15th August 2016. Säffle, Sweden.

We woke to a lovely sunny day which is always good.  We decided to stay another night as we had electric hook up so we could update the blog (it’s proving very difficult to get it up-to-date, maybe it’s because I waffle on so much, I really should be more succinct).

We cycled round to the Harbour Master to pay and while we were there a mother duck walked up and we were suddenly surrounded by her teenage ducklings, they were very cute and very inquisitive!

From there we cycled towards the town beside the canal until we came to a lock (the Swedish canals aren’t quite like those in the UK, they are very wide) The lock was very big and had an hydraulic ram to open the lock gates which were far too big to open by hand.

It looked as though we couldn’t go any further so we cycled back and through the pretty park into the town then cycled back along the other side of the canal.  We were looking for a bench in a pretty area where we were going to sit and have our flask of coffee and the bar of chocolate. Unfortunately, as Darren rummaged around in the bag it soon became clear that I’m an idiot and although I’d brought the coffee and cups I’d forgotten the most important thing, the CHOCOLATE!  Quick change of plans, we cycled further along the canal before turning back to the town to buy some food for a picnic, Darren’s brilliant suggestion.

He popped into the supermarket while I looked after the bikes (we’d also forgotten the padlock, nothing unusual there!). I thought he’d be quicker than me because I take ages faffing around.   I sat outside the shop for an eternity watching people come and go with their bags of shopping and I started to worry that something had happened to him (like it did when we were in Canada.  He left my friend Shirley and I waiting for our drinks to arrive, in a restaurant, while he went to get the map out of the car, a while later a member of staff came in and told me my husband was sitting on the deck with blood pouring from a wound on his head!  It turned out he’d hit his head on the door of the boot and cut it badly, next stop the hospital!  He tried to make out he’d been fighting off a cougar, lol!)  It turned out this time that he’d had to study all the packages of food very closely because he couldn’t work out whether anything had meat or fish in it, my fault for being an awkward vegetarian!  It had proved to be a time consuming task.  His choice was well worth the wait.

We cycled to a picnic bench beside the canal and had a lovely picnic with the coffee and watched the people on the opposite bank of the canal.

We were just thinking about going back to the van when a man appeared and hung around by the table, we thought he wanted somewhere to sit so Darren apologised for taking up the whole table and we moved our things over so he could sit down.   A short while later a lady turned up with a dog and the couple started talking.  They then began laying out silver jewellery on the edge of the table.  At that point we decided that we were about to be the target of the hard sell.  That focused our minds and we were up and away from there before you could say ‘Jack Robinson’ but still with the very British mindset of not wanting to appear rude, consequently we waved and said goodbye to them before pedalling away as fast as our little legs could manage!

We cycled back and over the lock gates, we’d discovered there was actually a walkway across the second gate on our first attempt at a coffee stop.  It was very pretty and I felt confident that we were far enough away from the ‘traders’ to be able to take some photographs without being hassled.  We cycled back past mummy duck and her babies who were right up by the lock gates and back to the van and worked on the blog.  We FINALLY got a lot of the writing uploaded and a few photos AND I got some more photos selected and resized ready for the next opportunity we get to work on it.  It seems impossible to catch up with this blog, every time I think I’m getting somewhere a few more days pass and there are new things to write about but I’m still writing about the things we did two weeks ago, I hope I manage to get this all up to date pretty soon!

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