Smalandsstenar – Halmstad 87.4kms 425’ ascent
Yet another 70 something which turned into an 80something! For two reasonably good map readers, our calculations of distance lack a certain degree of accuracy. This morning we were up with the sun except there was no sun; the promised clouds had covered the sky. No matter, it was much cooler, cold actually, so out came the long johns.
Suitably attired we left the site and just 500 metres down the road, we found a bike shop – just when you need one. And so we replaced the brake cable used yesterday just in case we have another such rupture. What luck. As we left the town/village we entered the Sweden that we have come to know and love – ups, downs, and trees! The latter now, though, includes trees other than birch, spruce and fir, like oak and beech. Now, we have been in Sweden for over a month and, despite our best efforts of observation, we have seen no moose. Today, that changed as one appeared from the woodland and stared for a moment at these weird folk before lurching off into the trees. It did not sport any antlers so was probably a female, but DEFINITELY a moose. We were very excited and wobbled dangerously in our tiddly bit of road space.
Sweden boasts an extraordinary number of bike routes which have one major drawback – they lack any clear signposting. In fact, in many cases, signposting just stops. Now in a car, this is inconvenient; on a bike it can be measured in energy output to the point of exhaustion! When they work, they are excellent and reduce the risk of death by juggernaut to nought. Today, they worked moderately well with the aid of the GPS. One such led us through Halmstad where we suddenly emerged from trees into a very modern, large, bustling city. Bit of a shock, really. We stopped for a while to inspect a promotion of sea kayaks (maybe next year?) and got caught up (well I did) in watching a game of canoe polo being played on the river. Alan finished his negotiations with the canoe rep (not sure how many boats he bought) and dropped a minor bombshell, that with 72 kms cycled we still had at least another 10 to go. Onward once more.