August 7 – After 17 hours of spotting bears, we finally returned to our camp around 9.00 in the morning. We just missed the rest of the group, we drove by the river and we saw them just climbing in their canoes, a canoe trip in duo teams. Our group had some time to rest till 15.00. That was also the time when the other groups were done with their activity. They didn’t had as much luck as we did during the canoe trip because it was raining the whole day.
Dinner was at 17.00 and the group was almost complete. The last group (Lodjur/Lynx) left earlier for the bear safari, good luck to them! They were a bit unlucky because the next day the camping adventure would be over and everything had to be cleaned.
Anyway, in the evening the björn (bear) group went beaver spotting, Varg (wolf) group had music entertainment and our group was going for a trip with a Tornparn.
A Torparn is actually a man that rides a horse with a kind-of-cabin behind it, you know like in medieval times. It was an old man, telling stories about how it was some years ago, about the first train in the neighborhood.
He didn’t speak English but our teammate Anna-Sara was Swedish so she translated everything.
The man told us about politics and about the wolves in the north, that the wolves are terrorizing the farmers and that the farmers are aloud to shoot them. This is a political issue in Sweden. The government and most of the people in the south don’t want wolves, bears etc. to be killed by farmers because they are worried that some species will be in danger. But the man from the north said that the people in the south didn’t know where they were talking about. They live in bigger cities and don’t know how it is, that he’s living from his herd and his farm. Kind of a Swedish discussion between north and south, young and old.
We even went on the ‘big road’, but there was no car to see. It was so weird for some of us. Some highways in Sweden are just 2 roads, 1 for each way! And almost no cars… at least in the middle of Sweden. Not sure about the south, it’s more crowded down there. Another thing that was quite remarkable was the horse of the Torparn. It listened so good. Every time the man said ‘Hej da’ the horse started to walk. Hej da means bye in Swedish, by the way.
The horse was obviously smart and listened well to the man. They were buddies since the horse was young. He told us nice stories, not so nice stories (like he had cancer) and old Swedish memories. Inspiring man, especially because he is so old and still does a lot around his farm.
The end of the trip was near, but we stopped somewhere for some typical Swedish food. It actually looked like a Dutch thing, we call it: wentelteefjes. It’s bread dipped in eggs, milk, baked and sprayed with sugar on top. His wife was the one who made it all, and we also got some tea.
Suddenly, a man appeared on the top of the hill. He started to make music from a horn, can’t remember the animal but something like a male goat. He showed us later his instrument and he made it all himself.
How nice was that!