour from 6 p.m. forward. Thanks to the Vanir, the weather forecast wasn’t accurate enough but this little favor wasn’t for free. Apparently, we weren’t capable of honoring them as they deserved or as they wanted to be honored; and on the face of this, we were punished with an excessively long day with loads of headwind. This has left its mark on our muscles and joints; and has awaken, in our damaged bodies, some ghosts from the past.

When it comes to speaking about the road, it’s a road as snaking and aggressive as a viper, capable of delivering a bite with its ascents and descents. This is what we, cyclist, call a real legbreaker. As to the surroundings, they are magnificent, amazing. This is one of the most beautiful spots on the Scandinavian peninsula. A road full of lakes with beaches, where people take the opportunity to relax and read; bright and vivid colored farmlands. This place is heavily forested, I mean it, it is covered with FOREST with a capital letter. Sometimes, I find myself, with my head tilted to the ground and below shoulder-level, peeking under a school desk as a kindergarten kid would do; and all this to see…what? Well, how can I put it, to see the F-O-R-E-S-T. In fact, it’s not that easy to put this into words but I’ll have a go. The first ground-layer is grass-covered, then you have another layer of perfectly plaited tree ferns; a green blanket which reveals cracks of deep and dark grey rocks, huge rocks in fact, which crop up in between; and a thick moss layer. You can see, just on top of the moss layer, the first branches and twigs of the small firs; then, the birches; and the pines and the tallest firs that are neck and neck in the height contest. So lush! Such dense vegetation! So dark! So gloomy! You can’t even walk 3 steps straight; in fact, you can’t even see your hand beyond your face in 5 meters. It is as if the trees, the rocks and the bushes plotted with one another not to uncover the secret the forest keeps, as if they spoke in a whisper, “if you want to know, you have to get in”.

Regarding the small hotel we got to after cycling, well, it was, at first, what you see above. Yes, sir, a locomotive engine. However, we couldn’t find its owner so we wind up staying here. As you can see, it’s a such a cozy place! Not suitable for claustrophobic people, though. What’s more, this place is in the sun during the whole day, which makes it really really hot. I do need to be funny here: a couple of days ago, we were absolutely freezing while leaving the Arctic and now we sick of so much heat.

Joking aside. Just for the curious: if we bear in mind the parallel we’re on, the afternoon doesn’t get that longer. In fact, according to our Garmin, today the sun will set at 10.06 and it will rise at 3:58, so the night will last 6 hours ;-) which is a huge relief.

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