The best summer in our lives so far is absolutely the one in 2005 when we paddled around the coast of Sweden in separate sea kayaks. The first paddle was taken on the west coast at the Svinesund-bridge at the Norwegian-Swedish border. Evelynns dad Christer and sister Emmelia waved goodbye to two unsteady paddlers. Honestly, we probably looked quite uncertain and who would really believe that we 1560 miles and 49 days later would come ashore on the beach in the Torne River in Haparanda at the Swedish-Finnish border.

We began in June when it was still low season for leisure boats, which was comfortable for us. They usually go fast and can have difficulty to see two kayaks. We had agreed that we would hold a minimum of 32 miles paddling per day. It felt good to paddle in the morning because the water was usually calmer at that time. We set the alarm at four every morning. This time was not very hard for Klara who likes to get up early in the morning, but Evelynn had to fight in the beginning before her time rhythm was converted to four o’clock. We tried to get away at five and then paddle until nine when we rewarded ourselves with an energy bar. If we were lucky, we got one with chocolate flavor. At lunchtime, we had often done half of today's stage. Many ask us how many hours per day we paddled and it was really all between six and fourteen. The paddle rate depends on many factors. Obviously the weather, but also how your body feels and believe it or not, you can get lost paddling at sea.

 

We had planned some stations along the way where we filled up our food storage and got new maps. At these stations (at the homes of friends and family) we also took a few deserved days of rest. We rested at four places; Gothenburg, Blekinge, Norrtälje and Sundsvall. These locations were also as small milestones, which you have to have to make paddling easier. A part from these luxury places we spent the nights in tent on sleeping mats. Many people ask how you manage to sleep in a tent the whole summer, and to them we can promise that as deep as we slept that summer, we have never slept before.

We started each day with oatmeal porridge (about 2 liters) and if we were lucky we could even dig up some bread with cream cheese from the pack cover. Lunch and dinner consisted of super good freeze-dried meals. The variation was non-existent; there were only four different flavors to choose from, delicious. For lunch, we had two bags of freeze-dried and for dinner we shared one.


We never stopped being fascinated by how incredibly beautiful and diverse our elongated country is. Bohuslän with its barren archipelago or Halland and Skåne with its endless beaches. The dramatic cliffs and dark water of the High coast.


When we stepped ashore on the beach of the Torne River in Haparanda, it was with mixed feelings. Obviously we were incredibly proud and happy that we had made it. At the same time there was a great sense of emptiness. Something you had planned for so long, fantasized so much about and actually lived for in a period was suddenly over. During a few days when we were getting closer to Haparanda, Evelynn actually thought about continuing down around Finland. And it is perhaps not so strange. The idea to complete an in some ways demandles time to return to an everyday life again with more musts, may feel even more frightening than to paddle a few hundred miles more. It remained only to settle on the train south and the paddle adventure ended with us sharing a big cake without knowing any sense of fullnes.


During the expedition we met many wonderful people that with great joy and smiles helped and gave us tips and inspiration to continue.

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