Wow…. is how to describe the last week and especially the last weekend which we spent at Touratech’s Adventure Event in Säfsen in Sweden. I am so impressed with the organisation of the event.
It felt a bit strange initially when Anders and I arrived as all people looked so serious and no one was talking or said hello. I guess we have been away from Sweden too long and forgotten about that Swedes can be a bit reserved at first, but in the end of the day everyone talked and were having a really good time. Both Anders and I had such a good time and meet so many fantastic people who gave us lots of good advices.
We had three presentations at the event and to be honest at least I was pretty nervous as I thought no one would be there to listen. I mean, who would listen to a couple who has only done two weeks so far on an around the world trip? Surprisingly, there were lots of people. Due to some serious problem with transfer money from England to Sweden to pay the Carnet, we hadn’t have chance to prepare as much as we wanted but it seemed that people liked it and asked a lot of questions.
The first two presentations we had I manage to keep some details out (the not so cool ones) but the third evening I was
extremely tired and suddenly it just came out, I had brought a hairdryer with me….. when I said that the audience went so quite that you could have hear a needle drop and then they started to laugh and I could see what everyone were thinking ‘Who the hell takes a hairdryer with them on an around the world tour’. I realised that I had completely made a fool out of myself, which is something I am pretty used to so I guess I will survive this one too and just for the information I will leave the hairdryer plus a few other things at my mum before leaving Sweden.
Down the ditch I went
At the Tourech event I joined a two hours tour on gravel roads. Of course I went on the wrong one to start with and everyone were very good and rode very fast (as least it looked like it). I didn’t want to disappoint the rest of the group so I were trying to ride at the same speed as everyone else. This was not very clever of me as when I came to a place with “very” loose sand and gravel I went down a ditch and over a big trunk. Anders stopped and come running towards me and when he was sure I wasn’t hurt he said ‘how on earth did you manage to get the bike on that side of the trunk?’ and to be completely honest I had no idea. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately we didn’t have time to take a picture of this, phew! ;). Anders helped me to get my bike on the road again. I rode a bit slower after this and Anders, bless him, was in front of me and tried to keep the same speed as me and was later blamed for riding a bit slow…. Nothing a proud man wants to hear is it?
The last day I joined a course on how to ride on loose sand and gravel… yes I know I should have done that before I joined the tour but it is easy to be wise after the event. Anyway the course was brilliant and the instructors were phenomenal. The were so calm (as just Swedish people can be) and never made you feel like you were useless though I learnt that I was pretty useless on gravel but I also learnt how I am suppose to ride on gravel and sand which I will have a lots and lots of time to practice in Mongolia for example.
After the event we went to see our son Simon in Södertälje and during these few days there we managed to ride to Uppsala to at last find some adventure boots to me. I have tried to find a pair for about four months so you can imagine, I am very pleased. Outside the shop I binned my old boots that I had had since I started riding a motorbike (5 years ago) so it felt a bit sad to see them go.
After Uppsala we went to BMW’s headquarter for Sweden where Dan Tammi kindly remap the fuel settings to low octane map and also the miles to kilometre. Dan told us that after done these resettings the bike can behave a bit strange but the only thing we noticed was that the idling was a bit high but that changed to normal after a few miles.
Now it was only one thing left on the to do list, and that was to pick up a pair of trousers from a shop in Sickla. These Fjällräven trousers will be my only once on the trip so they better be good. Either of us had never been to Sickla before and when we came into the shop we got a surprise that the woman who worked there had been on one of our presentations at the Touratech event. Maybe better to mentioned to you who are not that familiar with Sweden that this is 280 km (175 miles) distance between the places. However, of course she mentioned the hairdryer and I thought, bugger she went on that presentation 😉 She was very friendly and said that she really enjoyed the presentation even the part where I mentioned the hairdryer lol.
Now we are heading towards Oskarshamn to celebrate midsummer, birthdays for a whole year, Anders and mine 25 anniversary, meet up with my parents and our three boys, YEEHAW!!!