Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sweden is mainly hills

As far as we can tell so far - Sweden is mainly hills.

It seems that even the flat bits are up hill.

Our first ride on Monday was a 50 kilometre one around Uddevalla - where we stayed for the first two nights. This was the hardest ride we have ever done and knocked the stuffing out of us. The ride took us six hours and on many occasions during the ride we were reduced to walking alongside our bikes.

Most of the climbs were not marked as climbs on our map. They were not considered by the Swedes to be worthy of that title. Fit Swedish cyclist would have sailed up them. We could get up some of them but at others just had to walk alongside our bikes.

There was no possibility of us riding up anything that was actually marked as a climb. Sometimes the instructions said 'steep climb/walk' and these would have staggered a mountain goat.

It was as hot as buggery and the sun pelted down all day without respite.

We arrived back at out hotel absolutely shagged out and needed massive infusions of cold water and white wine to revive us.

Well - we said - tomorrow could not be worse than that.

It was - in spades.

The ride was 55 kilometres which we turned in 65 by getting hopelessly lost early on. The climbs were much more numerous and and much steeper - and the fact that it took us nine hours demonstrates that we walked a large part of the way. It was much hotter.

We sat sobbing by the side of the road on a number of occasions and were ready to give at any point after the first 10 kilometres.

The trip was made more interesting by the fact that a large part of it was on very narrow and very busy roads. We had to keep as far to the right as possible - as large Volvos howled past us at colossal speeds. We have never experienced anything quite so scary and had I been a praying man I would have done lots of this.

It was hotter than the previous day and we both got sunburned. I got Panda eyes and look really stupid.

We were beyond cactus when we arrived in Ellos. We could both barely walk and were dehydrated and would not have been able to step over an iced Vo Vo if one had been in front of us.

Over some South African Chenin Blanc we made a firm vow that we would not be cycling again until our trip home to Uddevalla on Friday.

We are taking three rest days to prepare ourselves for this ordeal which we expect to be absolutely ghastly. We have rented a car and are exploring the beautiful - and hilly - islands of the west coast of Sweden.

Next: We arrive at the hotel Marie Celeste - and our bags do not.


  1. Imagine the calf muscles you'll be taking home!

  2. WoW, I am tired now. Someone was asking how hot the sun was earlier today. I think their guess was a billion degrees, which is way hotter than the sun. Hope you make it home safely, or if not, at least so your remains can be properly identified.

  3. My goodness, what thrills ........ ahem ...

    You really ought to open a travel agency about "Trips to Hell and barely back" ;-)

  4. Thank God life is as normal, Badger is having a typical Badger vacation.

  5. Sandy: And think how much weight we will lose!

    esb: It was at least a billion degrees in Sweden

    Merisi: All our own fault!

    fmcgmccllc: But we always have a ball - when the white wine appears.