Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Hill

Mariestad  -  Falkoping     84.5 kms     1045’ ascent
I am writing this blog is a minor stupor. This has been another day when distance increased.  So it was a very tired pair of cyclist who arrived in the middle of Falkoping with not the least notion of the location of the campsite. (Falkoping is quite big by Swedish standards) In a desperate attempt to glean some relevant information, I ran into what turned out to be a kebab place, peopled by four Turkish gentlemen. In my haste, I had neglected to securely fasten my shirt and was acutely aware of surreptitious glances at my chest. (It was only glances, as there is no longer anything worth a stare). Anyway, they could not have been more helpful. After a mixture of arm waving, English and a language I could not identify, the youngest of the quartet rushed out to his car a presented me with a map to keep. Having received very precise instructions which, worryingly, contained the word ‘berg’, we set off.  We had not the slightest difficulty following the route! The ‘berg’ was just that. So after nearly 85 kms, we watched in disbelief as this 12% hill reared up to give the day a final kick. This was the second push of the journey so far!
You may get the impression from all this agony, that the day was not enjoyed. In fact, although the morning had started very badly on the 26 and required a route rethink, it was another of those situations where the outcome is very positive.  And what a gem  of a route we (hmm.. Alan and the GPS) found. Beautiful country roads and warm sunshine. Coffee stop was taken on the churchyard wall and we were very content. It all just went a bit wobbly when we reached Skovde around lunch time and the cycle tracks assumed that no signs were necessary and so we weaved around trying to find the way out. Then it got very HOT. Otherwise, the day was a breeze and erecting the tent at the end of it was just another joy! Seldom has a sleeping bag been so much appreciated. But we live to fight another day.   

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