Where are all my muscles?

Cycling in Denmark

Well, Southern Sweden is kind of flat except Hallandsåsen but that was doable even for a newbie biking with 53 extra kilos. Denmark on the other hand I expected to be totally flat but that was not true. It isn’t the Alps and I will most likely laugh at this a few months from now but the seriousness in my biking career is relatively new and I kind of struggle in the hillier areas without any major results. I’m waiting for my thighs to become giant, but might be too impatient. Anders tells me to fight harder or wait longer for the results. Guess he’s right. He has giant thighs already which I think is unfair.

We started our journey in Halmstad, Sweden two weeks ago and had time for a few stops along the way before taking the ferry to Denmark. First stop was Båstad, a well known summer city in Sweden, at least if you watch tennis and just a nearby town if you have a car or go by train. We prefer another option and spent significant more time by bike to find a shelter just outside. This is where we uncorked the small bottle of Champagne given to us at the farewell party a few days earlier, wrapped up in various kind of coolers in the morning and with a “Poff” in the dusk, filled glasses and an enormous amount of moskitos. We celebrated fast and enjoyed the rest of the evening in our tent. Slightly tipsy.

Second day we found an abandoned shelter along Skåneleden and set up camp there, just above Hovs Hallar, where we spent the next day hiking in sunshine and happiness. Again, just outside town if you have that car i referred to earlier. We continued slowly south but then, out of the blue, a text message came. “Your package is delivered”. I’m not a fan of the Swedish postal service and my delayed parcel, my long wanted kickstand for my bike, had been expected during a long time until I gave up and we left without it.

Hiking in Hovs Hallar

So, as we were still in Sweden and it was only one hour of train ride back to Halmstad which was were my parcel finally had found itself, I put myself in a seat and travelled back just to pick it up. I wanted it badly and the bonus was an unexpected chat with the deliverer, my "father-in-law" much earlier than expected. I mean, we had a tearful goodbye only a few days back. You never know when the next time to meet is, I keep on saying that.

Later that day, back with Anders in Helsingborg we took a twenty minute ferry to Denmark, without knowing how fast twenty minutes past. We had just put all our things in the socket for charging when they announced the arrival. Denmark, up and go. New land as bikers (except that teenager route I did once), pretty well-known otherwise as travellers.

Except those hills I was talking about, Denmark has been exactly what I imagined it to be with its sunshine and white and stunning beaches. That imaginary picture rarely exist cause Denmark is still in Northern Europe with it’s unpredictable weather forecasts and it's always a gamble if you chose to have a vacation here. But, we’ve had sunshine for two weeks. Until yesterday when a few raindrops hit us, enough to dig into our bicycle bags, totally confused and not with the slightest idea in which one you had put your rain jacket. Found it and used it for 5 minutes. That's ok, I don't necessarily want to use my rain jacket only because I found it. Today I'm glad I knew were it was though since rain started pouring down as soon as we entered the streets of Fredrikshavn.

So, I could give you a lot of details about “off the beaten track beaches” in Denmark where we have spent most of the time when we haven't been riding the bikes but all I need to say is that they are lovely and everywhere and if you are into skinny-dipping it seems to be as natural as with a swim suit. Denmark seems to live up to the, often referred but maybe false, reputation of Swedish liberated beach style. This is at least what we have experienced in the Northern Zealand (Själland) and in eastern Jutland (Jylland). Don't get naked on a beautiful beach just because I said it was alright though. It's not illegal but you shouldn't offend anyone.

Anders reading at the beach

The biking paths are usually great and well marked here but every now and then we need to share space with heavy traffic. Not as nice but at least, according to me, car drivers seem to be more tolerant to cyclists than in Sweden where I experience traffic more aggressive and sometimes even provocative.

Denmark doesn't have the Swedish “Everyman’s right” which, in Sweden, mean you can put up a tent wherever you want or need for a night unless you are told something else. Instead Denmark has shelters which you can find on Udinaturen.dk. Good to know if you aren’t confident to ask the landowner or just want to hide your tent and move away before anyone take offence.

Dinner time

Estruplund's church

We will have a few days more here, reorganise things before the ferry take off to Iceland, that is where I will need the muscles I’m still missing. We start with a huge, in my point of view, mountain first day. Anders just said, “Think about the ascent you made a few days ago, how surprised you were that it was so easy. It will be just like that but nine times in a row.”. Easy peasy. Anyhow, Iceland will be awesome!

