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Europe 2007

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Journal for 12-06-2007 : Somewhere near Lenhovda, Sweden

Before I left I wrote out the names of all the towns I needed to pass through. This worked pretty well. I didn't miss a turn all day, and I only needed to stop & check my maps a few times. It helps that the towns and junctions are 10-20km apart, and not every 1500m as in Germany.

Sweden an absolute joy to cycle in. Hour after hour of great cycling through forests, past the occasional farm house, and every so often a village with a supermarket, and not much else. And the roads were great, and almost completely devoid of traffic. A bit like Canada, but with back roads.

To add to today's novelties, there were some hills, and - joy of joy's - a tailwind !!!

Tried to phone home at Knared, but discovered Swedish pay phones don't accept coins, just credit cards.

As I flew into Ljungby I noticed the time on a service station billboard (these are all over Europe, usually cycling through the time, current temperature) at 11:45.

I found a nice grassy shady area under a tree Next to a church. I had something to eat, started to study my maps, then drifted off to sleep. When I woke up I realised it was nearly 2pm. "Oh my god, I've slept for 2 hours!!!". I then concluded that couldn't be right, I'd seen noon tick over on my bike clock earlier in the day. I must have changed timezones!!! (I was still wrong, just as wrong as that service station clock).

More fantastic tail wind riding (slightly offset by a few moderate hills) on deserted back roads. Had my first diarrhea attack of the trip. Was able to find some forest to crap in pretty easily. Thank heavens that didn't happen in Germany.

Feeling pretty stuffed at Moheda, and I've yet to figure out how to get drinking water in Sweden. I never did figure it out in Germany. Got some dodgy water from a stray tap (these seem to be very rare) from a petrol station when I crossed highway 30.

More hills and lakes through Aby, then stopped at Rottne for apple and blackcurrant juice and oranges (and more immodium!).

Lovely sunny day again. Still 26c at 6:30pm.

After being gyped last night, I thought I'd try wild camping. I'd heard there is a 10,000 Euro fine for wild camping in Germany, and I can believe it. Here, people are guaranteed public right of access for overnight camping, so long as you don't camp in someone's vegi patch or burn the forest down.

First track I tried had a letterbox. The second lead to a stretch of old road which lead to a small farming community. After seeing hundreds of spots all day, it took 10km to find where I'm camped as I write this.

First 200+km day for the trip, thanks to tailwind. First bush camp too, nearly started a forest fire when I knocked my burner over.

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