On Wednesday, we got off to a late start (for various reasons), and then we drove to the lookout tower where we had ended our excursions yesterday, to start with the 'Red Route'. Analogous to the Yellow Route we did before, you simply have to follow the signposts along a hiking route, with two 'mini caches' along the way that give you the coordinate for the final cache. Again, we were not dissapointed: the rolling hills along the coast, the forests and the meadows made for a lovely trek.
When we found the cache, the route actually continued on, but we could take a shortcut back to the car. We briefly contemplated this, because it would mean we wouldn't have to climb down to the beach and then back up again (which we experienced the day before, and it was pretty tiring -- and we had already walked quite a bit!). But we decided to go for it anyway: it was still early, and there was no hurry. Walking along the beach was lovely, but a bit tiring: the stones and pebbles on the beach kept shifting and the going was slow. And then climbing back up to the lookout tower: we slowed down considerably there!
Back at the car, we decided to fetch another cache that was relatively close by: near a cliff at the coast. We drove to the proposed parking spot, and then walked along a meadow to the right spot. It was a bit of a senseless exercise: the path to the spot was not inspiring, and the dense bushes at the spot prevented us from getting the promised view of the sea...
Then we drove to Norby, parked and had an ice cream at the 'Underground' cafe, which is situated above ground...
We had kept a close eye on the weather forecasts all week. There is a single cache at the very end of a 5km long, narrow foreland where a fort had been during the Danish-English wars. It's a pretty spot with a great view of the bay, but it's not very attractive to do when it's raining and very windy. Friday it would rain, but Thursday promised to be dry with relatively low winds. So Thursday, we decided to set out for that cache. 10 kilometers is further than we normally walk, but we decided to set out and see how far we would get!
We parked the car at the start, and set out. The first half of the route is over pebble beaches -- slow and tough going. But after some time, we got to smaller 'islands' that had sand and vegetation, like walking across the heath. Much more comfortable. We climbed the tall hill on the next-to-last island, and had lunch with a magnificent view of the bay and Langore in particular. However, when we descended, it started raining -- contrary to what was promised! We were wearing our jackets, so it wasn't a disaster, but it was a bit of a downer. Afterwards, the sun came out in full force again, and we dried out pretty nicely.
When we arrived at the site of the fort (with the earthen walls still clearly visible), we saw another group sitting down-wind, drying out in the sun. From the looks of their clothing, they had come less prepared than us, but they left before we could round the whole fort.
We did find the cache (imagine going through all that trouble and not being able to log!), had a bit of a break and then set out back again. When we got back to the car, we were quite tired -- but we had made it!
We drove back past some villages on the south part of the island that we hadn't seen yet, and spent the rest of the day resting at the cottage.
We had decided to spend the Friday doing some shopping, driving around and cleaning the cottage before leaving on Saturday. (In the vacation season, the cottages can only be rented from Saturday to Saturday.) The forecasts promised rain all day, but luckily it didn't rain all day... When we set out, we went to a jewelry shop that paultje had recommended to us. We bought lovely bright amber earrings for klik there. The proprietess also spoke remarkably good English and German, I thought.
From there, we drove leisurely to the very southern tip of the island, to the lighthouse there. We parked the car and took a path to the beach, to find a cache that was hidden there. But on the way down, we spotted an ammo box standing by a tree stump. From the sticker on the side, it was clear it was a geocache -- but there should not be one at that location! We inspected the log-book (and of course signed it!) and made note of names and a website that were mentioned -- perhaps we could track the owner of the geocache and tell him what happened with his cache.
The logbook contained lots of entries from people who had found the cache without a GPS receiver: not hard, because it was plainly visible from the path! But most of these people seemed to be 'muggles' (that is: non-players). They had found the box, read the cache note, decided to 'participate' by signing the log and then leave the box where it was. That is actually quite re-assuring when you think about it, because you hear a lot of stories of muggles destroying caches.
We hid the box close by, but in a slightly less conspicuous spot, and made a note of the location so that we could let the owner of the cache know.
We continued down to the beach, found the cache and then decided against continuing to the second one. Instead we went back up again and had tea with rhubarb. At first I thought it was a rhubarb pie that I was ordering, but it turned out to be jam jars, filled with cream, cookie crumbles and rhubarb, with whipped cream on top. Delicious, and the tiny store had a lovely atmosphere, with a record player playing Cornelis Vreeswijk. There was also a sign advertising a 'living jukebox': you could pay 5 kronur (2/3 euros) to have Kalle sing a song for you! (We didn't try that out, though...)
From there, we drove back to the cottage after stopping at the supermarket one last time. We cleaned the cottage for a bit (I'm guessing it was cleaner when we left than when we arrived) and started packing...
We also managed to identify the cache that we found and sent a message to the owner. Haven't heard back from him, logged anyway.
The boat at 10:45 had been completely booked full: you have to leave the cottages at 10:00, so that time slot is the most convenient one. But that also means that you'd be at the other side at 11:45 -- and then it's about 7 hours (if you drive non-stop!) home, so that's not a very attractive option for us. So we booked the early boat for 08:15, which meant we had to get up early.
We loaded up our stuff in the car, did the last things and set off. The harbour is only a few hundred meters from the cottage, but we had to drive to the main village to drop off the keys and back again -- but that takes only five minutes, so it wasn't all bad. We had breakfast on the boat, and then drove a long, long time. There was lots of vacation traffic on the road, which resulted in some severe traffic jams! We were quite happy when we got home...
We had a really good time on Samso. The scenery is beautiful, and the people we interacted with were friendly. Lots of good walks to be had. If you like that sort of thing, I recommend it!