Not Your Average Week Off (by Joel Knuckles)


“You are actually insane” I breathed to Fred, completely mentally and physically exhausted from the day’s mammoth walk. Sitting in an extremely sweaty tent with one of my best mates, surrounded by; mosquitoes and thick undergrowth, whilst nursing a plethora of itchy bites and swollen ankles was not exactly how I envisioned spending an evening on my week off from work. But here I am.
It’s 8am and I’m in Gatwick airport on a rather chilly Sunday morning. After hurriedly gathering all the equipment I thought I needed, for this hike, and sorting out my room for my return the day before, ( as always) I made my way to the airport early in the morning. I was due to bid farewell to rainy England and hello to a part of Europe I’ve never been to before; Sweden. However this was going to be no ordinary holiday.
Through the process of; checking in, getting breakfast and doing my final checks I thought to a few month ago when I agreed with Fred that I would come out and help him with the walk for a week. I hadn’t seen my mate for the best part of this year and as I knew he was going to be away for the majority of the year and I wanted to grab the opportunity to hang out and help with both hands. By now however the enthusiasm had turned into a daunting realisation of the task that lay ahead.
Just to let you all know; I hate flying with a passion. I seriously hate and if there was another way to travel as efficiently I would take it in a heartbeat. My fear of flying is probably linked to my fear of heights and rollercoasters (you will have to drag me kicking and screaming on to a rollercoaster) so taking the plane to Sweden was not the nicest part of my trip but the less said about that the better. Rant over.
I landed in Stockholm Arlanda at around 2pm Swedish time after my transfer from Copenhagen and took the train straight to Uppsala where I was due to be reunited with my mate after a good few months. At this point I would Like to say, if you do not know already, Sweden does not do Euros. They have the Carona which is their own currency. So if you’re planning on going there anytime soon; do not get euros. Like me. The idiot. After getting lost a little bit on the way to the hostel I met Fred and we set about sorting out our gear and planning our journey to Soderhamn. The adventure was about to begin.


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