*A Melker Moment in Swedish*
Excerpt from the blog Frilufsarna.se and Emil and Emil's paddling around the coast of Sweden. A paddling called the Blue Ribbon of the Sea Paddlers. Here you can read about how it feels to arrive after 79 days of paddling. (in each case Melker Ulvön of course!)
If you want to read more, you will find the entire blog via the link above. A reading we can really recommend.
---------- Author - Emil Gyllenberg, Frilufsarna.se ----
The Blue Ribbons of the Sea Paddles
And then all of a sudden we arrived. After countless hours in our dear kayaks, paddling through rain and debris, sunshine and fog, we have now made it all the way to the Finnish border. Thus, we have completed the stretch that today goes by the name "Sea Paddlers' Blue Ribbon".
How does it feel then, you might be wondering?
Yes, but I have to admit that it feels a little strange. It already felt a little strange when we got there towards Virtakariudde, where riksröse 59 stands. Somehow one still expects a kind of finish. Maybe someone standing and waving, a pennant that is welcome in the finish line, or why not a little brass fanfare?
Instead, today, just after two, we arrived at a relatively overgrown plot, with a house on it. In the middle of the plot, just in front of the house, stood the cairn and not a single person was to be seen. Even though we arranged a meeting, both with my grandparents who then came to pick us up and the kayaks, also with a reporter from Haparandabladet who called in the morning and got word that we would land today.
That in itself is a pretty funny story as we paddled very late yesterday and made the decision to paddle to the finish line today at about 3 last night. We confirmed the decision at half past eight this morning and then I called grandpa and told him that today we will reach the finish line and land around 3. About 5 minutes after we hung up, my phone rings again and it is from haparanda magazine. She asked if we were out paddling? I answered yes and that we would actually land in Haparanda today whereupon she quickly replied "I know!" How could she know that? We decided that about 5 minutes ago ?!
Anyway, no one was there when we landed in Haparanda except the mosquitoes. We had been a little warned by Jonathan and Micke that there would be jewelry mosquitoes there but oh what we underestimated it! There were thousands of mosquitoes just lying around waiting to party on two small run-down kayakers.
We therefore hurried to take some less nice finish photos and selfies with the national pile before we then hurried back to the kayaks. About the same time we were on our way down to the water, the reporter from Haparandabladet, Johanna, I have in mind that her name was. We said hello and posed for some nice country pictures (tried to look reasonably normal while 200 mosquitoes bit us wherever possible) before we asked to jump into the kayaks which would still be moved to where she was responsible for later towing and unloading . It gave the opportunity for such a much better interview also when we did not have to wrestle with all the mosquitoes!
Haparandabladet thus became the last newspaper for this trip and something that makes us extremely happy was something Johanna (hope she was now called that!) Told in passing. She had peeked into Frilufsarna, ie here on the blog, and told that she was inspired to get out. What a thing! We have thus managed to inspire a person to the outdoor life!
After the interview, we dragged our dear kayaks and faithful servants ashore one last time for this trip, jumped in full clothing, and began unloading. About the same time, the grandparents dropped in with the car. Pretty good timing simply.
The packing ended up in the tailgate, the kayaks on the roof and vips so we were off. But first a pit stop on Max of course! By the way, Emil's spoon, "Max", has survived all the way around. In other words, the plastic spoon he got in his luxury shake on the way down to Svinesund, which has since bravely helped him with everything from consuming food to spreading butter. Do not know if it can be classified as a disposable spoon anymore.
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. Even though it was the end of a long adventure, it is not the goal that is the most important. But as quoted earlier, "It is the road that is worthwhile". And of course it is! We have experienced such contrasts in both weather, environment and people. We have experienced nature when it is buzzing with its finer moments, like a perfect rock with sunset or the time we were surrounded by seals. Yes, we have been through far too much for me to be able to summarize it easily here. You can simply read the blog instead! One thing that is clear is that we have many to thank for our trip being the success it has become. Firstly, it is all partners who have been involved, supported and helped in the preparations. Without you, the journey would definitely not have been as easy as it used to be! Then also all the people we met along the way.
To all of you, we want to take the opportunity to say a big THANK YOU! YOU are worth gold!
Tomorrow it's off home to Stockholm again and it's time to start working. I can not really understand that it is clear yet and it feels a little strange that tomorrow will not go down to the water to paddle further. At the same time, I can not help but think it's a little nice to be indoors when the rain slams against the windows. At least now I do not have to worry about things getting wet when I wake up!
Will I miss the paddling?
Well, just because I'm done with Hbb does not mean I can kayak! I who work with it, have a first "try-paddling" with Stockholm's Guide Agency already next week so I have no need!
But first I will now sleep because tomorrow many hours of driving await!
A selection of photos from the trip
Tylösand offered fine weather and warm rocks
Two happy Emilsar
A pebble beach along the long coast of northern Sweden
Paddling in fog is fun
One of the more perfect lagoons we've seen!
Fun with both of us in the picture