The best time!

Is the time OFFLINE.
I was in agony and stressed.
Weather have been kinda crazy; I think I’ve experienced pretty much all seasons.

For a long time I had this major writers block, in this case, in photography.
Even documenting has been hard. No time, no lust, massive brainfog 24/7.
Despite, per appearance, having a rough time the entire journey, it is really just how I cope things.
We autistic people simply don’t deal with certain things well, like changes and changes, well, that’s an everyday thing now.

No maps, no weather, or even equipment have been as planned. Reality is just how it is.
As time passes, just like all my other travels prior to this one, I learn to appreciate even more all the small things. Right now however, the focus is to just enjoy everything as long as I can.
My health is going really fast downhill for each day, so really, each day is a gift.
I haven’t given up on my dreams, nor visiting Kiruna but as to reach by foot as my body is right now, that is simply no longer possible. It took a while for me to come to terms with this, so I decided to take it chill, one day at time, wherever it leads me.

Many of you out there take life for granted, so did I, but it is when we are robbed from that very freedom, when health isn’t quite in our hands anymore, we realize hour precious everything is, for real.

Being on internet has it perks, yes, but for me, just I first warned many years ago and is stated here and there, that it stresses my butt out.

It paralyzes me and put a pressure making me unable to move forward, literally.
Took at least a week off the internet and social media, before I was slowly getting back to myself.
Now

Now that I really found that drained too much valuable resources, I had to hold it off.
It is only when I enjoy that I can later tell how awesome it was.
It is only when I enjoy that I can get those pretty nice nerdy-nature pictures I like.

Hugs,
the Lady Introvert.
Cyalater

Traveltales: Norrköping-Gävle recap

Weather:  warmest was around+12 C and coldest was around -9 C
Distance:~300km , was initially only uphills then most flats, asphalt and non paved.
Distance actually walked: ~189km
Highlights: camping with tent, meeting interesting and kind people, scenery
Bottoms: Rain, deforestation, lack of water, bad people, bad information, car rides,
having to knock on doors for water, dry water supplies, huge deforestation, some unfriendly people, destroyed trails and watercourses, having to abort 2017.

63%

At the end of the day, I “only” walked roughly 63% of this route.
I knew even before I started it would likely be dodgy as I am not on bike and have to carry my sled, which is quite big.

Am I satisfied? Well, sort of I guess.
No point of crying over spilled rain. I was really sad for not being able to see Färnabo, but that’s it.
I met wonderful people, got to see wonderful scenery, got great new experiences.
It is almost as I expected, except I had to interact a lot more with people than I wanted.

The panic!

I also imagine, people have the idea of my constantly  panic and crisis that it was all just because of bad planning. You have to take a few thing in consideration, like my mental health, my body health and that no one has done this whole ordeal before.
There is simply no manual or instruction on how to do this.
Even less with disabilities. And this is WHY, one of the why’s I am doing this.
REGARDLESS of disabilities!

Disabilities on the road

For starters, due to being autistic and having ADHD, which means among other things dysfunctions in the brains regulator of dopamine and adrenaline, we are talking about anxiety and catatonic depression symptoms, not to forget the Endometriosis hell. This all means, I will have issues handling problem occurring in the road and my capabilities solving these issues might not always seem among the best.
Exhaustion is my enemy, it is when most of my cognitive abilities drops into nothingness. Orientation, memory, knowledge and everything needed for survival just aint there.

So yes, I will panic, I will cry, make error, do bad decisions and there will be a whole a lot of dumb choices, still, I did prepared before I departed.

Rain


Yes, I will continue avoiding rain like the pest. I am prepared for some rain but not week-long rain periods. I will not take any stupid chances like I did last year (2017) and risk of getting unnecessary colds. A cold would mean issues with asthma and that would affect many months after that, so its not worth it.

Regrets

My only actual regret was that, despite photography being a such big part of this journey, I was too busy rushing my way through (because I became too obsessed and influenced by people I met and spoke with) that I literally forgot to document things.

What may come

So for the next leg (Gävle-Söderhamn-Hudiksvall-Sundsvall) I am hoping for more camping, more photos and more snow. The distances between households are greater and there are more woodlands. On top of that the route I am taking is certified bike trail and with opportunities of actual hiking trail.
If I feel I have the time and it allows me with my sled, Ill aim to take the hiking trail but if the trail is too uneven and I risk breaking my wagon, Ill just stick to the road.
Although there will be more hostels that seems to be open (I trippled checked this time),I simply cannot afford to stay there. My budget is around 30Euros per week and that needs to cover everything I might need during a week. These hostels room costs per night usually starts at 80-100Euros which is beyond what I can afford.

