Monday, 15 August 2011

Day 16 Recap (v. 2)

We left Hudiksvall late-ish, as we had decided it'd be a short day, and first headed for Ica to do some grocery shopping, but it turned out that some grocery stores are closed on Sundays - go figure.

We then figured we'd get both groceries and lunch in Strömsbruk, a town that appeared to be of reasonable size on the map, but once there discovered that the one restaurant and convenience store they once had now was out of business. So, we ended up with crisp bread and tube cheese for lunch, not the tastiest lunch ever but it filled us up.

On our way out of town we stopped by at a cafe for some dessert and it turned out the woman who ran it was from Canada. I was fascinated by her accent and lack their of. Her Swedish was completely indistinguishable from that of someone born here, she even had the intonation of someone from the area in which we were. Her English, on the other hand, had a tiny bit of a Swedish accent to it, which I found surprising. She'd only lived here fulltime a few years, but she and her Swedish husband had split their time between Sweden and Canada over the past 20 years.

After having spoken to dome locals at the cafe we decided to make it a bit of a longer day and make a run for Sundsvall (instead of stopping at Mellanfjärden) but to do so via the E4, as the locals warned us the much longer Cykelsparet route was part gravel and full of pot holes, and not a very interesting route to boot.

So, there we are on the E4 highway, on a relatively narrow shoulder, when I run over a sharp piece of metal. It cuts throgh my puncture resistant Schwalbe rear tire, causing an instant flat, and the impact of the rim on the asphalt killed three more spokes, one of which wasn't even on the drive side.

So... out came the folding tire (which I had been tempted to leave at home, but luckily didn't) as well as the spare spokes, chain whip and free wheel remover, and 90 minutes later we were back on the road.

As we got near to Sundsvall we decided to call ahead to a hostel to see if there was room, and of course I had run out of minutes and my battery was running low. What to do? I remembered that while I was out of minutes, I had some insane number of SMS text messages left to use up so I sent one to my brother asking him to give me a call (incoming calls don't cost anything in Sweden.)

My brother came through in flying colours. Not only did he add some cash to my phone, he first called the hostel and found out it was full, and then called a campground and booked us a cabin for the night. Without his help the evening would've been one giant excercise in frustration, so it was very nice to bypass that. Thanks Bror!

The day ended after 90 km.


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