Coffee time


Udbyhøj ferry 

Traditional Danish house

You can’t beat the sand

Dinner before sunset, how lovely.

We had just finished a camp stove dinner with a Danish beach sunset and tried to get rid of some sausage grease from our titanium plates (and later from our hands) in the salty water without any success. With still dirty plates, defeated by the grease, and slowly moving towards the tent in the bushes behind the beach, a couple stopped us. “Hi there, we are your new neighbours!”, they said pointing at the bushes. “How do you get rid of the sand in the tent?”. Apparently it seemed to be a normal way to start a conversation and we must have looked as we had the answer… and yes we had. “Just get used to it, you can’t win the fight.”. 

Me and my Thorn Nomad hidden behind all my luggage.

We have recently started this life and must say we love it! Not every single minute of it of course, it is still a lot to learn even if we consider us to be at least quite experienced campers. Hardest things in life right now is how to find enough water, it should be easier when you've built up the courage to ask for it, and how to get your things together in the mornings before lunch time. Well, we’ll learn to do that to, eventually. At least we have time.

We are not moving fast but we are in no hurry either, Denmark is beautiful and the weather has been marvelous so far. Slightly chilly in the nights but daytime the sun is shining and shining, turning our skins happily brown being outdoor almost all the time. We are considering taking the ferry to Iceland in the nearby future but the weather forecast in Denmark says sun for as long as it shows, Iceland on the other hand is showing hard rain and 7°C. Not what we have ever asked for but the longing for a new adventure might win, how lovely Denmark with it’s sun may be. 

Anyway, it’s another sunny biking day tomorrow, at least according to the forecast. Maybe we get bored at this summer weather eventually and move on to colder destinations. Until then, let’s keep up the fight against the sand.

Northen Zealand in Denmark

Good morning sunshine!

After work is freedom

A young aunt Lena enjoys life.

It’s time to skip mandatory early mornings, negative stress and far too little time for happy things. I’ve quit my job, sold my things and I look forward to a lot more adventurous future. No longboards this time, we choose bicycles. Longboard Lady on a bike!

It won’t be a future in luxury in the sense people often refer to the word, but never have I ever asked for that either. We'll have our own version of it. More demanding, more simple and always with huge gratitude for the opportunity to change life to whatever we wish for.

Anders has been talking about his upcoming bicycle tour around the world since the day we met and had already detailed plans made. Time flew and we had other gorgeous adventures together, fell deeply in love and shared both happiness and grief, weakness and strength and lots and lots of travels. My total match when it comes to obsessive yearning for freedom and also the only man I could ever consider to ask if he wants to join the sort of craziness I sometimes desire so madly, with always a “Yes!” in respond. And now, suddenly we own our future and "the right time" is here. We have saved and planned and dreamt for such a long time and today I'm free from the ordinary “work-kind-of-life”. Now I'm the one who say "Yes!" to craziness.

My Thorn Nomad waiting for a new life
We have bikes and dreams and a tent, the rest is unknown in a world full of beautiful uncertainness.

One person who inspired me to do this, I mean to go together with Anders plus bikes for as long as we want to, is my beloved aunt Lena. She died at the age of 53, 2015 in cancer. She had a beautiful soul, full of love and respect for everyone close to her and she always said yes to spontaneity in life. She fought so hard to live longer. I know that she would had been more than proud of me doing what I do right now and she will always follow me on my journey as a reminder of what's important in life. 

Follow us on a long bicycle tour around the world, without time limits and with plenty of joyful stops. I slowly start my trip from Borås in the middle of April towards Halmstad in the south of Sweden. The big trip together starts from there in May.

I will always keep my Instagram account updated, sometimes even my Facebook page. Follow/like them please! ;-)

Follow Anders as well, he's really good in writing! :)

Remembering those days of happiness

Sweden again, a couple of months of winter, darkness and another life. Spring is hopefully here soon, at least that is what most people are longing for. Anders spent the winter months editing the Stuart Highway movie. Watch it and read about our last skating days.