Budget wise I am dependable of peoples hospitality if I ever need to recharge or dry anything.

 

 

Traveltales: Heby outskirts-Tärnsjö-Gävle

Weather: Clear skies and then some rain, +3 to -3 C
Distance:~31 km+  63 km, mostly flat straight forward beautiful back-country road
Highlights: the scenery was to die for. Meteor shower, the cold, Sunrise, the nice ladies at the truck-stop, the nice hospitable gentleman at dinner, my best friend
Bottoms: misinformation, ruined hiking trails, walking over my limit, not getting rest, hitchhiking
Health: Stomach, joints and headache pain-level: 0
Asthma soso Sight OK Feet OK
Mental health: initially 10/10, end of section: 5/10 (higher is better)
Heart/Pulse: Pulse around 160 most of the time while walking
weight: ~110 kg sled total weight: ~87 kg

In the middle of the night I bid the cabin farewell. I had during the day had several curious visits from the club’s workers that was working on ski track for the upcoming winter season. Fun people which I am grateful to.
As for my hurting feet that thankfully had recovered from some night ago, I taped it like there was no tomorrow..
My goal for tonight was to take the extra push of 30km  as I was going to stay at an inn, doing the extra 10km should be ok.


The night went smoothly and the road was fantastic, although it was asphalt.
I was enough dehydrated, had enough food, everything was good. Then I hit that 20km mark. It was like a wall, I noticed quite fast how tired I was and hungry.

I had miscalculated my food and was too stubborn to open everything up to get food.
Hot water was also an issue (note to self is to have the stove more accessive so I can boil water) but in this case, I felt ok with knocking door.

Overcoming the limits

The last 10km was a pain, I was so tired and hungry. Lessons of life. Although there were plenty of camping opportunities, I was too stubborn as I had my sight on that inn in Tärnsjö. With a whole lot of effort and determination I arrived quite late in Tärnsjö (around 5pm) just to receive information both the town’s inns had closed down. No wonder I didn’t reached them om phone. I was just yesterday told they were open and I could just “pop” in as it was off season and they should have plenty of beds. Voila, they had none as they WERE CLOSED!

Trusting information by others..

The entire village had closed down at 4pm, there were no nearby convenience store, no restaurants no nothing, just a food-truck with Thai food (which as a side note, was not the best choice for an empty stomach of this kind).
Long story short, I was invited to this fella who lives in the compound behind the food truck so I could eat out of the cold. We spoke a little, I ate then I was recommended to head to the truck-stop cafe-shop that was opened 24/7.

The truck-stop

I arrived there, very tired, wet( sweat) and more tired. There were only chair and tables and no were to lay down, but at least I was able to be indoors.
The night went, I spoke some with the ladies in the cafe and when morning hit I started to call around for somewhere to sleep.
I was dangerously too tired to pull my sled anywhere and not in any condition for camping outdoors, I really just needed proper rest.

Destroyed trail

It is around this time I also get informed that some youth had motorbiked around some of the trails I was to walk on, meaning, my only other option was the highway, which is a big no no.

At the end of the day, or rather, midday, my options were pretty exhausted, unless I wanted to pay the big bucks for an expensive hostel some miles away.
I couldn’t just sit there and then get sick, I had already started to get that annoying asthmatic coughing going on, so I reverted to the only thing that was left, taking lift to Gävle.

What if

Let me make this clear, I hated it! There was so many “what if I ..” in my head.
Not to mention that I was so sad over skipping Färnabo that I was longing to visit for so long. It was supposed to be one of the highlights of this leg.
Instead, I had to skip it all together. But I was so so tired, I couldn’t even feel upset.
A friend living in Gävle had to  eventually rent a trailer and fetch me.
The next issue was of course where to store my sled, as the friend had no room for such, this is where a local company came to the rescue and I was able to “park” there for the time I am in Gävle.

Not going as planned

Well, things didn’t go as planned but then again, I walked a while and I had a good time, I reached Gävle eventually, so still, all good. Sure, I really wanted visit Gysinge and Färnabo but things are as they are. I have to move forward.

