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J242 - Tuesday, June 15: Ö Gafsele – 7km before Näsaker

76.48km  –10H44’
Altitude : 200m

As Serge said when he arrived, “it didn’t rain all day”.  It was a nice surprise, because the north wind this morning and the clouds which galloped across the sky behind us didn’t announce anything good.  So Serge enjoyed his day and the cherry on the cake was “the wind at his back”.  Serge is so eager to see a bear that he tells us that he saw one and that they talked about Goldilocks…Rest assured; Serge doesn’t drink anything other than his daily beer. We are still surrounded by lakes but we are happy to see them because they give us the impression of breathing more easily than when we are in the forest, which is very dense and oppressive.  Finally, Eliane and RenĂ© saw their first elk, but it was too far away for a photo.  Was it really an elk?  I wonder, is our team taking dreams for reality?  Tomorrow they may be seeing lions!!!!

The question is why did Serge clock more than 76 km?  Well, “once upon a time a Ducato didn’t want to start at km 70; the battery is dead.  We give Serge his last refuelling and all head for the garage in the nearest village, with the battery under our arm.  Working hours being what they are in Sweden, the garage closes at 4:00 PM and it is 5:00.  We drop Eliane at the camp site and call breakdown assistance.  During this time, Serge is on the road with his bottle of water.  We pick up Serge and begin waiting for news.  At 6:00 PM, I get an SMS from the Swedish airline, SAS. The flight BĂ©rengère, is due to take to Sundsvall tomorrow has been cancelled.  Now we are laughing less, but Serge keeps his good mood and we are able to laugh at our troubles. Roadside assistance calls when we are having dinner to say it is on the way.  BĂ©rengère calls to say that the Swedish pilots are on strike.  I call Anette Novak, who confirms that all of Sweden is affected by this strike, even domestic flights.  Here we are at the van waiting patiently.  The weak battery is started and RenĂ© can breathe easily again.  I leave for the town square to log on to the Internet to try to find a solution for the cancelled flight.  BĂ©rengère’s arrival is delayed by one day.  End of the story”.

All we can do is hope that this is the last in a string of “upsets,” but a bit of spice does no harm in a life which has been almost monotone these past weeks.

Le guide du routard disait que les grèves étaient rares, voire inexistantes, en Suède et bien il faudra revoir leur copie !

The Guide du Routard (the trucker’s guide) says that strikes are rare, almost non-existents, in Sweden.  I think they are going to have to revise their text.

Tonight at the camp site in Näsaker there is a small celebration for the end of school.  The custom is that each class celebrates the end of the school year and they all have their “party”.  Once they have their diploma, like in the USA, the kids have a dance.  The girls have their hair done up and wear beautiful dresses and the boys are in suits.  Here it is more country-like for the little ones, who come have a ride on the miniature train.  For the occasion the little girls wear pretty dress and have ribbons in their hair and the boys are dressed in their best clothes.

Town : 7km avant Näsaker

GPS : N 63.30’12.8° E 016.51’64 .0°