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J259 - Friday, July 2: Liatorp - Fjälkestad

74.04km  – 9H58’
Altitude : 34 m
Yesterday evening, while Eliane was in the shower, BĂ©rengère had her nose in a book and RenĂ© and I were pouring over maps to find a route to Malmö, we got a call from Roger asking us where he could find “Swedish Grainville-Ymauville.”  Our carrier pigeons are back after a two-day trip of 1,750 km in their caravan “Adrienne.”
Serge was already in bed but the rest of the team welcomed them.  Our reunion lasted a while and at 9:30 I joined Serge, who seemed to be waiting for me was not asleep.  He couldn’t understand what took me so long and I explained that our friends had arrived.  Serge was in the mood to talk.  For the past few days he has not been serene! So, for an hour we make small and finally it was time to sleep.
This morning Serge is tired when we gets up.  He slept badly and was awake on an off until 3:00 AM.   I say I don’t understand because tired as he is, he ought to sleep well.  He responds that he is too exhausted and that this fatigue makes him sleep badly.
It looks like the day will be hot; the sky is blue and there is a kind of fog and high humidity.  It is 6:55 AM when Eliane, RenĂ© and Serge reach the starting point at Liatorp, a village to the north of Alhmut which is a city of 9,000 inhabitants where IKEA, the famous Swedish brand, came into being.
Yesterday Eliane, RenĂ© and BĂ©rengère made an inventory of the van’s stock, with the idea of giving  Brigitte and Roger the things we no longer need so they can take them home.  This job occupied the whole team.  This morning we begin transferring  the things they have brought us: soups, Kinder Country, coffee capsules  (unavailable in Sweden, the same as  the angel hair pasta Eliane uses in quite a few soups), single use ice packs, sesame bars which Serge particularly likes and which we can’t find in northern Europe.  From our side, we unburden ourselves of our spare generator,  2 batteries, snow chains and a lot of other stuff.  The word carrier pigeons is  appropriate, especially since they bring letters from: my parents, Brigitte, our neighbor, Mr. Niepceron, the mayor of Vattetot-sous-Beaumont and for BĂ©rengère a letter from her mother and her young cousins.
Brigitte (our neighbor, not Roger’s wife) is a specialist in making baked coconut custard, which Serge loves.  But for this occasion, she baked a cake with raspberries (from our garden) which is in Adrienne’s freezer, waiting patiently for us to eat.  Alain Marie, has made us delicious butter cookies and Brigitte Carrier Pigeon has brought her home made toffees.  In short, we are spoiled and it is always a joy when Roger and Brigitte arrive.
Finally, Serge took out his bandanna and  his hat.  The famous red bandanna, which is not the same one he used on previous crossings, was provided by Diogène and is recognizable.   The famous hat, which Serge has been wearing since 2003 when he crossed Africa,  is completely faded, has no shape and  the fabric is worn out; but it is a powerful fetish and Serge won’t wear anything else.  It’s a real  relic.
Vacation time is at its height and RV camps are full of the young and not so young who are taking advantage of the beautiful weather to go swimming in the lakes or work on their suntan.

The day, which promised to be tough for Serge, ended in less than 10 hours.  Today’s motto could be: “Slow start, fast finish”.

Town : Fjälkestad

GPS : N 56.06’56.5° E 014.10’20.7°