Traveltales: Tillberga-Heby-Heby outskirts

Weather: rain, fog ,drizzle, +4 to -1C
Distance:~32km
Highlights: pretty fog, cool windmills, woodlands
Bottoms: rain, more rain, heavier load
Health: Ok
painlevel: 2/10, end of leg 8/10
Asthma OK Sight OK
Feet Heel spur
Mental health: initially 8/10, end of section: 3/10 (higher is better)
weight: ~110kg sled total weight: ~95kg

Now that I’ve seen soo much of Tillberga and surrounding woods, nothing felt new.
Sevalla and all the passing villages felt like a sneeze.
At Heby a motel was awaiting so there was no waiting or stopping.

Heby

I looked forward to Heby and Tärnsjö. Something about a sushi..
Reality was another, again,weather was utterly disaster. I am loosing hope about winter but then again, the news are raging about an intense Siberian winter coming around the corner and  voila I am all hopeful again.
Thinking of Norrland (the northern regions of Sweden) I plow my way north.
This tiny village is practically as small as all the others I passed, just tiny bit more urban, but its just…tiny bit more.

To be honest the stay in Heby was just awfully boring, there is not much to say about it.

As I was heading out of Heby towards Tärnsjö, I was met with some dense drizzle followed by a shower of rain.
This year I am more prepared, so I am already wearing rain clothing but I am also fatter and I am sweating more.
I never got to go all that far until my feet just did not wanted me to take another step. I felt like walking on sharp knives.
As I was disturbed by the pain, I took one wrong turn and ended up on a running trail/ hike trail, where I found a cabin with a veranda big enough to even pull my sled under roof and so I did

The roof, the roof, the roof is on..

A passing dog walker asks about my wagon and as we talk I ask who own the cabin.
I spend the coming hours trying to reach the owners and finally do so.
Past this everything goes very fast.
The cabin is practically empty and barely used but have electricity and heat.
The local ski club has it for meetings and I am allowed to stay there as much I need (within reasons obviously). I was even allowed to drag the whole package indoors for drying!

Some nights pass with heavy rain and then I move on.

Traveltales: End of the road 2017

After I went to the ER it was just downhill.
At the emergency room they barely knew about Endometriosis and only cared that I had relatively recent been into surgery. They did also not take me seriously as I did not (Hello autism and being all different from the norm) show any symptoms they were expecting?

I was not allowed to drink nor eat in case I had to do surgery. So I waited, for over 6 hours, without food or water, after had puked my guts out. Great.
Nor was I able to get any pain medications..

We can sum up that visit as a disaster.
The nurses had no training, no clue and just left me there. Not that the doctor was much better. I was recommended to abort my whole trip to go home and rest, against my own doctors recommendations which was to CONTINUE my hike.

Endometriosis awareness

You see, at this time, the national health department has yet to release their recommendations of treatment and care for endometriosis (and that care for autistic people). Without even a proper examination I was left hanging, still feeling shit.
Now, my sled was gone.
Some people from the community had carried my sled away for safer storage.
Defeated by poor healthcare, I had now to decide what to do, I was unfortunately still feeling crap and did not know why nor could I reach my treating doctor.

Higher power

Eventually I was lent a cottage the church had, I was able to stay there for the week as I was sick and needed rest. My plan was at this point to continue.
My sled was driven to this cottage, which also ironically was nearby that very last church I sat at before I rode the ambulance.
I am forever grateful for the kindness and patience everyone showed me in this dire situation.

The truth

In the end, I spent the week resting and was only feeling “well” if I was practically totally still. During that immense dead time, I tried to call and nag my way back to the ER, this time the emergency gynecologist. Boy, I had to nag but I got an appointment at last.
Under the appointment I explained the symptoms, my medication and situation and was then examined.
First the doctor asked me to wait, he/she had to consult some others. Then again more extra consultations and lastly I was told I had an internal bleeding but that they could not treat me there as I was patient from another county and already have a treating doctor.

I mean, what on earth can I do about an internal bleeding?
So yeah, the first ER doctor won, yes, I had to go home and rest.
As for Endometriosis patient, internal bleeding cant be treated and has to be waited out. Great, lovely, really fun.

And that was that.

Why did this happened?

In short, that very medication I was changed into, back in Eskilstuna. Did I not mentioned I did not responded well to it before? Well, not this time either.

