Day 6. Göteborg to Hällevikstrand.
Distance 112km Average 16.4km/hr Max 52.1km/hr time 6:48 hrs.
Our attempt at an early start was succesful and we left at a quarter past eight. The idea was to avoid the heat of the day. Although we'd experienced baking hot weather in Norway the warmth of the summer weather in Sweden was still just a little unexpected. We'd decided the night before that leaving early, and having longer breaks when it got hot would be better than slogging through the midday heat.
Leaving the campsite was fun, after the gentle downhill from the campsite to the main road we enjoyed plummeting downwards on the climb we had come up twice. The bikes fully laden this time seemed to accelerate even faster than the day before, and before we knew it we were heading across town. We had no need to rush on account of the early start, and had worked out how to get to the bridge to cross the Gota the day before. We'd cycled the NSCR in Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, so what could possibly go wrong in Sweden?
We quickly discovered the problem. The NSCR coming out of Göteborg was in 2007 a signposting nightmare. This was in contrast to the Ginstleden we had followed from Båstad to Göteborg which appeared to have been newly signposted that year and on which we had had very few problems.
Our navigation problems started immediately we had descended the bridge coming out of Göteborg, and were to put a damper on the morning's activites. To add to our grumpiness the weather was now distinctly overcast and rather cool. We'd just got used to several days of tropical sunshine and now we had to put more clothes on and work to keep warm. So having to stop and look to see where the route had gone did not help us in particular.
There were several variations of problems with signs on the way out of Göteborg, and we were to discover some other variations later on the route. The main problem this morning was vandalism of signs, which included the signs being painted just one colour, the top layer of the sign having been peeled off or the signs had been badly scratched.
There was evidence that the route maintainers (or someone) knew of the problems and had tried to solve things by using stickers. However in many cases the stickers had been wrapped around the poles supporting the original signs. This meant that you had to go round to the back of the signpost to see which way the arrow was pointing, before working out which way the arrow would be pointing if the sticker had been placed on a flat surface.
"Fortunately" with the aim of reducing weight, we'd posted a road map covering this area back to Utrecht the day before. Naively we thought that we were not going to need a guide for the first two days after Göteborg. Ho hum, another of those good ideas on a cycling holiday that come back to bite you in the bum (usually metaphorically although not always).