Relentless rain in Sweden
So the plan was to go wild camping in Sweden. Because of (the lack of) budget and because it seemed fun.
We borrowed two tents and stuffed our car and off we went, to Denmark, where we would spend the night at a camp site. It was a beautiful spot, tucked between cornfields and a cliff, with a small beach. Very early in the morning, or late at night if you will, it started raining. The inside and outside of the tents were wet when we packed up everything. Then we drove for five hours straight to Sweden, through one massive raincloud, so it seemed.
The world consisted of indefinable gray and white hues, only pierced through by small lights of the traffic around us. The caravans and campervans, the asphalt; through the splashing rainwater we could hardly distinguish anything. The steel bridge loomed up vaguely from the fog, even the seagulls battling the crosswinds seemed apparitions. The wet sky seamlessly merged into the anthracite water. Not a moment did the heavens cease their effusions.
The road to wilderness campsite Hätteboda Vildmarkscamping meanders through the forest: a thick, wavy carpet of moss makes for the scenography of a fairytale. We set up shop in the pouring rain at an incredibly appealing place right by the water of Lake Mien. Our boys don't let a little precipitation get in their way and enthusiastically explore the gorgeous grounds - there's miles of forest surrounding us and soon they discover a small bridge leading to a fire place across from our spot. Everything and everybody is soaked. We drive to a nearby town and buy a purple poncho, in which Arjan walks around the rest of the time as a real crisis-management Obiwan Kenobi. We eat soup and frankfurters with bread in the steaming car (cooked by Arjan in the downpour). When we retrieve in our tents, the elements truly erupt: the heavens needed to rid themselves of an entire ocean, so it seemed. Thor gets involved too and the sky treats us to a spectacle with no end. At one point, Arjan is digging trenches around the tents in the middle of the night, afraid we were gonna get washed into the lake. Soon after that, the youngest son falls asleep: my companion for the night. There we lay, on about 1 m2, curled up against each other, foreheads touching, his hand on my cheek, and I know: as long as you can keep each other warm, it doesn't matter if the rest of the world is swallowed by a deluge.
We managed to go through this for another day and night, cooped up with five people and a guitar, singing, playing games or reading, before surrendering. You sort of get used to your surroundings consisting of mud and being moist. When the weather is right, this is a beautiful, quiet place, where we could have gone swimming, hiking, fishing, taken a boatride, but now was not the time. We drove back to Denmark and got a whole new appreciation for 'dry' and 'space' (the kitchen at the campsite).
This experience is such a typical Jetpack adventure: we tried something within our means and this time we weren't lucky. According to established order this vacation would be labeled 'failed', but it doesn't feel that way at all to us. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; as long as you play, it's okay!