Going there

Going there

Shall we walk on stones other than those in Sarek? My hiking friend, A, asks one day in March. He and his friends, J and K, outside Hamburg plan to travel to Wales and hike through its national parks in September. Perhaps I want to come? His friends will arrange everything. My cat has recently died, so I can be away for longer periods, and a trip to Wales is something to look forward to. I do not know much about Wales, I know that there are many sheep and I like sheep. Yes, thank you, I say. I check my hiking gear. The alpine rubber boots and mountain rucksack are probably the wrong equipment for day trips in Wales, as well as what I have for my Scanian outings. A pair of hiking shoes and a rucksack suitable for day trips is what is needed. After a little searching on the net for performance reviews and comments, I have some choices. The network, in all its glory, is wonderful but such things I would like to see, feel, try and then buy in the store. After a few visits to the city's shops, I have brought home Lundhags Ranger Mid boots and a Fjällräven 50 liters C2C rucksack. I wear the boots for several of my walks in Scania, including on Skåneleden, they feel very good. The rucksack fits comfortably on my back. It is also good practice to be out and walk.

September 7, 2008

My friend A picks me up with his car at a quarter to nine. For the first time since 1991 there is no cat who says "goodbye and have fun now!". The grief is still great. The day begins with light rain which ceases and it becomes, at times, sunny. It is an uneventful drive over the Oresund bridge, through Denmark to the Rödby - Puttgarden ferry. Many years ago I often went by train to Geneva and it was nice to eat on the ferry. Now I have brought my lunch with me. Things change! In Germany we drive on nice,small roads to A' friends who live north of Hamburg. They have a nice well-run, but not pedantic, garden. I like it. I feel "embarrassed" when I think of my "natural garden" of 22 square meters. Well, I keep the worst weeds away and want it like that. They are vegetarians and we are served a good vegetarian lasagna. We do a review of the roadmap with the help of a route description from the "AA route planner". Early to bed, the reveille will be at half past four.

September 8, 2008

We wake up at half past four, we want to leave before the queues start at the roadworks outside Hamburg. It is decided that K and A will take turns to drive today, J manages the route description. I am just hanging on. I have problematic vision and I'm not used to driving on major roads, they would not dare to let me drive anyway. We are, of course, a little late and end up in the traffic jam at the roadworks. We suffer through it and after a short delay we continue on the motorway where J masterly keeps track of the journey. I can not remember much of the route from my seat in the back. It takes us through a flat Holland where the road is filled with trucks. The sun shows up in Belgium. It remains flat, we pass Ghent, Dunkirk and reach Calais. We are in good time to catch the P&O Ferries 16.40 departure.

Veteran military jeeps with the British flag are parked at the berth. They remind me of the TV series M.A.S.H. which was about a field hospital during the Korean war in the 1950s. Dover is known for its white cliffs, but also Calais has white cliffs. Perhaps they hung together before a geological divorce happened. A chicken stew on the boat is perfectly edible. From the boat, one can't see much of the cliffs of Dover, one has to probably to walk along them to appreciate them better. A castle looks over the sea from the crest. The berth at Dover seems chaotic. When we have managed to get out of the mess a highway takes us through a hilly landscape towards the south of London. A long day's journey must contain a mistake. It happens at the last turn-off to the hotel. At an "interchange roundabout" we take the wrong exit. Our destination is a Travelodge hotel in Whyteleafe South. A and I share room, a room with a double bed. I sleep on the couch. Before going to bed we relax in the bar at the hotel. Me with a Tetley, a bitter watery beer.

AA route planner

The rucksack

The boots