Warning for… Ostrich?!

Warning for… Ostrich?!

After going through a very special spring where you might have preferred to do like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand (or do they actually do that?). But now it’s finally time to get back on the road with The Pearl. The whole family has of course longed for it really much, since this thing of sitting still in the same place for longer periods is not something any one of us enjoy. We therefore got in the RV and set our sights on Arkösund, for the simple reason that we have never been there. A classic “Husbilsbus” thing to do, in other words. On the way to Arkösund we see a large sign along the road advertising for Vikbolandsstruts, the local ostrich farm. After about 2.4 seconds of consideration, the matter was clear, of course we’ll go there!

Said and done, and we start following the signs for the farm. It became a classic “a small road, which becomes a smaller road, which becomes an even smaller road”, but it was always good signposted. Finally we reach the small gravel road into the yard, and laugh when we see the “warning of ostrich” sign. A few hundred meters later we see the first bird, and a “wooooooooow” is heard through the entire RV. Say what you want, but it’s certainly mighty animals we’re talking about. The first ostrich we encounter, which we think is a male (or is it called a rooster?) is simply brutally large. They can grow to three meters high and weigh a bit over 150 kilos. This was of course not as big, but I can promise that it felt that way. Even I felt pretty small.

Around the farm there are also lots of activities that suit a family with children excellently. There is a little playground with swings, sandbox, seesaw, and to Noomie’s great delight a trampoline. There are also other small animals, including rabbits and chickens, to watch and to pet. For us adults, it was perhaps more interesting to look in the farm shop. There were everything from trinkets to meat and meat products for sale. When we arrived at the farm we were all pretty hungry (and this crazy family is NOT fun to deal with when we are fed), but it was easy to solve with an ostrich sausage in the small diner.

Chickens at Vikebolanets Ostrich farm

Stick your head in the sand like an ostrich… really?

Summed up, this was a super fun excursion, where we learned a lot about this bird, but above all got to see these mighty animals up close. We’ve seen them before when we’ve been to zoos, but never got this close to them. So we are talking about an animal that can grow to 3 meters long, can run at 80 kilometers per hour, and never ever put its head in the sand. However, we stood and wondered why they were pecking on the ground and on the concrete foundations. Apparently, it’s because they have to have pebbles in their stomachs in order to digest the food. What strange animals!

In the evening we landed at Arkösunds Camping (will be reviewed under campsites later), and we were all pretty tired. But of course we ended the day by cooking an ostrich steak with roast potatoes and café de Paris sauce. The result was awesome, one of the best motorhome dinners so far. Both Linnéa and I thought that the meat is more like beef than bird, and the taste was really great. There will clearly be more of this birdie on the menu going forward. 😉

Vikbolandsstruts, farm shop
Ostrich, sauce and potatoes
Think again, it might be even better

Think again, it might be even better

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want it to. Just in our slightly stormy lives, it is even quite rarely that things become exactly as it was originally planned. Those of you who follow the blog know that ever since last summer we planned for our first long trip with the RV this summer. The target was France, with Disneyland in Paris as the main target, and among other things the occasional bottle of Champagne purchased in Champagne as a detour.

Little could we have imagined then that most of Europe would go into lockdown, borders would be closed, trips abroad discouraged from the Foreign Ministry and so on. When these kinds of conditions change, there are really two options.

Either you crack, become bitter that things did not turn out as it was intended, and the whole thing becomes really heavy to carry.

Or… you rethink. Reschedule. Dream on, if you like. We have therefore decided that the long vacation will have to wait until February instead. Of course, there will be small trips within the country this summer, where depends on how the situation develops. But the long holidays will have to wait.

France in February, however, feels a bit…cold. If we’re going in the winter, we’re going to want sun and heat. We know that many RV entusiasts spend their winters in Spain, and also Portugal seems more interesting after reading about it at boihusbil. Even Croatia, many people talk about it being very nice, but what how is it in wintertime? This could certainly be a fantastic adventure, even if it didn’t turn out the way it was originally intended. Maybe it can become even better?

Clearly we have some research to do before we make any decisions, and of course we have to follow the progress around travel recommendations and so on. But one thing is certain, after this weekend’s little premiere, the longing for the roads and for new adventures is almost unbearable. Now it’s all about finding the adventures in the surrounding area for a while, because they can be found there also!

Start of the season 2020 – LPG-chaos och Castle ruins

Start of the season 2020 – LPG-chaos och Castle ruins

In a way, perhaps a truth with modification, as we actually spent New Year in the Pearl this year. But somehow it still feels like it was this weekend that the 2020 season really started.

The first real trip for this year may, due to the circumstances, become a trip around the east of Sweden. Hardly negative from our point of view, as this amazing landscape has much left for us to discover. What has perhaps struck us in recent days is that the eastern plain consists of quite a lot more than just plain. We have had the privilege of seeing much of S:t Anna archipelago, which is amazingly beautiful. In our opinion, just as much nature experience and views as last year’s trip along the west coast, with the difference that you are welcome here with an RV almost anywhere.

The night of today we spent free camped in a parking lot belonging to an outdoor area in a nature reserve called Svartdalen (“Black Valley in English). Free camping really has its very special charm, and it’s a fantastic way to find peace.