The end of the story is that I was forced back home, now with totally broken body.
At some point my joints was so non-functioning due to the meds that my both elbows had some serious inflammation to the degree I barely could lift a spoon.

But 2018/2019 winter season awaits, hopefully some better luck with weather and now with some experience on what didn’t work I can fix that and have better success!

Traveltales: Västerås-Tillberga part 2

Weather: flaky weather with lots of rain and pretend snow
Distance:~15km, mostly flat city/bike roads.
Highlights: nice people, belief restored, new sturdier wagon frame, the surprise
Bottoms: the never ending rain, deteriorating health

Health: Stomach, joints and headache painlevel: 9/10 (the lower the better)
Asthma soso Sight soso Feet OK
Stomach not all happy, not just pain. Nausea and dizziness
Mental health: initially 10/10,  end of section: 1/10 (higher is better)
weight: ~97g sled total weight: ~83kg

Forever after

My wagons frame was eventually fixed after many hours of dedication and love from the team from Fun Bike, I have now an expledid wagon frame worth of 1000 miles.
Not that I didn’t like my Carla-vagnen, but it was bound to not last.

North again, for the fif.six..seventh..ah whatever-time

Directly after the frame was fixed I started to feel funky. I stopped by the McDonalds that was nearby and there I sat waiting for the painkillers to do their magic. Even though the pain didn’t entirely passed, I decided to endure and walk anyway, perhaps some physical activity might help the pain go away.

The weather was as so far, horrible. A dense drizzle pulled me down even lower in the morale scale.

I didn’t go far, tops 5km in the outskirts of Västerås, in a small community called Hökåsen. where I was forced to stop. My body was just not ok. I was having nausea, dizziness and the pain was getting much worse. Since it was late at night, there was nothing open and I was too close to the city to be able to camp anywhere.
I stopped first under the roof at a delivery shipping area from the local convenience store, then I hid my sled, took the night bus back in to town and kept riding buses the night long.

Praise the..

In the morning I was able to reach the local church, than able to rest in the guest rooms sofa a while. After some hours I woke up and wasn’t feeling too well.
I thanked for the hospitality, visited the pizzeria that was nearby for a meal and continued north, towards Sevalla.

Near death

Sevalla was roughly 11 km, which is a doable leg to do, if you are healthy.
Pushing my hardest, the upcoming kilometers was really rough. I had to pass by this small unpaved road in the middle of a crop field, then when I reached the road, I was to cross the railway but that crossing was locked! I had to go around a greater distance or try to snuck on the side then over..

The trains passed and there was barely any sound or alarms. I was scouting how to pass and was nearly ran over by a train!

Without much hesitation and a slight fear for my life, I decided to try.
BANG! The entire sled decided to faint. I wanted to faint! The whole thing was so heavy and I had no room to pull it up by myself, especially when not all fit to fight.

Luckily, it wasn’t all that late and there were houses nearby, so I knocked and got a response. A young man came to my rescue and soon me and Mrs Sled, was on our way again. The frame was living up the expectations but the drawbars became tad bent.

Saffronbuns, ambulance, Er

Just as I thanks the young man, another person came by, this time a family wondering what on earth I was doing. As I explained, they thought it was interesting and invited me over for a break and saffron buns. As lover of these buns I couldn’t resist, so yes!
The brief meeting and break was welcome, then I moved on.
My body had other plans, as I was only able to walk another 4 or so km before my innards wanted be more outwards so to speak. Everything I had eaten was now gone.
I stopped by a nearby old stone church and cemetery ( I know, another one) and sat down to re-hydrate as much as I could, then continued.

This time I was barely able to move more than 100m and was heading towards the woods when I realized I had to call for medical advice. I was scolded then redirected to 112, soon followed by me parking my sled at some poor fellows garden and being fetched by ambulance to the ER.

Traveltales: Västerås-Tillberga part 1

Weather: flaky weather with lots of rain and pretend snow
Distance:~15km, mostly flat city/bike roads.
Highlights: nice people, belief restored, new sturdier wagon frame, the surprise
Bottoms: the never ending rain, deteriorating health

Health: Stomach, joints and headache painlevel: 9/10 (the lower the better)
Asthma soso Sight soso Feet OK
Mental health: initially 10/10,  end of section: 1/10 (higher is better)
weight: ~97g sled total weight: ~83kg

Surprise!

