I did not catch much sleep last night (no particular reason) and got up at 6am tired but in good spirit. My breakfast spot was spectacular and I went for a swim in the Baltic Sea afterwards.
By 9am I was on the bike and went through Sundsvall, a rather not so pretty industrial city. Shortly after, I met two young cyclists from Zurich, Claudio and Simon, who had the same route. We chatted a bit about the conditions at the upcoming borders, but it soon turned out that their level of information was spotty to say the least. Their idea was to simply cross all borders “unofficially” which I warned them about. Nonetheless, it was good to gossip a bit about routes, bikes and gear.
I found it tough today to motivate myself. I was in pain because of some soar skin in the “seating area” and generally exhausted. Nonetheless, I did over 110km which I was really pleased about.
In Härnosand, a small town by the coast, I met Markus when I was eating something by a gas station. He looked like the bouncer of night club in a bad neighborhood. Big muscles, sunglasses – you get the picture. It turned out that he was a therapist working with juvenile offenders in a shelter home. Via sports, structure and coaching they are trying to help them to develop more self-worth and with this give their lives a different twist. It was a super interesting conversation.
After that it was only a little push of 25km uphill before reaching a beautiful nice camping spot directly by a small lake.
The host spoke fluent German and she gave me a spot to set up my tent next to “the German car”. As it turned out, Swen and Margo also come from the Kraichgau region. We instantly started chatting and drinking. Then another German couple from Leipzig came by and became a super funny evening. Since it was Midsummer, there were guitars and some singing all over the place. Our drunk Swedish neighbor Hendrik introduced himself as the ambassador of the camping site and theatrically welcomed me as another German to the place. It was hilarious and I genuinely enjoyed the lightness of the chit chat.
I went to bed around midnight and slept like a baby thinking that maybe I should stay here one day longer …