The last days!
The car was bigger than expected, a 4WD SUV was going to replace our longboards and arms with mixed feelings loaded the trunk. We had had this on our minds for a while, how to travel faster and less strenuous and also be able to see more things thanks to that. But the original plan had also been to skate all the way down to Port Augusta, not ”only” to Alice Springs. Even if we had to change this plan parts of us wanted to skate further. This had been the days of our lives.

Barely a week earlier, all we wanted to achieve was to reach Alice Springs and so we did. We arrived at the ”Welcome sign" outside town, fully equipped with skating gears. Triumph and "happy photo moments" later we tried to enter the city without having a speeding ticket, the hills were pretty steep. Well, a little too steep according to us but we were so close to reach the goal. Some kilometers later we landed at a shopping center, bought 2 ice creams each and tried to convince ourselves that this was it, mission was completed! Emptiness and happiness, side by side.

So, this was the end of our skating adventure. After that we were lucky to have a lot of adventures by car in the southern parts of Australia before we went back to Sweden, happy and precious memories. But longboarding the Stuart Highway is absolutely the most interesting and best thing we have done! Some of you have seen my pictures on Instagram or Facebook, for the rest of you, they are still there. Otherwise, have a look above at the movie Anders made!

So long!

Luxury for skaters

Wild camp   (Photo: Anders Karlsson)

We set camp for the last time for this   skating adventure. The day had been a fight towards a bad temper and tired legs and we had had two choices, to split the distance in three days instead of two and drink crappy water the last day or to push ourselves to exhaustion, have fresh water all the time but be in terrible moods. Both of us. The flies were in hundreds and all we wished for was to be in Alice Springs already, hopefully with less insects.

We took a paus in the shade of Warburton    memorial's stone, tried to cheer each other up and decided to skate just a little bit more. Off we went and on surprisingly smooth pavement for the first time of the day we could feel a tiny little descend.

Moods changed to happy, we were flying for several kilometres. On top of that a man stopped and gave us a litre of ice in a bottle which slowly turned into the coldest and greatest water ever.

All this lasted only for half an hour or so,  but the luxury of a stretch of smooth downhill and a friendly man with ice made the difference. On rough asphalt we skated the rest of the day, picked a lovely camping spot in the golden afternoon light which I adore so much. The sun gave color to the sand, the trees and to the two of us. The last piece of melted water was shared in a joined toast for the last wild camp and for 43 days of hard skating days, one to go, and a lot of fun in between. Shared with tons of flies, but anyway.

If that's not luxury, what is!?

Another kind of luxury along Stuart Highway

Tropic of Capricorn

Stuart Highway

Where are all the kangaroos and where the hell is Alice?

Where are all the kangaroos?

Six weeks ago we had our first experience of the outback, if you can call it "outback" only 43 kilometres away from Darwin. We did. Noonamah had a roadhouse, a gas station, a pub/restaurant, a camping and not much more to brag about. We were exhausted but thrilled, everything was new and we had a serious laugh at the stickers you could buy at the gas station. They said "Where the Hell is Noonamah" and we couldn't do more than agree. Where the hell had we ended up?

Several weeks later, and with a lot more confidence and experience of the outback and the roadhouses, we've learned that those stickers are everywhere. "Where the hell is Hayes Creek/Emerald Springs/Dunmarra/Wycliffe Well/...". Not so funny anymore even if we still wonder where the hell we are sometimes.

As we continue travelling we meet a lot of friendly people. Some of them stop to take photos, some of them are just curious or want to give us something cold. A few stop because they assume we are hitchhiking, I presume we sometimes look like that when we're waiting for cars to pass by. Anyway, we tell our story and lately people have started to say, "Aah, you're only going to Alice." Well, in my opinion it's not like skating to the neighbour. For your information it's still almost 300 kilometres away and the asphalt doesn't seem to get better. You're welcome to join if you like and if you're unsure of the map I can point Alice Springs out for you and explain how far "almost/only/just" is . ;-)

So, we're "almost" there according to a bunch of people but still we haven't seen an alive kangaroo. A dead one, yes. But that doesn't count.

We fall asleep to the strange sounds of howling dingoes and wake up to a lovely bird song in the dawn. We've seen more wallabies, dead and alive, than we thought were possible and the parrots are making us crazy with their noise. Their colours are beautiful though. Ants, frogs, toads, spiders, lizards, emus, peacocks, unfenced cows and fenced camels. Even a group of wild donkeys.

