Day 11: Harnosand, Sweden.
Potentially the worst night to date. Not only did we not get to sleep until late but we also got woken up earlier than ever. 4:45AM we headed something on the roof. The culprit? Possibly a little mouse or rodent. He scurried, ran, jumped and generally had a blast but all whilst keeping us awake.
I got out of bed, threw on a dressing gown and went outside to see if I could spot him. I couldn’t.
Elusive little bugger.
From there on the day wasn’t set to get much better.
With the lack of sleep, we managed a couple of episodes of breaking bad, a few more hours in bed and then a couple of hours drive north before a pit stop at Willys.
To our surprise as we left Willys there was another British motorhome in front of us! Which might not seem like a big deal but having not seen one on the entire of the trip (Part 1 and Part 2) we were quite excited.
What we didn’t expect is to met one of the most genuine, lovely and friendly couples, Mike and Barbara. Their tales about travels all over the world, sailing around the med for a couple of years and now touring in a motorhome. We spent the best part of 40 minutes talking, chatting and getting to know one of the loveliest couples we’ve ever met. We’re so thankful to have met them, so if you’re reading this Barbara, thank you for coming over and saying hello. It really was a pleasure to meet you both.
From Willy’s it was further North to a place called Harnosand. Another port town, which isn’t surprising with the amount of water that’s in Sweden!
Unfortunately my illness got the better of me this afternoon and spent most of the afternoon sleeping, moaning, sleeping and moaning about being too hot, and then moments later too cold. I quite often spend 24/48 hours in a flu like illness when travelling so it’s fairly normal.
Day 12: SWEDISH LAPLAND!
When I woke up this morning I was feeling much better. My body temperature down and my aches and pains eased quite a bit. Good news really as being pent up in a van when it’s lovely outside isn’t really all that fun!
With it being Friday we wanted to grab a pizza and some ciders for the evening. A little weekend treat that we like to look forward to of a weekend. Unfortunately we’re pretty useless at finding alcohol abroad. We massively struggled when we were in Germany and we’ve been struggling here in Sweden too.
Maybe we’ve not been looking hard enough, but ever supermarket we enter has a really small selection of alcohol and then alcohol free stuff. Odd as the two most popular fruity ciders in the world are Swedish! With this freshly on my brain I decided to search google and see what the fuss was all about.
It turns out they don’t sell anything over 3%. That’ll be why there was no cider, no wine and no branded stuff in any of the supermarkets. Armed with this new knowledge we headed to the alcohol shop. Believe it or the first time I’ve ever been in to a solely exclusive alcohol shop!
Finally, we found the goods. We also discovered that they do a stronger cider too, 7%?! That’d blow my bloody head off just cracking the can. I’ll pass!
Doris Makes it to Swedish Lapland!
For the first time in a few days, probably a week, it actually feels like we’re making some distance up Sweden. We’ve made it to the southern part of Swedish Lapland!
We decided to head for somewhere with showers and electricity for Doris and the only place offering both was a Hostel in a small village called Gafsele.
The drive up here was incredible. Very reminiscent of New Zealand. Barely any cars on the road, certainly no other motorhomes and just miles and miles of trees, lakes and small log cabins. It’s really quite a isolated place up here but I bloody love it.
It turns out the hostel we’re staying at used to be a school. Built in the 1850’s it was built to help the Sami children with their education and give them better prospects and opportunities as they grew older. Fascinating stories from the lady that now owns the building and it’s lovely to see that this place is still in some of its original condition.
It’s got a huge gymnasium. Bringing back some childhood memories of my own. But we didn’t have a sauna in ours! It would have had around 25-30 children at a time and they would have all been Sami children. Sami people are nomadic and travel year round with their reindeer. The children who stayed here would have lived with local farmers, people who wanted to help them out. A very lovely story and history surrounding this place.
For £20 we’ve got access to hot showers, a sauna, a gym, good wifi, a fully equipped kitchen, electricity for Doris and toilets. The place is wonderfully clean, has some interesting history and the best part? There’s no one bloody here! We’ve got a 26 person hostel to ourselves. Which as I type that is a bit creepy to be fair.
We’re really making some progress North now and we’re actually less than 1000 miles from the Northern most part of Europe. How crazy is that? We’ve got a few more days in Sweden and if the weather holds out for us we’re planning on hiking Swedens highest mountain.
Tonights camping location: Gafsele Lapland Hostel. (CamperContact: Click here)