English updates Expedition SweDenLand 2017
We still can’t quite believe it all - but we’re on the road. It’s actually happening! We sat in the car the whole way laughing like kids and pinching ourselves to see if it was true. It was hard to take in.
The weirdness is that we have to really let everything go… where are we going to end up? How’s the trip going to go? How will the animals be at home without us? Will the kids be ok? Will our house be sold over the summer whilst we’re away? And then where will we go? The art of letting go is not so simple… for the simple fact that it pushes us outside our comfort zone(s). And this was the intention - to go somewhere and take it as it comes.
And whatever comes to meet us on the road, the experiences of the first six days can never be taken away from us. On FB you can see the daily updates… and here is a quick glance back at the first week.
The drive to Denmark was rather stressful, to say the least. Mark’s baby, the ‘Disco’, had an immediate and demanding test: 400kg in the back, 1200kg behind it and a 600km drive. And me: my ears pricking up at every sound from the horsebox. We stopped every couple of hours to give Timo water & SpeediBeet (fibre in the form of beet pulp)... because a horse will not eat much hay on a day such as this.
Our welcome in Denmark was way above expectation. Whilst we’d prepared for camping in a paddock, Gisela Dethlefsen (the Pavo distributor in Denmark) had laid on a guest room for us. We had two days of being spoiled rotten with delicious food and a ‘make yourselves at home’ attitude. As a gesture of thanks Mark & I felled a damaged tree they had standing between the summer house and the pond. It’s a good feeling to be able to give back to those who have been so generous in helping us live out our dream.
Whilst it is generally well-known amongst travellers, for me it’s totally new to experience people’s generosity and helpfulness on the road. It actually began before we left with a lovely goodbye from the PennyPlusClub ‘girls’ (my group of friends in Markelo)... then in Denmark and here in Falsterbo, it just continues… It seems that people have a genuine pleasure in being part of this adventure. Accepting help is something that we really must learn.
Falsterbo Resort offered us a stuga so that we could spread the word about their renewal of the camping site here (it was formerly Ljungens Camping). The new owners took over in January 2017 and the results are already showing - they’re doing great work. On the coast with all the luxury facilities, including indoor kitchens consisting of six brand new ceramic cookers with ovens. From our stuga (with kitchen and shower-room) we can see the sea and every evening a cuckoo comes by to feed on the grass seed that’s been sown over the newly laid out pitches.
The hospitality doesn’t stop at the stuga… Timo has been given a wonderful spot in a local private stable where he’s totally fussed over. It’s great. He spends the day in his own grassy paddock and is brought in in the evening together with the other horses. At home I’d leave him in the paddock overnight but if he’s out here on his own, then he’d get restless. It’s better for him to be near the other horses. He’s pretty much at home here already.
The highlight of the week was the Falsterbo Food Festival today. Per Wildenstam, an active member of the local (business) community, invited us to follow the route between the ten participating restaurants. On foot? No. On Timo! With Mark along on his mountainbike. It was a great success, allowing locals and visitors to get to know the culinary offerings of this small place. As patience is not Timo’s most developed virtue, I was having my doubts about it… and here, again, came a spontaneous offer of help in the form of Erik Raabe, mounted on Sam the Irish Hunter. These two gentlemen were my most courteous guides. Anyone who knows Timo knows that he really doesn’t care for another horse alongside - he’s usually overly dominant and they have to stay well out of his personal space (read: 3m out of his way, out of reach of flicking back legs and bared teeth). This time, however, it seemed that he allowed the calm of Sam to infuse him and let himself be led along by this graceful gelding. I’m so proud of my brave and adaptable horse. And the icing on the cake was: today was the first summer’s day in Falsterbo with wind force 0.
The outdoor life is still a day away but we have so enjoyed the warm showers and comfy beds. If you enjoy the sea, friendly welcomes and open spaces, then you’ll love Falsterbo. Tomorrow we’re going into the woods. ‘Til next week!