But where are the roos? Can't leave Australia without having seen one, can we!?

Therapy, wanderlust and exhaustion

Stuart Highway

I arrived at the Stuart Memorial rest area in tears, tried to hide them from Anders but it might have been them who made him say, "Let's stay here, it's great!". Or maybe he just thought the place was great, when I had a look around it suited our purpose quite well. Toilets, water and the possibility to have a cold one if we had company. The pain in my right thigh didn't go away at once but I certainly felt relieved and one of the least effective days for me had an end.

We didn't have to wait long until a caravan with a fridge turned up. Cold drinks for dinner, more than appreciated. So was the wine we shared with the owners later on. When the sun almost touched the horizon I zoomed out from the conversation for a while, the bushes behind the small gathering looked like they were on fire... I didn't mention it to the others, just enjoyed the colours of the nature by myself.

We've had some "killer days", the wind made it into our minds and the pavement absorbed all energy from both of us, sucking it out through heels and toes, leaving nothing but cruel exhaustion. Together in misery we tried to encourage each other but I guess I wasn't the only one falling asleep with a silent wish on my lips, "Please, let it be less demanding tomorrow, let the wind ease or turn into a tail wind. Please!"

Then one day the wind just turned. The rough asphalt became smoother too and with a silly smile and reasonable fresh and cold water we took off for the two best skating days ever. No pain, and Tennant Creek, the next town was getting closer fast. I mean in longdistance skating terms. We also had a few people stopping, some offering fruit and cold drinks and one couple was actually already fans of Longboard Lady. That's cool!

Skate on
"One, two, three, four, five... one, two, three..." Pushing, thinking or emptying your brain. Sometimes it's a total and perceptive presence where every thought is clear and vivid. Other times it's more like meditation, where every time you push and put a number to it becomes a kind of mantra. Stuart Highway gives me the opportunity to have the thinking, the meditative moments and of course the admiration of this magnificent landscape.

Tennant Creek
It is what I expected. A small mining town without anything really exciting to explore for us. Lovely rest days though at the only hostel in town. Reading, cooking, drinking a bottle of wine. That's a lovely life for a tired skater.

We've been here, in Tennant Creek, for two days now, plan to leave tomorrow morning but who knows... It's not a big city but they have a food store where I could find coconut oil, chia seeds and 100% peanut butter. We all have our needs and I'm lucky I found these luxury things of mine.

We have actually spent a lot of time trying to find out how to make it possible to transport all the food we'll need for the rest of our trip. We have one third left to skate before Alice Springs, where we plan to stop this adventure, but only one opportunity to buy food once we've left Tennant Creek. Thankfully there are a couple of roadhouses along the way. They won't offer any food to bring but I guess they have exactly the same menu as the other roadhouses and we will gratefully accept it for refuelling. Still, we will be overloaded with cans and water when we're slowly moving to our final skating destination.

Let's see if we find internet along the way, otherwise Alice Springs will be the next place for updates a couple of weeks from now.

So long!

Stuart Highway on a longboard

Me and Anders having a lovely stay at Three Ways

Fans stopping for a chat and some cold drinks. I hope you are OK with me posting this picture!

Elliott, the shithole

"Elliott is a shithole." The tone she used was neutral but the words very clear. Ok, we still wanted to believe that Elliott was the next "heaven" for us, no matter what the young girl at the reception/bar/restaurant in one of the former small towns said. A place where we, a week later, should be able to relax, refuel, eat and drink from more than one menu and maybe even buy new shoes for Anders. Well, now we know. Elliott IS a shithole. She definitely knew what she was talking about! A friendly shit hole though.

We have another week of skating until the next imagined heaven, Tennant Creek, and our legs beg us for a rest day. The skating equipment too, things loosen on a longboard riding this, mildly described, shaky road. We'll stay in the shithole for two nights.

So, for anyone else who reads in a few years old guidebook or have any kind of fantasies about Elliott as a metropolis, please remember that it's still a nice town but:

  1. There are NOT a couple of roadhouses here. The only room we found was an old cabin at the hotel, when you enter the town from the north. It had seen its better days to be honest but the bar area is really nice . The hotel didn't open until noon due to the "Alcohol restriction law" though. (We just wanted a room but as mentioned it also serve as the local bar.) There is a caravan park at the other end of the town too, according to Google Maps, 750 metres away from "our" hotel. Didn't find any rooms there, can't be sure.

