Hello everyone. A bout of ‘lie-down-I-don’t-care-where’ exhaustion has proved to be the latest unplanned gift, causing me to veer off course in search of a soft horizontal spot!!
I had managed 12 rather miserably wet miles from Trollhätton and hopes that horrid BBQ spare ribs seated in a puddle by a pond would help naturally floundered. My confidence sank and I really had moments of wondering if I was in my right mind lugging all this weight around on a bike! But the magic is still going strong, ‘Zimmer’ advertised themselves discreetly and I found myself in a true haven. Solgården is a little like a Camphill summer camp where those with varying degrees of mental disability can have a lovely holiday. Sara, her daughter, Cael and friends provide this special atmoshere, and as the summer campers arrived there were many happy sounds while the residents paddled and splashed in the little bay, or played games on the grass. It is in an intimate sandy cove on the shores of lake Vänern and I was shown to a little yellow hut (not so unlike my lovely ‘hut’) for the modest price of 150 sv (about 16 pounds) per night. I crashed out and slept for 3 hours in the middle of the afternoon and stayed for 3 nights, regaining energy and motivation. I was seriously taken aback to feel so suddenly debilitated….
This STOP helped to shift gear and I happily sketched my wonderful morning and evening visitors several times over. Canada geese are well practised in the art of stately synchronisation as well as humourous individuality just by a quizzical bend of neck or improbable one-legged balances! I also rowed off into the sunset one evening, exploring the beautiful pink granite rocky islands.
Feeling a bit better I rode up to visit Hunneberg yesterday, which is a huge nature and hunting reserve up on a massive outcrop of rocks/craggy cliffs. In the restaurant I met Elsa, Lilian and Stellan who opened their lovely hearts and we shared a very special time. Thank you for your uplifting company, and my love goes with you. I wish you could hear Beethoven’s opus 110… the penultimate sonata, as it speaks of the longing of memory, the courage to face broken-ness and the triumph of faith in life. I think you all know these well, anyway. We were struggling to find words to express our horror at the news from Norway.
I also saw a young german couple armed (they did look a little like dwarf leather battle shields) with gorgeous mushrooms as they emerged from the forest! I gather that when moose are fed apples they become slightly tipsy and that this is a safe time to get up close, while they are docile. Not quite autumn yet, so I was content not to encounter any.
Today I passed the 1000km with an easy ride of 38 miles to Linköping, so the cloud seems to have passed. I am celebrating by treating myself to a small hotel room and maybe even a massage tomorrow for those remarkable legs!!
Again, thank you all for keeping in touch, one way or another. It is such a support and consolation in the ‘lows’ to be able to keep in touch and I appreciate it very much. Also to those of you that I am meeting along the way… thank you too, for your company and warmth. Cheers, Jenny.