Day 4 Friday 27th May 2016 – Uddevalle to Gothenburg 63 miles
Warm Showers is a website specially designed for touring cyclists to enjoy a free nights stay or just to meet for a chat and share information, stories and experiences.
As I woke up inside my tent, feeling rather sunburnt from the day before, I remembered I’d downloaded an app for Warm Showers before I’d left. A quick look using the campsite’s poor WIFI and saw that there were dozens of fellow cyclists offering accomodation in Gothenburg, today’s destination. After reading through lots of different profiles, avoiding those with comments like “my bike was stolen from the appartment” I chose Marko, mainly as he had some positive comments and seemed to know what cyclists like – “shower, chow, bed!”
A cyclist requesting to stay the night giving just half a days notice may have put some people off but Marko almost instantly replied to my message saying I was more than welcome. So after several failed attempts to upload my previous days blog post, I packed my bags and set off.
Yesterday was very sunny and warm, a shock to my pale untanned body so it was a perfect cloudy and cooler day for a chance for my to wear long sleeves!
Arming myself with two baguettes, a pastry, a pack of dates and feta cheese, I headed out of the town, on my way to a stranger’s house, somewhere in Gothenburg.
About five miles out of the town centre, I saw the elevation on the garmin showing a large rise in the elevation. So preparing myself by changing into my shorts, I headed towards the higher ground. Just as the hill was coming into view, I saw the road surface changing from smooth tarmac to a gravel track. I was very glad I had managed to get the wheel sorted out, this would have probably been the last straw otherwise!
As I climbed, the road surface continued to worsen, making it very slow going. Every stone made the panniers jump and felt like the bike was being ratterling into pieces. The track carried on rising, but I carried on, determined to reach the summit, hoping there would be a view waiting for me.
Another 20 minutes of climbing and the road appeared to finally level, but now in the centre of a wooded area, no view was insight. However a small lake was perfect to enjoy my raspberry and apple pastry, still warm from the bakery.
The track up through the woods took around an hour to cycle on, but on reaching Utby, the track suddenly turned back into tarmac. The roads after this were fast and it was time to make up some distance after doing around severn mph average for the last hour.
I had left my phone’s data on, hoping it would upload the last blog post, but after realising the photos were all 8mb, I knew it would take hours. However I didn’t think it was self delete the post! Yesterday’s evening sat in my tent writing had all gone to waste. So although Marko had said he would only be in from 8pm, I sped towards Gothenburg, in hope to write and upload it again with a more reliable internet connection.
The roads started getting both larger and busier, a sign I was nearing the city. After a few less pleasant miles with cars flying past, the map showed a route to the edge on the city on quieter smaller roads and cycle paths. For the next five miles, it was almost completely on cycle paths, all signed towards Gothenburg. A great area for cycling!
Having entered Gothenburg around 5.30 pm, I sat down and began redoing the blog post. The sun was on my back, a upbeat jazz playing in the background and my second pastry of the day in my hand, a perfect way to spend an evening.
A quick confirming email from Marko and I headed towards his house. Being the first time I had used Warm Showers or any other similar site, I was a little nervous. Although I think Warm Showers is safer than other more popular websites like couchsurfing as it is for a niche community, anybody could still be offering a bed so it could potentially be risky!
Marko soon put me at ease though, offering a shower before a tasty meal consisting of pasta with sauce with a traditional sweet almond cake and my first tea of the trip to follow.
Swaping travelling tales and learning about Swedish climate, language and food was a great introduction to Warm Showers, something I’d definitely recommend.
Marko had been on his own epic adventure, going around the world, travelling by bike, flying, car, lorry and walking to name a few transport methods!
So after a great chat and food, it was time for bed, on possibly the comfiest sofa I have ever slept on!