Bikepacking with Jules, June 2015
I recently spent 5 days bicycle-touring with my best-friend Jules. We rode from Oslo, Norway to some islands south of Strømstad, Sweden. Our bikes were quite heavily packed but we managed to reach Strømstad (115km away from Oslo) on the first day. The weather was great, we rode small country roads through fields and forests against a never-ending wind. The tendinitis in my knees, which I thought I had managed to get rid of, appeared after 60 kilometers but and I could do nothing but hope for them to stop hurting.
We reached the swedish border on day 2 and from there we took it very easy; we filled the little space we had left with wine and beer and set up our camp on isolated beaches. This is on the first one; a beautiful little island accessible only by a hanging brigde.
On the next day we continued south to an island called Oddö. Getting there was both fun and demanding; the path to the less crowded north tip of the island was a mix of gravel, stones and roots, with many hills. We arrived covered in sweat, just before sunrise and decided to stay two nights. This part of Sweden, with its woods and beautiful rock beaches, is really beautiful. I am grateful my parents brought me there many times as a kid.
Towards the end of our trip, the weather and my knees got worse. We went back north through the beautiful region Hvaler, towards the norwegian city Fredrikstad. We spent a night in the rain and the next morning we decided to take the train back because of the weather; the wind was still blowing against us and the idea of getting even wetter wasn't very appealing. Also, my knees really hurt and I was afraid I couldn't walk on Saturday, and that's something I can't afford because I'm photographing a wedding.
All in all it was a beautiful trip and a nice way to spend some time with Jules before my next big trip this summer; I'll be gone for more than a year, hitchhiking from Turkey to Japan and exploring Japan.