Pushing North Towards Skelleftea…
Michael, the guy who hosted me in Robertsfors warned me about the bad weather from the forecast news. He said that the weather will turn bad starting from noon. I then got on my bicycle and gave my usual answer, “Don’t worry, I’ll push slowly”. After saying goodbye to each other, I then continued pedalling north. Again I had another bad start, I got lost again. I went to some really small road and the snow was getting thicker. I realized something was wrong and found out that I took the wrong road. So I had to turn back a few kilometres before I found the right road towards Skelleftea. The first few kilometres was good. I was cycling comfortably and found my rhythm. But only after a while, the wind started to blow strongly from the north and I had to fight the strong wind head on.
My speed went slower and slower, I realized I was riding as slow as when I was climbing uphill in the Himalayas. I don’t have any bicycle odometer now anymore, but Im guessing I was riding at some 5km/hour only. The strong headwind seems endless. Snow was flying all over me and the cold got all the way into my bones even though thick clothes covered all over my skin. The sun was shining strong, there were no clouds covering the blue sky. The temperature read at -12c but it felt much colder than that due to the strong wind. Again I got lost, I went to some small road which was a much longer route. The sun was finally getting further away into the horizon and I had to find a place to camp. I then ended up pitching my tent in the woods and will wait for the sun to rise again before continuing my journey.
I felt really cold at nearly -20c in the woods, so I rushed with my dinner and quickly got into my sleeping bag. In the cold, I had to finish my dinner as quick as I can. Even after 3 minutes, the food will start to get cold. And after 5 minutes, the food feels like frozen! I bought some drinks but it was impossible to drink any of them. Everything was frozen. The only way I can do is to heat some snow into water and make a hot tea. Batteries ran out fast too. I had to change batteries every few days for my headlamp and charged my phone and laptop as often as possible. As usual whenever I get into my warm sleeping bag, it only took a few minutes before I completely shut down for the whole night. Getting out from my sleeping bag the next morning is one thing I hate the most. It was really freezing, but at least the sun was shining, the sky was really blue and the birds were singing! After a quick breakfast, I packed everything and keep pushing north towards Skelleftea.
It was only some 50km to Skelleftea and there was less wind on my last day towards Skelleftea. But I realized the road started to get hilly from here. I was still tired after yesterday’s battle with the snowstorm and my body used a lot of energy sleeping in the cold. It took me some 5 solid hours of cycling to cover the last 50km, meaning I rode as slow as 50km/hour. It was quite okay, some -10c with a strong sun, I was sweating as usual riding the hilly road. I felt really thirsty and I consumed all my hot tea for only the first 20km of riding. I bought a few drinks and it was all frozen solid, impossible to drink any of them. I still had some 30km to go and felt really thirsty and had no other choice, so I took my blade, use it as a spoon and consumed all the ice hehe. It was funny and embarrassing, to stand at the road side in the middle of winter in northern Sweden and feasting all the ice from the frozen drink. I really look like a desperate man hehe. Somehow the ice tasted sooo good and I just couldn’t stop eating em all! I paused whenever cars passed by so that I won’t look weird to them hehe. I kept eating the ice until I felt some kind of pain from inside my body. I then stopped eating them, afraid that it will seriously harm my body. Up here, if I get sick, Ill be in big trouble! I then kept pushing for another few kilometres towards Skelleftea, and felt great that the last 10 kilometers to Skelleftea was going downhill. When I saw Skelleftea from far, I smiled knowing that I can feast some food and drink proper water! I finally can rest my legs, letting the gravity to push me towards Skelleftea…
Aku doakan semuanya OK bro… been few times to Skelleftea myself… nice ppl and nice city.!
Subhanallah, menakjubkan…sentiasa menunggu2 post drp En Zahariz. Terima kasih atas perkongsian yg amat berharaga. Moga selamat semuanya.
Glad to read that you’re on your way North! I’m deeply impressed by the way you’re slowly but surely making your way further into the North… All the best – take care!
Warm regards, Leena, Härnösand.
It’s really amazing view…
nice photo :)
salam… cerita kehidupan yg menakjubkan. semoga saudara Zahariz dilindungi dan dipermudahkan Allah SWT senantiasa di sepanjang pengembaraan
salam. dah sampai mana ni kawan? lama tak follow up agak sibuk dgn kerja.
i like the picture under the bright stars,,,