  2. You can't buy any other footwear than thongs here and that's not what Anders needs.

  3. The only "Breakfast Menu" in town, which is in the hotel that opens at 12, is no longer available. Same thing with "Lunch Menu" which is said to be between 12 and 1 pm. Doesn't exist. The "Dinner Menu" though, between 6 pm and 8 pm is still there and pretty decent for the outback too.

  4. There is a "Take Away" kitchen at the BP store. When we went there the kitchen was closed though, because of the chef's birthday. The next day it seemed to be her birthday too!? Besides that the staff is helpful and friendly.

  5. Another place for hot food around lunchtime is in the store next to the campsite. The store is randomly closed though and when we were hungry around noonish yesterday we couldn't find a single soul. All doors closed. No sign and no opening hours available. Today at the same time the store was open but the kitchen closed. Friendly staff here too, that helps.

  6. The minimart that's supposed to be adjoined to the hotel is no longer there. I guess they've just closed.

  7. If you find the store next to the camping open and make some complementary shopping at the BP store you can refill your grocery supply pretty well. They do have a selection of canned food and some other things you'll need if you travel slowly in the outback. That's good! Expensive as hell of course but what the heck, we are just passing.

Elliott is also the place which is almost in the middle of what we have decided to be the "Grand Final" of our skating adventure. Darwin to Alice Springs, hurray... If I find the opening hours for the bar, if they keep it open on these hours, if they actually store gin, which seem surprisingly rare, and if they have someone serving I will try to find a GT tonight, celebrating that we only have another 761 kilometres (Google Maps again) to skate before we'll turn into, what other people call, more "normal" travellers.

Well, now it sounds like Elliott is a totally boring place to be. I must say that it's not fair. We've had our share of smiles and warm faces and the people still living here can't be blamed for the decreased numbers of inhabitants, which I guess is one of the main reasons for this towns status. It's still a shithole, but a nice and friendly one.

Cheers! :)

Insects, the wind from hell and Chinese television

Lately we thought things were going better and better day by day. Then the head wind started. Phew... A warm and hard wind, right in your face. Making every push a hard struggle continuing for hours and hours with heavily loaded trailers containing huge amounts of water and the daily dosage of canned food. The asphalt was also teasing us, and for a while happy faces turned into not so happy. The good thing with the head wind though is that the flies don't know how to keep up crawling in your face.

I had new cravings, ice cream or/and really chilled Fanta! I could also see myself eating "raw" ice. That's not a new one though. I've always loved it.

Two days of this wind, staring down on your feet for every single push, slowly moving and slowly taking all the fun away. Then, the Chinese TV team stopped, asked for an interview and offered us less warm water than we had in our water containers. Chatting and a photo shooting was fun and when we finally took off again the wind from hell had decreased a tiny little bit and we had new energy for an hour or so, enough to find us a new and excellent wild camp. No ants, a million flies but no ants. Happy faces.

Today we just decided to take a detour to Daly Waters Historical Pub. What a place! I can't decide what's better than the other. The delicious food or the clean shower. We need to rest from five days of skating with a head wind. Looking forward to two lovely days of gluttony and a massive consumption of soap. Gaah!

Burned area along Stuart Highway

Anders is taking a break along Stuart Highway

The Chinese TV team!

Flies, flies and more flies!

Sunset at wild camp

Just another day of travel with a longboard

It's 40 degrees and we're sipping on hot chocolate from a powder portion bag stolen from one of the fancier rooms we had, mixed with newly boiled water from our gas stove. Dirty and totally soaked in our own sweat we hear each other giggle quietly, what a choice for drinks on a hot afternoon like this but wow, it's so good.

We've just chosen our spot for wild camping but the sun is unbearable where the tent is pitched and we found a grassy area shaded from a tree next to the highway, not far from our campsite. As soon as my hot chocolate is finished I use my longboard as a relaxing bed and begins to listen to a new audio book, downloaded to my phone.

The only car we hear passing by the next hour is a single police car and we start to wonder if we should have continued skating for an hour more or so. Legs were awfully tired though.

