Day 2: Markaryd to Lovsjö

Distance: 158km

Elevation: 820m

I got up at 5am after a good 8 hours of sleep. It never gets really dark here so a sleeping mask comes in handy. My body felt ok but I was very tired in the morning and not in a good mood.

I had breakfast at a beautiful spot by the lake and did some gymnastics afterwards for my sore back. Then I slowly packed up and was on the road by 7am.

Today was very warm again. It almost feels like being in Southern Europe. I am drinking close to 7 liters per day.

After a couple of hours on the bike I found a spot at a lake for a swim (beautiful) and when I was doing my lunch break at a gas station (cyclists’ paradise) I met Sven. He is a local man who looks unorderly and seems to have a bit of a drinking problem on first sight. He started talking to me and inside I was going “oh please, no…”. And then he told me a bit of his life story and I listened and asked questions. I realized that we could actually be the same age so I also talked about what I was doing here. When he heard about my mission, he suddenly stood up and said “wait”. Couple of minutes later he came back and gave me 90 SEK, the equivalent of 9€, as a donation for zis. I was speechless and a bit ashamed because I had applied all my prejudices regarding alcoholics on him. Then he said “cheerio” because he wanted to see a football match where Sweden was playing.

After that encounter (as well as the drinks and the food) I felt full of energy again. That even resulted in more mileage than planned. Today was a good lesson learned in humility. After a super hot afternoon I arrived at another camp site by a lake, got me some food, and had the second swim for today. It was soooo good. I want to make this a ritual, weather permitting of course.

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