First, a little update from me, Fred. I’ve been walking with Christian for 5 days now and it’s going well. Summer seems to be kicking in and we have had a string of amazing camping spots. Should be dropping Chris off to get his flight back from Östersund airport on Wednesday and then heading off for a couple of weeks on my own. Surprisingly ahead of schedule and so can finally take things a little bit slower and enjoy some the views, which have grown more and more impressive as we push further north and into the mountains. Anyway, here is part two of Mr Knuckles adventure.
After Arriving in Uppsala and meeting Fred we; compared our ridiculous facial hair developments, caught up on how we were each doing and planned out what we were going to do over the next few days. He told me about: the hiking he’d done so far, what and who he encountered on his journey so far, how he’s been managing his knee issue and most importantly what he’s been learning about hiking from doing this mammoth task day in and day out. I would like to say at this point that what Fred is doing is Pretty Awesome; hiking 1500 miles is no mean feat. He is carrying his pack around with him every day, been getting to the point where he has had no human interaction for days at a time and there sometimes seems no end in sight on the very long roads. I seriously have a new found respect for my mate in this regard.
After eating a hearty breakfast and splitting some of the load to carry, the next morning, we set off walking.
“Never stand under the base of a fallen tree. Sometimes what happens is they upright themselves, if what was holding them down moves out of the way, and then it will crush you!” Exchanging random bits of useful information along the way was key as we walked and I think we covered a good few topics, facts and shared some awful jokes throughout the duration of walking. Combined the we beautiful scenery of Sweden definitely keeps you upbeat. Sightings of an abandoned golf course, farms with horses and a beautiful dam on the first day made me realise a lot more that there are a lot of things you miss on any journey via public transport when going from A to B. At least we were fortunate enough to appreciate it whilst walking.
Fred and I are pretty close as mates, however sharing a two man tent, sweaty as heck and exhausted is not as ideal as it is efficient (sorry for snoring and kicking you in the face in my sleep buddy! My bad). Fortunately for us we didn’t have to do this every night and a case in point was the first night where we stumbled upon a public fishing cabin. This three walled cabin had a fire pit in the middle with logs stacked on the outside. A saw and an axe to cut the log into smaller pieces were also with the cabin. This first evening and our found place to sleep for the night gave Fred the opportunity to show me how to build a fire from scratch; starting with the dry leaves, pine needles and building up with the smaller pieces of kindling right up to the big logs. Honestly there is something about cutting wood and cooking on an open flame that makes your dinner feel a lot more well-earned than cooking at home. To top it off, nothing beats eating your dinner by a beautiful lake in the evening with your mate.