13th August 2016. Canis Folkpark, Lysvik, Sweden.

Whooppee!  We’ve had an early morning alarm call!  What are these people on because I want some!  At least we weren’t listening to covers this time, although I think the girl in the caravan next to us decided she’d had enough of Rock and Rockabilly so she put her own choice of music loud enough to drown out all the other music, WOO! HOO! Music wars!  Unfortunately her choice of music was drum and bass so we now had an early morning rave going on in our van.  I’d have preferred hearing Judy Garland singing;

Good mornin’, good mornin’
We’ve danced the whole night through
Good mornin’, good mornin’ to you

Good mornin’, good mornin’
It’s great to stay up late
Good mornin’, good mornin’ to you (but could you keep it buttoned until
late morning perrlease!)

Apart from ‘Music Wars’ going on around us it was a beautiful day and we decided to cycle down to the village for ice cream at Mormors glasscafé in Lysvik.  It was a pretty ride into the village although the lane was rather bumpy.  When we found the café we went out to the garden and sat at a table at the top of the cliff overlooking a beautiful beach and lake, Övre Fryken.

As we were eating our ice cream I heard an English accent, a man calling his daughters.  I turned around to see a man wearing a kilt, most unexpected!  I decided to go over and say hello.  As he spoke to me I noticed he had an unusual accent.  He introduced me to his Swedish wife and children and told me he lives in Sweden but was originally from Essex and also lived in Scotland.  He said they don’t get many English people here because it’s quite a long way to travel for a two week holiday.  It’s a shame because it is a beautiful area as are most of the places we’ve visited in Sweden.

We cycled back to the festival, stopping to take some photos of the dark clouds building up in the sky and some photos of the cute little foals we’d passed with their gangly legs.  There was a rally of American cars leaving from the festival at 4 p.m and I wanted to take some photographs of the cars.  I’ve been trying to take photos of the many American cars we’ve seen on our journey around Sweden and Norway but most of the time I’ve missed them because the camera has either turned itself off or I’ve taken a photo with the lens cap on!

The hills back to the site were a killer but cycling across the field to the van almost gave me a heart attack!  We put the bicycles away and wandered over to see the cars leave.

As it turns out there was so much to see and so little time to see it in I STILL didn’t take lots of photos.  We were walking back up the road looking at the cars when Darren stopped and spoke to a man who was getting something out of the boot of a car.  He asked him where they were driving to, how long it took and whether it ended back at the festival.  The man answered all the questions and said there were four stops where they were assigned tasks.  He told us it took about three hours in total.  We thanked him and were just leaving when he asked us whether we’d like to come along with them.  It was such a kind offer; we jumped in the back of his blue Buick.  His friend Peter was sitting waiting for the off and his other friend Anders was in the front, he had the ‘pleasure’ of being the driver for the afternoon, apparently he’d picked the short straw because the driver wasn’t allowed to drink!  Peter and one of their other friends told us the kind man’s name, on two occasions it sounded like Mordra and the third it sounded like Morgan so we’ve settled for Morgan.

They were so interesting to talk to.  Peter told us that the car was built in 1958 and he showed us the car had electric windows, Anders mentioned that it also had an electric front seat and power steering, I didn’t have any of that on my cars until the ‘90’s!  It was very comfortable to sit in and extremely roomy.

We arrived at the first task and Morgan asked us whether we’d like to do it.  I volunteered Darren.  Morgan went over to the people running the task and told them we were English and had come along for the ride and asked if we could do the task.  They were very sweet and agreed we could.  Darren’s such a good sport and even though he had to do the task in front of a large audience he agreed to do it.  The task was to match as many different sized nuts and bolts by winding the nut onto the end of the bolt as you could do in a minute, they were all mixed together in a tub, it was very difficult but he got three pairs.

As we were driving away from the stop we passed another car which had the bonnet open so Anders stopped and Morgan got out to see if he could help start it.  It took a while but he eventually fixed it so we all carried on to the next task.  That worked out well for me because I was ‘volunteered’ for the next task only my audience was far smaller because a lot of people had moved on to the third task. Again Morgan asked whether we could be included in the task and again the answer was ‘yes’.  My task was to guess the liquids in the four bottles.

I was useless, we ended up doing it as a team, Peter and Morgan gave me clues the first bottle was petrol, the second was cellulose thinners, which Darren recognised, the third nearly blew my head off, apparently that was paint stripper, I must say although I’ve used that on numerous occasions I’ve never actually stuck my nose in the bottle and taken a big sniff!  It was akin to swallowing a mouthful of wasabi, it certainly cleared the airways!  The forth one was moonshine, all I could guess was that it was alcohol, I heard a previous contestant say moonshine but I thought he was joking!  I kept apologising profusely to the guys in the car for ruining their chance of winning anything, I suggested they were well in with the chance of winning the booby prize if they had such a thing.  Morgan laughed and said “what is it you say to children….it’s not the winning that’s important it’s the taking part!”  He ended the sentence with a huge smile, thank goodness.

The next stop was in a large car park where there was a line of upturned plastic tubs spaced out to allow just enough room to wheel a wheelchair through it, a slalom.  Peter was given that task and he was very good at it but not quite as good as the bloke who followed who (unintentionally?) did a wheelie as he started, he was speedy.  When we got back in the car I asked how he was so nippy with the wheelchair and he said that he used to play in his brother’s wheelchair.  Apparently when they were children he’d pushed his brother over and broken his leg.  I told him I’d assumed the wheelchair was the result of a skiing accident.

Darren did the last task which involved throwing three different weighted hammers into tyres that were set out in a line at intervals.  That was very difficult and Darren didn’t manage to get any of them in.

I asked Morgan whether he’d had any other American cars apart from his current one and he told me he’d had two.  He said he had his first one when he was 17, his Mum helped him to buy it for 20,000 Kr.  I was surprised that he was allowed to drive one at that age but he said someone used to drive him around in it, just like Anders was doing today.  By the time we got back to the site most of the cars had left.  They dropped us off and we thanked them for letting us take part in the rally.  I was hoping we’d get the chance to buy them a drink later on in the evening but it was so busy in the beer tent we didn’t see them again however one of the friends they’d introduced us to earlier came over while we were watching one of the bands and asked whether we’d enjoyed the festival we told him we had and asked him to let his friends know that their kindness had made it very special.

There were four good bands on that evening but the band we enjoyed the most was Rockabilly Mafia, they were a German band and were great to dance to, we were exhausted after their set.  They seem to have been going since the ‘80’s and the lead singer definitely had the patter, which must have been very hard considering he was doing it in English.

We went back to the van just before 2 a.m. and listened to the last couple of songs from the UK band while we were having a late night/early morning snack. We heard a member of the last band saying that the previous bands had over run and it would cut their set short but before they could ask whether they could play past 2 a.m. the sound man said that there were strict rules about stopping and they HAD to finish at 2 a.m.  We wondered whether he just wanted to get home to his bed because the previous night it had gone on until 2.15 a.m. with the encore although the sound man had grimaced when the crowd asked for more songs!  We’d gone back with the idea of watching Vikings until the early hours if it was as noisy as the previous night and then I remembered how quiet it had been on the Saturday night of Sweden Rock, it was exactly the same here, I wonder if it’s because they need to stop drinking for a reasonable amount of time before they drive home on Sunday.

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