20th June 2016. Böda Hamn & Långe Erik, Öland, Sweden.

The next morning I woke at dawn for some reason, I looked out of the window and just had to go out with my camera.  I wish I could get up that early more often, it’s such a magical time of day.

I spent ages taking photos, I had to stop eventually when the battery on my camera ‘conked out’.

I did consider taking the laundry over to the washing machine then (it was a long way from the motorhomes so wouldn’t disturb anyone) but then it occurred to me that Darren might not appreciate being unceremoniously woken up as I dragged the sheets off the bed and I remembered that we needed to get some change for the machines so I went back to bed which was a fatal mistake, consequently we overslept and as the main reason for coming to Böda Hamn was to use the washing machine Darren raced over to get some change for the washing machine and put the load in.

The previous night the satellite system had a bit of a fit for some reason and shut itself down and when we tried it in the morning it wouldn’t work.  Darren fiddled around with it to no avail and eventually phoned the installers in the UK.

We’d had the satellite internet installed especially so Darren could work so we needed to get it going.  After a long discussion and a “try this, try that” we were told we may have to take it to a dealer to get it fixed, the problem being that the only one in Scandinavia is in Denmark!!!  We were left hanging while the installer talked to the German manufacturer.

By now we were getting rather concerned that our washing would be locked in the building because the code that came with the parking ticket changed at 11 a.m so Darren stayed with the washing and I took him over a cup of coffee and some biscuits then we sat there reading for a while until the parking lady turned up and we asked her what we could do about our conundrum regarding the code.   She was very kind, apparently she changes the code manually so she wrote down the new code for the day so that we could carry on with our washing without having to worry.

We took our coffee outside and bought an ice cream then sat on a bench overlooking the sea while we waited.  The bench also happened to be next to the parking meter and every time someone came to buy a ticket (it didn’t issue tickets again until 1 p.m.) they had the same problems figuring out how to use it as we’d had the previous day.  In fact the tumble dryer took so long to dry the bedding that Darren became unofficial parking officer and was able to assist people using the machine.  After we’d had our coffee I went back to the van to clean up and write some of the blog.

When I trundled over to move the washing to the tumble dryer I was given a taste of how confusing it must have been for Darren to put the washing on.  I hadn’t expected washing day to turn into an episode of the Krypton Factor, honestly how hard can it be!  However, because none of the instructions on the tumble dryer were in English I had to try to set it by guess work.  Some of the icons were similar to those on my dryer at home but they obviously meant something completely different because it refused to co-operate and just kept flashing and beeping at me.  I could NOT work out how to get it to start so I called on the assistance of the parking lady.  She patiently came in to look but she couldn’t get it to work either, she said her tumble dryer at home only had two settings and to be quite honest that’s all I needed, in fact ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’ would have sufficed!  The dryer eventually started working after I prodded a load of buttons but that wasn’t the end of the saga.  It was supposed to be a condenser dryer but after an hour of drying it still wasn’t condensing and every so often the dryer would bleep that the container was full, I’d check it but there was never any water in it and when I replaced the container the dryer would carry on drying.

It took over two hours to dry the bedding, I was amazed that the money didn’t run out before that, I think it probably would have dried quicker if I’d held the sheets and blown on them!

When we’d eventually finished the laundry we decided to have lunch before we moved on to our next stop so we went to the take away kiosk and bought ourselves a burger and chips.  We couldn’t decide whether there was a vegetarian burger on the menu so Darren asked the man who was serving behind the counter and he told us he could do me one.  The burgers that came out were wonderful, they were stacked high with fresh salad and pickles and next to them was a huge pile of french fries, I haven’t had a burger for a very long time so I was very pleased to have such a nicely presented one, it was so good that I ‘cleaned my plate’.

As we drove away from Böda Hamn we’d only got half a mile down the road when Darren suddenly stopped and pointed to the road in front of us and there was a tiny duckling marching down the road towards us.  I got out of the van to shoo it into the hedgerow (it must have been looking for its mum because it was making sad little noises as it ran along) a car started to overtake us and then realised why we had stopped, I’m pleased to say.

After the duckling was safely out of the road we continued our journey and drove up to the Northern lighthouse Långe Erik.

There weren’t many people there, we had a walk up to the lighthouse, watched the swallows swooping around it and then walked along the shingle beach for a while, even the shingle beach had wild flowers growing on it.

While I was looking over at the little ‘island’ just off shore, which was covered in white sea birds, they suddenly all took off and fluttered around over the nesting area, it looked as though it had begun to snow, it was a magnificent sight.

There is a path around the island that the lighthouse is on and there are a few old cottages on it too, we followed the path until we were opposite the seabird nesting ground where we stood and watched them as they squabbled noisily amongst themselves.

We were thrilled when Darren’s phone rang and it was the satellite man who had come back to us with a possible solution for the faulty satellite dish.  They had decided that it probably hadn’t closed properly and just needed to be adjusted.  So in a lay-by beside the shingle beach Darren clambered onto the roof, spanner in hand. Hey presto! It worked, so no early visit to Denmark.

We stayed the night in the lay-by, two other motorhomes joined us parked a bit further along the road.  A deer wandered across the road in front of our van as we sat looking out at the landscape and birds twittered around in the trees beside us, it was a lovely way to end our day.

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