The rain never stopped. I was getting depressed. Time kept ticking and passing.
My stress levels were so high and I was constantly tired. At this point I only saw the rain as reason but what I was missing was that the new heavy duty medication was also playing tricks of mind.

Västerås was my first re-supply city, so I called home and asked for my first crate to be sent, instead of sending it, they came and delivered it in person!
How lucky aint I to have such wonderful people around me, that drives 5 hours back and forth just to bring me a box?!

The rush

For a moment the rain stopped. I took my chances and headed out, I didn’t want to keep stretching the fire departments kindness.
Västerås is a quite big city, crossing it takes a day or two, so I had to stop by somewhere else before being able to head out of it. My next destination was an guest apartment I was able to lend for some day(s).

City orientation is actually harder than the jungle is a phrase I’ve herd before and yes, so it seems. Maps doesn’t work, you have to rely on Google maps, asking for directions and signs, then pray some. So yes, I got lost.

A couple kilometers took hours and it stressed me immensely. Somewhere in the stress I even lost my air-exchanger (Lungplus) and had to use my spare.
I cracked and ended up at a busstop crying my eyes out. But the kind lady who was lending the apartment waited patiently and I arrived eventually.

Mental health

What’s happens next is just depressing. In the end the rain never actually stopped.
Between the hype of my project in socialmedia and media in general, between fancy news interviews and whatnot, there was a lot going on.

My health for one was decorating beneath everything. Both physically and mentally.
Most because of the meds but I was unaware of it at this point. Although I do believe many thought I was riding on the popularity streak and laxing my way, I was anything but.

As all my health was going a down spiral, no rest was actually enough. When I get mentally tired due to stress, I slow down and eventually I shut down and stop everything altogether. It is called catatonic depression, but for autistic people it is not technically depression, it just have the same symptoms. The more I am stressed, I eventually freeze up. When this happen, all my abilities suffer, including attention.

Once its starts to crack..

I tried to rush out, but rushing now was more a slow motion kind of rush.
At some point the frame to my wagons had been bent and been mistreated so much they were permanently damaged and causing the entire thing to move side ways.

inspiring note at the couples mirror

Of course I only noticed it late and long story short, I found myself in a young couples home over night while my sled was in a bike room. I was so worried for theft and slept as good as I could. The next day, a Saturday, I searched everywhere for an open mechanic to fix my frame.  

 

Luckily I found one, but some kilometers away, so off I go totally worried for what to come.  As my sled was practically pulling sideways and the frame could burst everything any time, it took a while to reach the mechnics but in the end..

 

 

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.

Traveltales: Katrineholm-Eskilstuna

Weather: mostly cloudy, some snow, then evil heavy rain, +3 to -1C
Distance:~49km , various roads, most long flats, car/bike roads
Time: too long..
Highlights:walking by the Burger King drive through, snow,friendly people, snow!
Meeting with the couple at Eskilstuna (very emotional for me), funny encounters..
Bottoms: rude journalist in Katrineholm, RAIN! To have to knock on doors for water, rude people, no good campsites

Health: Stomach, joints and headache pain level: 5/10 (lower is better)
Severe cases of hot flashes.
Asthma OK Sight OK Feet OK
Mental health: initially 9/10, end of section: 3/10 (higher is better)
weight: ~100kg sled total weight: ~83kg

 

It began wonderfully

I bid farewell to the friendly crew at the fire department in Katrineholm then strolled me way to Eskilstuna. By plan this would take around 2-3 days to do.
Just at the outskirt of the city I saw a Burger King drive thru, so well.. I couldn’t resist..
To my surprise, I was very energized so I did 20km in a swoosh. Perhaps was the snow, perhaps the friendly people, either way I was in good spirits. At some point I even ran and sang!
After I passed Valla (outskirts of Katrineholm), it came a short blizzard but I enjoyed it quite a bit. For a moment I felt “this is it!”
The more snow, the faster I found myself walking.
I was invited to sleep over at a hospitality host, although I prefer camping, I just went with it.
The night was good and I slept fairly well but I felt stressed suddenly.The good morale and energy I had from the day before was gone.
At night I moved on. I was exhausted already aver 11km and was moving towards the camping I had planned to camp at.

I had been on tv!

A family had seen me on tv and greeted and invited me for lunch. We exchanged pleasantries and as we spoke, it seems to my demise the camping spot has became private, they offered me to stay at the loft at their barn. Tired and disencouraged, I gladly accepted.
My body has been unpredictable; one moment I am hot, the other I am cold. This night I tossed around madly, I kept pending
between overheated and super cold, there was no between. And the headache was quite annoying.