When the golden hour before sunset is over we see the moon rise as thin as it is. We only have the inner mesh tent and lying on thin sleeping pads we watch the sky getting darker. No sleeping bag needed in this tempature. While the birds stop singing the stars get more and more twinkling. We fall asleep like that, but only an hour later or so I wake up again. The silence is broken by someone jumping on dried branches, a wallaby I guess and get back to sleep, accompanied by Anders' heavy breathing.

Traffic is still slow at 7.30 in the morning and we don't have to be as patient as usual. Just pushing and enjoying the relative fresh air with the knowledge that an hour from now the sun is already hot and burning. The asphalt is behaving and the ride is quite smooth. Only 20 kilometres today and less food and water to carry since we are reaching civilisation again and our stocks are either eaten or drunken. Well, if you call the tiny town of Mataranka for civilisation. I guess you can have different opinions on that.

Life is so much easier with running water, a bottle of chilled wine and someone else preparing your dinner. More expensive too. We enjoy the cabin life for two nights and mix it with a lovely swim in the thermal water called Bitter Springs.

Longboards ready to go

Camping dinner

A shoulder on Stuart Highway

Me, on Stuart Highway

Bitter Springs

A short one

This, my friends, will be a short one. Travelling, exploring and skating has taken all my time and no matter how long I have it's always to short. I might have more spare time soon but less Internet. That's also hard for a travel blogger.

Well, we've been skating some really rough roads lately and we are going to slow, that's a fact and we're trying to deal with it. Last one was 10 hours and 48 kilometres. That will give you an idea of what kind of asphalt we're fighting. We needed a nice break in Katherine with surroundings.

Rivers, gorges and a burning sun gave us a nice break with refreshing swims and stunning views.

Tomorrow we leave again. Internet will be limited so don't worry if you don't hear anything. We will be busy fighting new asphalt. :-)

It's not flat, mate.

"Let's give it another day or two before we give up, honey.", "Wow, this asphalt is fantastic!!", "Why the bloody hell does the road train have to disturb my ride right now!?", "Seriously, if we don't stop now I will die...  for real.", "Look, wallabies",  "Look, more wallabies", "Can you help me, my legs are too stiff to climb those 5 steps of the stairway!?",  "Oh God, can we go to sleep now? (8 pm)",  "Wow, even more wallabies"

Ok! Here I am, 6 pm in the afternoon... have been drinking beer since one o'clock and was just reminded of what a lazy lifestyle I have. Well, try skating Stuart Highway yourself is all I have to say.

Anders said, "How hard can it be?". Now it's more,  "How slow can it be?"

My wheels are already very much eaten up by the asphalt, the trucks have scratches everywhere. We try to fasten every bolt every day, still... the road loosen it again and we sound like someone who's dragging an old cart on gravel.

Still, every day is laughter and sometimes relaxation too I guess. I need that.

We found a new friend in Ralph, she picked us up and invited us to her outback life. She seems to have everything, living in a shed with a lot of rooms and as simple as that she shares it with birds, snakes, cute dogs and a pair of teenagers. She loves them all.

Ralph became our private guide in the area and she showed us Litchfield National Park before leaving us there for some bush walking and camping nights with the Milky "starry" Way accompanied with a full moon.  Waterfalls, swimming and a couple of days of Beef 'n Chunky for dinner. Ralph also squeezed in time for a rodeo night and taught us how to appreciate a muscle car burning rubber. What a difference from the silent camping nights.

We've been alone for a while now. Well, you are never alone when you travelling the Stuart Highway with a longboard and a trailer but anyway... being almost by yourself is good too.

The flat road turned out to be quite hilly. At least around Hayes Creek where we approached yesterday and left this morning. Tonight my legs are resting nicely towards the armchair. Hopefully recovered a little until tomorrow, early morning.

That's a strange thing by the way... I fall asleep around 9 pm and get up at sunrise. I guess that is amazing for you people who know me. :)

Ralph 's friendly bird

At the Noonamah Rodeo

Our camp site in Litchfield National Park

Anders is bush walking

A nice afternoon shower

Me, my trailer and some rough asphalt

Preparing before take off

Anders is teaching a local how to skate

Bush fire between Hayes Creek and Emerald Springs