Hello again, I hope you folks had a nice interlude, did you get up to anything? I took a break that was almost too long - at times I was wracked by guilt, others I feared I could never return to my old life. But now I'm home I notice how clean all my filters are, there's not a squeak or a rub in the machinery and my brain feels quite calm . . . so that's nice.Denmark is a wonderful place to cycle: the scenery is so beautiful, the routes are well set out and the roads are impossibly quiet.But, I have to say, cycling anywhere is a beautiful thing - to feel free and be under your own steam. Things react to you differently on a bike, you are quiet and quick so creatures that would normally have disappeared at the sound of your footsteps are still loitering when you pass them, birds fly close to you and, at one point, horses ran alongside us in a field - what an incredible feeling.Such a good thing about Denmark is the free camping and shelters, we stayed in a few of these log-cabin/bus-stop/caves. This particular one was near an educational centre and there were some canoes lying about . . .. . . so we had a quick go - we paddled up stream then let the current carry us back. It was so relaxing I feared I might leave a mess in the hull.(A mushroom inspired by Lucy Rie.)We swam a lot, in fjords and in the sea. And in this barmy red lake.At this beach the sea was so cold it felt glacial - we had to dunk and run. A man threw a stick in for his dog and the dog just stood on the edge looking at him like 'what the hell are you doing?'. We also saw a seal lying on the sand, it flob-a-dobbed back into the sea a we approached (I was rather hoping it would roll over so I could scratch it's tummy but heck). I love seals.(A Viking burial ground)We also went walkabout in the desert, can you believe it? Jutland is in a constant state of being fertilised and made suitable for farming; apart from the Rabjerg Mile, which is an enormous mobile dune that they is just left to do it's thing. It chooses to just slowly blow around. Everywhere we went in Denmark there seemed to be joggers, Danes love to jog, in groups or by themselves and from a very young age it would seem. And as we looked down over this barmy desert scene there was a Dane jogging across it! Jeez!!
(I made a sand angel in the side of a dune that just ended up looking like an area of disturbed sand with a surprisingly large and detailed print of my bum in the middle)A two night stop in Skagen, a very traditional arty kind of place - where you might sit and sketch at dusk.And a trip to the fishing museum which I adored! It had set-ups of fishermen's houses from different eras. I loved the boat sheds.And this beautiful pestle and mortar, you weren't meant to touch it . . . but I did, and I wasn't even sorry about it.Beautiful box beds, I've made a note for my future house.Right at the top of Jutland we saw the waves grapple as two seas met and trod on tiny bleached out shells. I also got my shorts wet just standing in the sea gazing at two seals, who gazed right backA city interlude, we stayed with my cousin and quite wore ourselves out, more so than any days cycling. We spent five hours wandering around Louisiana, then went on a boat tour of Copenhagen and a wander down Pusher Street in Christiania. I might do more of Copenhagen one day but we couldn't really afford much this time- so it was back to free camping, sea swimming and shopping at Netto.The best camping place ever, we swam off this jetty twice in the day then had an impromptu skinny dip after the sun went down.(A dirty great oak)One night this very kind gent called Paul (on the left) let us camp in his garden, he didn't speak much English and we didn't speak any Danish but he was most kind - digging us potatoes, picking us tomatoes, catching us fish and leaving his door open for us. Blimey!He had an amazing dog called Bella who did tricks to make all other dogs look rubbish. Paul picked up a piece of gravel and showed it to us, it was red and flat, then he threw it back onto the drive a way off, the dog didn't react at all, then he whistled and she sprang up and sniffed all around until she found it. We didn't hold back on the eating, you don't have to - this is a good thing about cycling - another good thing is that you are in a foreign country so even the sickly, pale, economy cakes are exciting and new. Our favourite was Dancake.As we went about we read a book together, which is such a nice thing to do. Jack might read to me whilst I cooked or we'd just take it in turns to read to each other in bed. We chose Middlemarch and as we cycled around the characters came with us, we'd talk about them whilst we cycled or do impressions. We haven't finished it yet though, so we'll see how that little idyll survives the rigours of everyday life. We also sing a bit, just shouting songs in the middle of forests. It's also funny because weird songs pop into your head. So I might be cycling along and hear at little sound that gets louder and louder until Jack overtakes me singing Two Become One at the top of his lungs.I'm sure there's much more to say but I'm not going to say it. Apart from that you should go on a bike tour if you've ever felt the slightest urge - not to keep fit or to achieve a certain amount of miles but just to be free and flexible, and not ever bored.