On The Road – West Coast Edition

Saturday, June 24th
We departed in the morning but stopped just an hour later to refuel and stock up the bus’s fridge with items we were missing. Of course, we also made a stop at a TB hotel in Sköllersta to log a geocache. At 12:25, we met up with the family in Karlsborg for lunch. We stayed a bit longer than the others to log a few more geocaches before continuing our journey. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find some of them, so we returned to the bus a while later.

We were about to leave, but the bus wouldn’t start. With some phone assistance from Patricia’s parents and some troubleshooting, we had to accept that we were stranded. It was also Midsummer’s Day, and no garages were open. We called the rest of the family, who almost had arrived on the west coast, and told them we were stuck and would have to wait until a garage could help us. We made the best of it and had dinner at a Sibylla before heading back to the bus for a night in Öltappen’s parking lot.

Sunday, June 25th
We had trouble sleeping during the night due to local youths gathering with their cars and playing loud music right next to the bus. It didn’t quiet down until around 4:00, so we didn’t get much sleep. After breakfast, we packed everything up to be ready to go. We tried starting the bus again after checking the fuses, but it still wouldn’t work. We gave up and decided to make the most of it by exploring Karlsborg. Karlsborg’s fortress was particularly interesting as it had a museum and a lot of history. Thanks to the ALC caches, we could enjoy a nice tour of the area. When we returned to the bus, we met someone who had renovated a similar bus. He asked a few questions about our bus, and we explained that we were stranded and waiting until Monday when a garage could help us. We ended the day with a bath in the lake (Patricia did, not Patrik) and went to bed.

Monday, June 26th
There was just as much noise in the parking lot during the night as the night before. We woke up early to start calling garages at 7:00. First, we tried Different Cars, and they even came out to take a look at the engine. They tried the same methods as us, but it didn’t work. They suggested trying starterspray, which we attempted twice, but it didn’t help. In the end, we called a tow truck, which arrived at 12:00 and took us to a garage in Tibro. The garage found that the drive belt probably had broken, and there was a high risk that engine filters had also been damaged. In other words, traveling with the bus was over for now. We landed at the garage around lunchtime, so one of the employees drove us to the center of town to have lunch and do some geocaching. We were back home by midnight.

Tuesday, June 27th
We took a long lie-in this day and, after a late breakfast, we decided to clean out the Tardis car and prepare it for the trip. We packed everything again and spent the evening with the dogs and Patricia’s parents.

Wednesday, June 28th
We got up at 8:00, had breakfast, and after refreshing showers, we bid farewell to Patricia’s parents, this time in the regular car. We stopped in Linköping because Patrik needed to buy new shoes; his old ones broke when we were walking around Karlsborg. We had lunch at IKEA and bought a soap dispenser before continuing our drive. We made a stop in Vadstena to see the monastery and then headed straight to Varberg, where the rest of the family was staying in a cottage. We stayed with them for two nights since our original accommodation wouldn’t be available until Friday.

Thursday, June 29th
Today we visited Varberg’s fortress with Patrik’s niece to learn more about the area. When we returned to the cottage, it was time for a seafood feast with shrimp, fish, and crayfish. In the afternoon, we split up, and Patrik went on a thrift store tour with his brother-in-law, while Patricia took a walk by the beach. In the evening, we took a walk along Apelviken’s beach to find some geocaches. When we got back, we had chips before calling it a night.

Friday, June 30th
We returned to Varberg’s fortress to find more geocaches. Our goal was to log as many types as possible that day. We managed to log Virtual, ALC, Mystery, Traditional, and Earth caches. We ended the day with a pizza feast in the cottage before preparing to head to the Motel in Gällared. We also decided to find a letterbox near the cottage, which allowed us to log a total of 6 cache types that day. In Gällared, we stayed at the “Alkoven,” a mix between a motel and a hotel. The owner was so happy that we booked five nights that she offered us breakfast the next day. When she found out about the bus breaking down, she also helped us with local sights. It was a late night, but we could sleep in the next day.

Saturday, July 1st Today
We headed to Ullared to refuel the car and then continue to Falkenberg to explore the area and visit a few churches. Along the way, we stopped at a second-hand store, where Patrik found some nice items. We had lunch at Espresso House in Falkenberg and later began our journey back to the motel, stopping at various churches on the way. In total, we visited 5 churches and found 3 geocaches. In the evening, we had dinner at the motel and then spent the rest of the evening in the common room.

Sunday, July 2nd
We had a lie-in this morning, and then it was time to head to Ullared and the Ge-Kås store. There were a lot of people at the store when we arrived, so we only stayed for a few hours before joining the rest of the family for lunch and roasting marshmallows. At 5:00 PM, we returned to the store, partly to see it when it was less crowded and partly because we were hungry again. Back at the motel, we were so tired that we ended up in bed with chips before falling asleep.

Monday, July 3rd
We set off on a small road trip along the back roads to visit what Halland calls an EKO-museum, or an outdoor museum. There wasn’t much to see as we only found one church to photograph. One of the small roads was closed, so we had no choice but to turn back. We went back to the family for lunch together. Later, we returned to the store for a short tour of the sections we had missed and had a final dinner at the restaurant before heading home, tired and craving candy.

Tuesday, July 4th
Today we went to Sumpafallen, a nature reserve we couldn’t explore a week earlier due to heavy rain. The hike was about 3 km long, but we walked further because Patricia wanted to take photos. Afterward, we returned to the family for a pizza party with pizzas from a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we went back to Falkenberg to visit a photo museum with old cameras and curiosities from the past. We had a private tour from one of the hosts. We visited another second-hand store before returning to the motel to pack our bags and prepare for the journey home.

Wednesday, July 5th
It was time to head home. We left at 9:00 and decided to make some stops along the way to photograph churches. We stopped in Hjo for lunch and logged a few geocaches. We continued but made two stops to photograph churches and log more geocaches. Our last stop was in Askersund to refuel. Time was running short, so we decided to take the direct route home to the dogs. We took it easy as we drove on the back roads and arrived back with the dogs around 22:00.

Sray calm and keep geocaching until we meet again on the next trip.