19th June 2016. Böda Hamn, Öland, Sweden.

It was time for me to wash the bedding so we decided to travel up to the North of the island to stay at Böda Hamn overnight because they have a washing machine.

It was a surprisingly long journey up the island but not nearly as surprising as driving up the main road and seeing a dromedary standing next to a man in a field!

I was just exclaiming to Darren that I’d seen a camel when we drove past another field full of Bactrian camels!  That is the LAST thing I’d expected to see in Sweden.

I’m so frustrated that I hadn’t been able to turn my camera on in time to take photos of them so we’ve decided to see whether we can find them again on our way back to Lindby Boden.

When we arrived at Böda Hamn (harbour) there were only a few motorhomes parked around the edge of the water so we chose a spot between two other vans and went to see where we had to pay.  The harbour was similar in size to the harbour that we stayed in at Venlo.  It was far larger than anywhere we’d stayed in a number of weeks and it took a while to walk around finding out where everything was.

We found a ticket machine in front of the ablutions building and we breathed a sigh of relief when we saw it had a button to press to bring the instructions up in English, however our relief was short lived, the instructions were EXTREMELY complicated and to add to the complications the English instructions suddenly disappeared so we were left trying to decided whether we were supposed to press the green button next or the red one.  We eventually got our ticket by a matter of deduction and went back to put it in the van.

As it was lunchtime we decided to treat ourselves to a meal cooked by someone else.  That was easier said than done!  We stood outside the on site restaurant (Böda Fisk Rökeri and Restaurang) which looked nice inside and tried to decipher the menu, the only word we recognised was halloumi so that was promising, we assumed that might mean they could make a vegetarian meal for me.  Yet again we discovered the lady behind the counter was SO obliging.  She told us the lunch menu consisted of two items either a halloumi salad (perfect for me)or breaded fish, which Darren had.

I was rather surprised when Darren ordered a beer having told him how expensive alcohol was when my friend Debbie and I visited Stockholm last year but I assumed he’d decided it wasn’t a problem once in a while so I ordered one too.

The lady pointed to the cabinet next to us and told us to help ourselves to salad and she’d bring the meal over when it was ready.  So we helped ourselves to salad and bread, I assumed that was the salad I’d ordered, and went and sat down at a table with a view of the sea (we were so early that we were the only people in the restaurant for a while which is SO much better than our usual habit of being so late that there’s no one in the restaurant because it’s CLOSED!).

The waitress brought out our drinks, the beer was very good,  and then came back with our meals which were absolutely beautiful.  I had a huge plate filled with colourful salad items and halloumi and Darren’s fish came with vegetables and new potatoes and a bowl of homemade tartar sauce, we enjoyed our meals so much we were in the restaurant far longer than we’d anticipated (I was enjoying hearing the ABBA music they were playing, it’s the first time we’ve heard ABBA since we came to Sweden).

It was a great start to the busy afternoon ahead, the only fly in the ointment was the cost of the beers (Darren learned a lesson that day!) they were £7 each!  After he got over the shock he explained that as he’d seen beer in the shops and as it was only around £2 a bottle he didn’t think it would be much more than that in the restaurant, WRONG!!!  He won’t be making THAT mistake again, that was the cost of two nights camping!

We were lured over to the ice cream kiosk as we left the restaurant where a very friendly man talked us through all the flavours.  We realised we were putting off the evil hour of starting work so we reluctantly walked back to the van with our tubs.

As usual I had underestimated the length of time it would take to do the washing and we’d taken so long to eat our lunch that the day was rocking on so I thought I’d wash the bedding and towels in the morning before we left and get on with doing the rest of the washing so I could make use of the sunny, blowy day.

I set up my little twin tub and started boiling a saucepan of water to heat it, it takes ages for our cooker to heat up the water but that gave me time to get out the clothes horse and set it up and get out the rest of the washing day paraphernalia.

Darren wheeled the water carrier over to the tap and filled it for me and set up the little pump, I hadn’t used that before, the carrier is too heavy to lift so previously I’d had to constantly fill a smaller container for one wash.


Eventually I got a couple of washes done and hung the clothes out but by then the grey water container was full so Darren had to wheel that across the other side of the harbour (a ten minute walk) to empty it while I carried on with the next lot.

The washing part of the day was going quite well but the drying was a completely different matter,  It was SO windy by the harbour that I was worried that if I dropped anything it would disappear into the water particularly as every so often the clothes horse would blow over no matter which way I placed it, I’d washed the long black dress that I’d worn to the festival and that was acting as a sail, I kept expecting to see the whole clothes horse blow across the camp ground.  I’m sure our neighbours were enjoying the entertainment that had inadvertently been laid on for them!  They say that necessity is the mother of invention and sure enough Darren had a ‘eureka’ moment and weighted the clothes horse down with the newly filled grey water container and the box of washing bits and bobs, and it did the job perfectly!

It took ages to finish washing and ironing the clothing but during the time I’ve been doing the washing in the caravan, along with the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the whole rigmarole I also feel a sense of achievement when I see the ironed shirts hanging up and the pile of clean clothes smelling of fresh air.  Now I understand why my mother and grandmother used to tell me there is nothing nicer than the smell of clothes that have been dried on a washing line, as I was shoving them in the tumble dryer, it certainly beats the smell of fabric conditioner which I don’t have the time or energy to use in the twin tub.

I know it sounds like we’re being very stingy not doing all the washing in the camp site washing machine but as our friends Nick and Maddy had warned us that it’s very expensive to use the machines.  It cost 40 SEK (£3.40) per load for the washing machine and 10 SEK for the tumble dryer which is fine for a couple of loads but any more than that and it’s using up money that we could spend doing fun things.  I’m saving up so that we can go and eat at Herman’s vegetarian restaurant in Stockholm at least three times!  The food was gorgeous when I went there with my friend Debs last year, in fact it was so good Debs and I managed to fit in two visits there although we only found it on the second day of our long weekend!

After we’d eaten dinner we went for a walk around the harbour, we were going to go over the stile and walk across the field until I saw the cows in the field, that was the moment we did an about turn and walked further round the harbour instead.

The water was very clear, we stood and watched the little fish and tiny jelly fish moving around beneath us.

After a while we wandered along to the beach and I went in for a paddle, the beach was covered in seaweed which was a bit stinky but the water was clear and we had a nice view back across the harbour.


Click the link below for motorhome stopover Böda Hamn:


Click the link below for restaurant Böda Fisk Rökeri and Restaurang:


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