Day 12 – Gavle – Fagersta

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The weather today has been beautiful although breezy. Back up decided to have a lazy morning and do some real holiday stuff – sight seeing (after packing up and loading the truck again obviously which is becoming an art form!).

We found a great little village called Bonan and went in search of the lighthouse there. Gary took it upon himself to speak to the locals who couldn’t speak English. If they couldn’t understand lighthouse they would obviously understand “big torch near rocks with ships” and hand gesturing the flashing light. Surprisingly the men didn’t understand and we were all collapsed in fits of laughter. Unsurprisingly this has earned him the numpty award and he suits the hat! We did eventually find the lighthouse further down the road and had a nice explore around.

It’s amazing how the sunshine changes everything, puts a smile on faces, gives inspiration and makes cycling enjoyable again. Today we had 81 miles to do – “a rest day!!!” A rest day it was, we had a strong wind behind us most of the way and although we didn’t set off that early -10am (everyone was very tired and struggled to get up) – we managed to finish by 4pm.

The roads were smooth, winding through the ever sparse forests. Lupins were in abundance along verges of the road with lilac bushes behind creating a river of a varying array of purples and the sweet smell attracting bees and dragon flies; one of which decided to hitch a lift on my shirt – when I realised after about 5 miles it was still on me I nearly fell off my bike in blind panic!

Once again we hit a problem – the road we were on turned into a dual carriageway which isn’t too much of a problem but they then go to single carriage with barriers on each side giving no room for cars to pass! Unfortunately in our experience they do pass and pass very close at speed. We decided then to turn off and try a track which eventually led to a very big quarry with lots of warning signs and some very funny coloured water. Toxic? Who knows, but we found a way through. Luckily it was a working quarry as I am sure we would have been escorted away.

As Back-up headed to our destination of Fagersta we realised that the cyclists would arrive before us so we messaged them that they must have a beer stop. Hard instructions for them obviously lol.

Only 2 miles from the quarry us cyclists came to a small town with a building that said BAR! 48 miles none stop good effort; we had pizza and a beer. Revitalised we ventured on.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and fast and as it was everyone arrived within 10 minutes and all seemed happy.

All are now clean and chilling in the sunshine with a beer / wine / aperol spritz at the Irish bar conveniently on site – all obviously planned so well – and discussing tan lines! It seems so long since the start of the trip and the horrible conditions we endured – that long that everyone is happily remembering tales of bad accommodation and weather with a lot of laughter. All is good and everyone is in holiday mode now for the next few hours at least until the trusted bikes reappear in the morning ready for the 131 miles tomorrow.

As we are coming towards the end of Phase one our attention is drawing to the “Great Nidd Bike Ride” and the “Great Nidd Bike Ball” on the 23rd of September. This is your chance to challenge yourself. The ride is only 50 miles (easy for me to say). We will also be looking for volunteers to marshal or make flapjack /cakes. Then on the evening it’s time to put on your glad-rags and dance the night away. We all will be! Please keep an eye on the website for details.

Enjoy your evening – we will!!

Kathleen & Sean xx

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