TRAVELS WITH GREASE AND PADDLE
Saturday, May 03, 2008
The road trip has arrived in beautiful Örebro, Sweden. The brand new VW Caddy diesel is a gem and Fiona (GPS voice) guided the way with her usual dulcet firmness. I met Christer, my host and his wife Margaret at the hostel they'd arranged. There was a pack of thirty teens on the doorstep and I soon realized this was not the "cool French Canadian couple, two crazy Israelis, friendly nurses from Australia, one German cycle tourist" kind of hostel. More like the "history class from a high school in Stockholm" kind of hostel. I begged off as politely as I could and slept better than I have in weeks, in my tent, down by the river.
In the morning, everything found its place in the Pointmobile and the French press and muesli bowl were filled to brimming. Soon Christer arrived and we set up a demo in a great spot between river and wetlands. There is water everywhere in Sweden, it's really fantastic.
The demo was a success, and before we packed up I was able to paddle the brand-new Whisky 16 into the city- a fairy tale paddle past immaculate gardens bursting with tulips, stately homes, big willows with new leaves, under stone arch bridges. I ended up at the impressive Örebro Castle, dating from the 1200's. After wandering around like an idiot in my sprayskirt and lime green Crocs, it was time to paddle back for some rolling (exhale through nose to keep duck crap out) and packing. Christer took off, and I went for a short run in the wetlands and a shorter outdoor freezing shower. I went back to the castle and had a delightful sunset picnic of pickled herring, bread and a splash of wine, grinning like Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel. If I had a show it would be called "Let's Camp and Paddle and Picnic in Europe.