After our brief stop in the UK we were quickly back into continental Europe for the small matter of driving the length of Sweden and Finland in 2 weeks. To prepare ourselves for the absolute marathon driving sessions we’d be enduring throughout Scandinavia we decided that, instead of getting the 1 day ferry, we’d just drive from London to Denmark via France, Belgium, Germany and Holland. We just can’t get enough of being in that car.
The first part of this mammoth section of the tour was Denmark and the rider was a great guy called Olsen, a TV chef who everyone knew as the Bald Chef. He took us on some amazing roads and we were joined every day by an increasing number of other Harley riders. On the final day we were part of a 78 bike convoy, which was incredible. Throughout Denmark, while we were getting excited by all the big, loud, shiny motorcycles, Louis was mostly curled up in the back of the car clutching his face and moaning like a seal in labour. One of his teeth had finally given in to the almost constant pounding of sugar it has to endure. He had it ripped out and was fine (after a day without the use of the left side of his face).
After Denmark came the real test, namely driving the length of Sweden in less than a week. The rider who had the task of joining us for all those many, many kilometres was a Dutch guy called Willem who had more enthusiasm for life in his little finger than us lot put together. Although, at this point, we’ve been on the road than more time than I can comprehend so perhaps we’re excused. Willem was the youngest guy we’ve had on the bike and lukcilly had a lot in common with all four of us. He liked pumping iron (like Louis), enjoyed skateboarding (like Pro), loved hats and sneakers (like Juan), and was fascinated by nature and wildlife (like Jake).
Since we left Sweden we have all agreed that it has been the best leg of the tour. I think it was even one of the best travelling experiences I’ve ever had. With such a huge distance to cover and with such an enthusiastic dude on the bike it felt like we really experienced what touring is all about. We managed to swim in at least four lakes, we saw and tracked reindeer through a forest, we had a barbecue by a lake, and met some great people. We also had our car window smashed in, lost some equipment, and got bitten to hell by giant mosquitoes but we can ignore that for now. The only thing that would have made it better was if we had been on bikes too.