Day 8-2. Hamburgsund to Strömstad.
Our first major stop of the day was to be in Tanumshede. By now the weather had closed in somewhat, grey overcast with drizzle on and off. Not quite ideal conditions, but at least we were not too hot. On entering Tanumshede we had a dither, first looking at some estate agent's windows idly before heading to the centre. Here we found a cake and coffee shop with some chairs and tables outside. We were actually a bit hungry and tired from the day before, so this was to be quite a major dither.
Coffee and cake eaten Damae went off to the ICA supermarket to get some supplies and by then it was a bit a late not to eat lunch. Damae went off in lunch hunting mood and came up trumps or rather Tanumshede came up trumps. In the rather non-descript looking basement of the supermarket complex was Källaren co-owned by one Gary from Preston. We were allowed to wheel our bikes out of the drizzle and park them in the basement in full view of the restaurant, before lining up with trays in hand. We chatted to Gary briefly, he was rather busy but it was fun to hear the accent I had become used to when living in the Manchester area all those years ago. The food turned out to be excellent and naturally there was a lunch menu. There was enough to keep a vegetarian happy, the potatoes in sauce were cooked to perfection, still a little crisp and steamed vegetables were similarly crisp and fresh. There was some salads and fresh bread. Hmmm we took a big plate full from the buffet and enjoyed some more cake and coffee to finish with.
Damae seemed to concuur "We had an excellent lunch for 7.50 in Tanumshed at a little cafe. Excellent. I am very glad. Magnus told us about the working lunches this is the 2nd time we have had one."
It seemed as though this was the high point of the day, and it was all going to go downhill (metaphorically of course) from here on in. My diary says of the afternoon:"Rest of journey pretty boring. Remarkably hard going because of hills and headwind. Clouded over later which made for pleasantly cool cycling. Signs a continuing bother." What I also failed to mention in my diary was that my gear problems were a continuing bother. I distinctly remember one rise where I really needed those two gears, but dropped into low-one instead. This was one of the few inclines where Damae came steaming past me at a higher speed. Oh and then there was the headwind.
On the up side we had some easy off-road sections which made the day interesting. Our bikes have reasonably wide 37-622 tyres, with rear tyres with knobbly bits on the outside, which cope quite well with harder packed sand and gravel surfaces. On the red sand track winding through meadows and woods, we found some time to enjoy the cycling again. Then it was back out onto a main road, which to be fair started with a nice downhill and was pretty quiet. However it had now been some time since we had seen or smelt the sea, I thought this was the coastal route?
Coming into Skee we once again had problems with the signs. We only found the way by looking at signs for cyclists traveling the other way and working out which way we had to go. Just to make things easier it started raining again so we had to don raincoats and put our hoods up. Coming out of Skee in a particularly heavy shower we joined the E6 for a short while before looping back on ourselves and crossing the road. There was no zebra crossing or bridge and the cars came off a bend at considerable speed. It was a bit like Russian Roulette, and required considerable patience to be able to cross safely. We could both have done without the torrential rain at that moment.