July 31, 2012 by farbolino
So after a night of sleeping in the woods, Mike and I packed up our stuff and went to the gas station to buy some food before going back to the roundabout to continue on our way to Stockholm.
We waited about 40 minutes for a car to pull over for us. The driver was a Finnish guy in his early 50’s who had lived in Sweden for many years. He told us stories about traveling 6 months around the states when he was in his late 20’s before starting a family back in Scandinavia. At one point Mike said something about having to find a ‘regular’ job after he comes back from South America and our drivers response was “don’t, always keep on traveling.” It put a little smile on my face. He didnt take us too far, and dropped us off about 45km down the road.
The ramp didn’t have much traffic at all, as this was not a well populated area of Sweden. I figured we could easily wait 2 hours for a ride, maybe even much longer. I propped my backpack up against a pole and sat on the ground with my back against the backpack and the sun in my face. I figured I might as well relax if I’m going to spend a few hours here. When a car would pass, I would just stick my arm out and thumb for a ride.
Surprisingly it only took only about 10 minutes for an older man drivinate two seater car with a cargo area in the back to pull over. George was 67 and owned a bicycle shop in central Stockholm. He made this trip back and forth everyday from his house in the country. Since there was only one empty seat, I sat up front and Mike sat in the back on the floor with a bicycle. Once we got on the highway, George pushed the speed up to 160kph which I found a shock since every other Swedish driver we had followed the speed limits religiously since there are cameras on highways that mail tickets for speeding. I asked George about it, and he just said that they mail him the tickets, and that if he just doesn’t pay them, after about 6 months they stop trying to collect the money.
In any case, this old man drove like he was in a formula 1 race, weaving in and out of traffic, as stuff was falling off the dashboard from his sharp maneuvers. At this point I was glad I had a seatbelt, I worried for Mike’s life more so then mine. I feared talking to George would mess with his concentration, so i stayed silent for most of the ride. We made it into central Stockholm in record time and had time to check out George’s bike shop before heading to my friend Eleanor’s place. We spent the rest of the day picking wild blueberries not far from Eleanor’s place and baking a blueberry crumble with them for desert after an awesome dinner.