What may not be quite as amazing is when the LPG bottle decides to run out in the middle of the night, and you wake up with the fact that there are almost sub-zero temperatures in the RV. The mental strength and impaled psyche required to deduct the duvet (and the little heat that is left), crawl out of the high bed, grope for some clothes in the dark and head out into the sub-zero temperatures and change LPG bottles… it would probably make Gunde Svan* himself jealous. *Gunde Svan is a famous Swedish skier, known for his incredible winner-mindset. Anyway, it feels worth it once the car gets hot again, and you get awake from a brilliant spring sun dazzles you through the roof hatch. Or…at least Linnéa, who remained in bed, thought it was worth it 😉

During the day we took aim at St. Anna, but on the way we saw that along the road was signposted to a castle ruin, which felt like a fun excursion. So we strayed from the main road a little bit and ended up at Stegeborg castle ruin. Stegeborg has a history of a fortress built in the 900s, and since then countless royals have housed the castle. Today the castle is clearly a ruin, but a bit cool is that the high tower itself is still there. 120 SEK costs a visit for the whole family, and although it is not a full day trip, it is quite cozy to walk around the castle area. Especially for someone who’s interested in history. Pay is done smoothly with cards in the machine outside. We also read that during the summer season it is possible to rent some kind of audio guide for 50 SEK per person, where Herman Lindqvist, a well known Swedish historian, guides through the ruin. I think this is a fun addition and enhances the experience somewhat.

The surroundings of the castle are fantastic, as the archipelago makes you feel like you are staring into a painting wherever you look. In the harbour area that is right next door there are also RV-sites , and also a camping on the other side of the cable ferry. We think that we may well come here one night, put the RV on the RV-site, and go to the harbour restaurant. It is clear that the season has not started yet, as everything is still closed for the winter. However, it was fun to see that there were many RVs that were already on the road, just like us.

Furthermore, the trip took us to St. Anna, and we visited some of the islands. Almost everything was closed, so there was not so much of a reason to stop anywhere. Maybe we’ll get back a little later when camping and boating season has started for real. Instead, we set our sights on Valdemarsvik, where the ambition was to get hold of a new gas bottle to avoid the same adventure as the night before. However, this did not go so well, as those who usually sold LPG down in the port also had closed for the winter. We therefore decided to spend the night in Valdemarsvik harbour RV-sites, which we, although it was closed for the winter to a large extent here too, are very happy with. A review on the RV-site comes as a separate post, but we can reveal that it was unusually high standard for a RV-site location. In addition, the staff seems to have humor, which is always a plus.

Now we take evening, and recharge both Pärlans and our own batteries for new adventures tomorrow.

Quick changes in the world of exhibitions

Quick changes in the world of exhibitions

Sannerligen, ibland går det väldigt snabbt i mässornas värld. Det är nästan så att man kan tro att Autohallen och Skokloster Husbilar med samarbetspartners läste bloggen och konstaterade att “Äh, vi kör!”. Dagen efter vårt förra inlägg så tillkännagav man att de ändå kör en mässa, om än under annan ledning. Vi blev såklart jätteglada, och ska se va vi kan göra för att komma dit. Detta tillkännagav Husbil och Husvagn idag.

Vi är såklart jätteglada, och ska göra vad vi kan för att planera om så att vi kan åka. Allt kommer att annonseras på husbilsthlm.se , och för den som är snabb ska tydligen inträdet bli gratis. Så helt klart läge att hålla utskik. Framför allt så är vi i detta läget intresserade av “kringprodukter” till husbilen, som täcken, stödbenssystem, tillbehör med mera. Detta gör att vi kommer att söka oss till dessa leverantörer i första hand.

Vi har även som ambition att testa att göra ett första försök till att använda film på bloggen. Kanske filma en husbil vi fastnar för, köra någon intervju eller liknande. Men vi får se vad det blir av med den idén.

Är det någonting ni läsare vill att vi kollar in extra och dokumenterar/recenserar å era vägnar så kommentera bara inlägget så ska det säkert vara lösbart. Sålänge vi faktiskt lyckas komma iväg då såklart 😉 

Caravan Stockholm canceled

Caravan Stockholm canceled

Till helgen skulle vi åka hela familjen på en liten utflykt till huvudstaden, och besöka mässan Caravan Stockholm. Jag fick nu en stund över att titta igenom utställarna, läsa på om vad som kändes extra intressant och förbereda mässäventyret litegrann. Tyvärr möts jag då av den tråkiga nyheten att mässan är inställd. Det är ju lite halvroligt, då mässan ställdes in i november, att man kan vara så galet sen på bollen emellanåt.

Arrangören låter meddela att “Vi tycker det är väldigt tråkigt att behöva ställa in, men vi är måna om att våra mässor och event håller en hög nivå och ställer hellre in är att leverera något som inte uppnår förväntningarna och absolut bästa kvalitet.” Vad detta exakt innebär är ju ännu oklart, men man kan ju bara gissa att de inte lyckats attrahera utställare i tillräckligt god utsträckning. Spontant känns det lite märkligt, då camping i stort verkar ha fått ett rejält uppsving de senaste åren. 

Hur som helst, ingen husbilsmässa denna vecka heller. Vi hade ju även planer på att besöka Husbilslandets minimässa för några veckor sedan, men detta blev inte av då hela familjen blev sjuk istället. Vi har ju som bekant aldrig gjort någon affär med Husbilslandet, men däremot har vi varit där och tittat och fått ett kanontrevligt bemötande. Därav besöker vi gärna igen.

Hur som haver, nu blir det att gå i ide vad gäller mässor fram till Elmia Husvagn i september. Så länge inte någon av er har något tips på någon liknande aktivitet vi kan besöka?

Det viktigaste nu är ju trots allt att vägsaltet snart försvinner, och vi kan ut på äventyr i Pärlan igen. Vad vi längtar!