Hammerdal – Ostersund 69.8kms 947’ ascent
Morning arrived, calm and warm and, as we planned to have a rest day the following day, we set off with enthusiasm, having managed to load the trailers inside the cabin, thus avoiding any contact with the early morning insect population.
We are now seeing fewer (not that much fewer) trees and more human habitation. There exists a general air of dereliction in the area with some properties in such a state of disrepair that they are falling down. After the harsh winters some maintenance must be a necessity, but many have been neglected for much longer but are obviously inhabited. In a few cases, complete restoration is taking place and, where this is occurring, the properties are looking magnificent. (Still mostly red though!)
It is another mystery to me as to why the volume of traffic suddenly increases massively when one approaches a biggish town. Where on earth are they all going? Ostersund is the only city in this area of Sweden and the approach was almost, but not quite, as bad as the E4. Passing juggernauts were competing for space and it was a relief when we came upon a sign forbidding us, tractors and pedestrians to continue along our present route. The alternative took us into the heart of the town/city. As usual, the signs ran out and while stationary at a junction, mulling over the various alternative routes,(and not even arguing), we were accosted by a very smart, well -spoken lady who proffered assistance. Gratefully, we accepted her offer. Her helpful directions were spot on and in less than half an hour we arrived at the site. We thank her profusely.
Finally, our treat, which preceded our rest day, was a meal in the restaurant of a local hotel! Magic! Tomorrow is general maintenance and washing day. It is also an opportunity to peruse maps as the route is now becoming more complicated to follow. No more meandering observing the colourful verges with little else to consider. Or maybe that is a rather pessimistic view. Watch this space.