Traveltales: Eskilstuna- Västerås

Weather: cloudy with chances to rain, +2 to -1C
Distance:~53km , mostly flat city/bike roads.
Highlights: the couple at Skogstorp, police encounter, journalist meeting, camping, good people
Bottoms: bad people, pride is stupid, got a flat in one of my wheels, compromised campsite due to drugusers, rain

Health: Stomach, joints and headache painlevel: 2/10 (the lower the better)
Asthma OK Sight OK Feet OK
Mental health: initially 10/10, 2/10 when the flat happened, end of section: 7/10 (higher is better)
weight: ~100kg sled total weight: ~81kg

After rain comes Sunshine

The stay at the couple in Eskilstuna was very nostalgic. They felt like my grandparents who passed away a decade ago. A warm home from warm hearts.
While waiting for my things to dry up, I had time to review past and future plans. My new post-surgery medication wasn’t doing the trick either, something I was surely feeling and it was affecting my mood, pace and everything.

 

A phone call later with my doctor and new prescription to another drug (which had already failed once before), this time heavier dosage. Anything and everything to keep my Endometriosis to regrow and spread.

Some days later,  I left and the elder gentleman accompanied me half a mile or so. It was almost like walking with my grandpop again, I was happy and sad at the same time.

Cemetery, the police and drugdealers

The phone rang and I had phone company the rest of the way.
Another half mile later, I was just about to take a break, heading for Kvicksund, the last post before exiting Eskilstuna, a car slowly passed by.
We (me and the person on the phone) found it funny as where I was to stop was relatively closely a cemetery. It didn’t take long before a police car met me up.
Apparently the car that passed by me, at the cemetery, thought I had digged up a corpse and was carrying it around 😀
Obviously this was not the case, so me and the policemen had quite the laugh about it. The policemen asked for a selfie, we said our goodbyes and just before they left, one of them said “Hey, do you know you have a flat?”
I looked back and yup, one of my wheels was just dead. Oh the irony.
They asked if I wanted some help, but as I am well equipped, I politely declined…
..just soon to learn I shouldn’t.

From joy to nightmare

There I stood in the middle of the night with a flat tired my equipment couldn’t fix.

So there was only one option left: get a new tire! Luckly I was just in the outskirts of the city and there was a nearby hardware store, except..it was in the middle of the night. I had to call back the policemen and see what we could do.
Yes, this is one of the FEW downsides of walking in the night.

The campsite  I was heading towards was apparently a infamous gathering place for drug-users and drunks. Being so close to the city, campsites are limited and I really did not wanted to bother the nice couple anew. Plus I wanted to keep moving forward. I was advised a nearby campsite on a private area, but allowed to camp by the police. It wasn’t far from where I was but still too close to the road.

For some hours I refused to set up tent and just made a campfire, but eventually I caved it as I was too tired.

The next day I half ran over  to the hardware store and got a pair of new tires, this time flatfree tires. The thing is, I much rather have all “childhood” issues now than later when I am really in middle of nowhere. Another thing is that I had 1 set of flat free tires and 1 set of tires with air. The reason just this.
I have been aware since before that one or the other might fail me, then I would know which set was best for the journey, now this happened sooner than later.

Moving on

It wasn’t just the tired that deflated, my mental status was just at the bottom of the sea and I also felt rushed as I knew more rain was on the menu.
I barely walked 200m and I reached this towing company and stopped for a moment.
Suddenly a thought popped “what if..”
Although the thought of skipping routes really disturbed me, rain disturbed me more. I knew that all this stalling and issues just put me closer to next rain-phase.
Before I knew it, the owner and I had a talk. In short, I was able to grab a ride all the way to Västerås, meaning I was cutting route by roughly 40km or so.
My heart sank a notch. This “cheating”, this weather…

Weather

This is where you wrinkle your forehead and shake your head.
Why on earth go on such march if I am not prepared for rain?
Well, I am, to a certain degree. My equipment and I are prepared foremost for WINTER; snow, cold temperatures etc. Rain is demanding on an entire other level.
The moist penetrates everything,eventually, even in drysacks.
Another reason I really despise rain is my asthma.

One bad rain-season-decision and voila, I am there with a cold. Cold with asthma is just not fun. If I get a cold,walking with heavy load is not an option.

Normally I don’t mind rain for small hikes or if I know for sure there will be wind, really low temperatures or I am heading somewhere I will be able to dry my things.
If none of that is an option, I just skip the whole rain ordeal.

Hitchhiking and fire department, second edition

After a days wait (and a magazine interview) later, I got the ride to Västerås, where I was dropped at the hospital. Hungry as I was, I ordered food delivery “I don’t have an address, but its ..euhm..entrance XX at the hospital, I am in the waiting room”-well, I got the delivery. While eating I knew I was unable to go where I was supposed to, so I had to last minute urgently fix a new housing over the night.

Without much delay I got a reply from the fire department that they were to fetch me with a truck!
I regret I didn’t take a photo of it all but picture this:
2 cars and a truck from the fire department and a bunch of hunks rolling in to the entrance of the hospital, then lifting in a body sized sled on a wagon into a truck..

Like a princess in distress I was (again) saved by another fire department (PS! I was advised to have contact with them) and here I stayed a while, in wait for my re-supply crate and the rain to pass.

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