Hälleforsnäs

Soon it was time to move one, I reached Hälleforsnäs, where I agreed to meet the local news that has been changing their meetup
time for a week now. After the interview, I ate, rested a bit then moved on, just in time for the snow! Barely I had move from the community and I was stopped by a car. A man came and wanted a hug (yup!). He was just listening
about me on the radio just a moment ago and wanted to show appreciation. It was an interesting happy moment.
Soon after, the happy snow turned into rain.

The weather rapport showed snow, so, idiotically, I did not changed into raincoat..

Then another car stopped me, when I took a short break for the loom..
This time was an angry man. He complained about he had seen me from far away then stopped because he thought it was an accident.
When he realized it wasn’t, he became upset saying “you are not visible enough”.
So..he had seen me from afar, yet I was not visible enough?! (I know I am quite visible, confirmed by the fire department).
Anyhow, we went separated ways.

Disaster shower

Sadly the rain never stopped and my shell jacked became drenched of the rain and my sweat. My glasses became foggy and I noticed I started get colder.

The last thing I want is to catch a cold. I tried to rush to the campsite I had planned to reach.

Unfortunately it was uphill and the rain intensified.
I was forced to walk in to the closest house in the premises..
..the household was friends to the one I stayed on the loft at. I was offered shelter in their barn, but my sled had no room there. Needless to say but it was a nightmare.
I was unable to change to dry closes or shoes and I didn’t even access to toilet of some kind..
..meanwhile I was sure to keep in contact with people on socialmedia and my hospitality home at Skogstorp( Eskilstuna).

Time passed and hours later I was getting pretty cold. Unable to lay down, set camp no nothing I was stuck.

It was violently pouring outside. I felt so defeated and dumb.
My hosts at Skogstorp were worried, they were discussing to come and get me by car.
First I felt stubborn, what is a cross-country hike/walk if I am taking shortcuts by car?
We discussed it a bit then I had to prioritize my health and well being long before pride.

This wonderful elderly   came , we demolished my poor wagon, packed in the sled then went to their place. It was late, perhaps around midnight or a little later.
I was so ashamed on so many levels and tired. We unloaded the very necessity, I took off everything that was wet and the kind elder helped to sort everything up for dry.
They had been expecting me so they had already prepared a room for me to stay at.

Like a beaten homeless pup, I went to “bed”.
Despite the chaos, I was still somewhere in my heart happy.
Happy over my network was working, happy I am so blessed to encounter these amazing people.

Traveltales: Simonstorp-Katrineholm

Weather: mostly cloudy and rainy, +3 to -1C
Distance:~27km , mostly flat back-country roads
Time: too long..
Highlights: camping with tent, got housing at the fire department in Katrineholm, friendly people
Bottoms: rain, more rain, time stress, journalists, wild boars, meeting with people taking too much time and energy, having to knock on doors for water, dry water supplies, huge deforestation, some unfriendly people

Health: Stomach, joints and headache pain level: 7/10 (lower is better)
Severe cases of hot flashes.
Asthma OK Sight OK Feet OK
Mental health: initially 3/10, end of section: 7/10 (higher is better)
weight: ~101kg sled total weight: ~83kg

After a good rest at Sikargården, I took my time to continue.
Slowly I left the hostel but energy was low. The days before have been stressful and usually I need 2 days rest when I get that tired/stressed out.

No time to waste.
The distance between Sikargården and Katrineholm felt like and took so much more effort than expected. There was no good spots for camping due to logging (not seen on maps nor from the information I had).
I was able to camp one night, and stayed almost 2 due to rain…
The set campsites I had pre-departure pinpointed didn’t worked in reality and the options were bad.

Not to mention all the dry water sources and unreachable such. I had to knock on doors to get water. It did not helped for the morale when I finally reached the outskirts of Katrineholm that there has been notice
of wild boars vandalizing domestic gardens, meaning I could not camp, again, I had to knock on doors, now even to look for a place to stay over night. I was lucky as I found a kind family that allowed me sleep in their barn.

In Katrineholm my “hostel” source disappeared, so again I was left stranded unable to camp. The local fire department came to my rescue (or I came to them).A couple calls later I was redirected to the department,
then able to sleep over night.