On the evening of August 10th we managed to find a nice little spot to free camp in the car parking for Östra Sand badplats. Not the most picturesque of locations but it was only a five minute walk to the beach and there was plenty of flat ground for level camping. The car park is actually right on the edge of an old military live firing range. There are signs about possible old ordnance in the area, including the beach! A little alarming, but no one else seemed to care or take any notice of the warnings! We kicked off the morning with coffee from our trusty percolator and then went for a run along the beach, which was already getting busy with beach goers by 10am.
After some breakfast we spent a few hours at the beach and took a swim, leaving with all limbs intact! By the middle of the afternoon we made our way into Åhus to pick up supplies including water from Ingo, food from Willy:s and alcohol from Systembolaget. We picked up a couple of pizzas for an early dinner from Åhus Pizzeria, which satisfied our hunger but not our need for a decent gourmet pizza.
We moved down south along the coast in search of a place to camp on or near the huge beach that runs the breadth of Hanö Bay. We managed to find a spot in a car park and enjoyed our pizzas on the beach whilst coming up with beach games for the following day.
The following day we moved a little further south, picking up more supplies from ICA in Brösarp along the way and finding a new spot to camp in a beach parking lot, just outside of Ravlunda. The small cliffs here are a popular launch pad for para-gliders and if the winds are right you may be lucky enough to see them taking off! We spent the entire day on the beach soaking up the sun, inhaling Jamie’s delicious signature sandwiches and playing drinking versions of beery beach baseball and beach cricket 🙂
The following morning we were up around 10am and walked around the area. We checked out the nearby Haväng dolmen, a 5000 year old burial chamber that had been discovered in the early 19th century during a large storm that blew away the sand that had covered it for millennia.
We made our way down to the port of Simrishamn to top up on water at the local marina, cook up some breakfast of potato buns, eggs, tomatos and avocado and grab a refreshing ice latte from one of the local wagons. We also took the chance to eyeball some of the gorgeous wooden boats that were docked there!
By early afternoon we were on the road again to Stenhuvuds nationalpark for a quick day hike. We began on the red trail which took us through an old oak forest and to the north summit, 97 meters above sea level and took in the beautiful view overlooking the coastline and the beach. From there we continued north and joined the yellow trail which took us past the alder marsh to the northern entrance of the park, then south back through the oak forest and along the rocky coastline and sandy beach. We took a swim at the beach and rested for a little while before making our way back to Myrtle.
We drove a little further south to find yet another suitable spot to set up home for the night, in a small parking area just outside of the Sandby Backar nature reserve. That evening was relatively warm and there was not a cloud in the sky, so we took the opportunity to stay up late and keep a look our for passing satellites and shooting stars. In the space of ninety minutes we observed 41 shooting stars, including one big one that burst into a bright blue colour and left a long trail behind it. Amazing what you can see when you pay a little attention to the world above your head!
The following morning we started off with a coffee and a 5km run along the beach, collecting a few bird feathers along the way. Afterwards we had a quick breakfast followed by some of the usual chores (sweeping the van, drying clothes etc) and then made our way towards Ystad. We had heard some good things about Ystad but driving in along the coastline we came into the ferryport with large passenger and vehicle ferries that run between Germany and Denmark. We managed to find a parking spot near the harbour and started walking in the direction of medieval town center. Within a few minutes of walking toward the town center we immediately came to realise why it has such a good reputation. There are also various buildings of surviving medieval architecture, completely unique to what we have seen anywhere else in Sweden. If you are a fan of the crime series Wallander, then you may recognise parts of the town since the series was filmed here!
We started off with an absolutely delicious lunch of at restaurant Bröderna M. We satisfied our craving of a gourmet pizza and accompanied it with tiger prawns in a tomato and chilli sauce and blue mussels in a white wine sauce.
After lunch Jamie went and did some shopping around town, Tom managed to avoid such activities and found a cafe to work on the blog instead 😀
That evening we made our way back to our previous spot near Ravlunda for the night. We saw an amazing sunset over the nearby meadows just as a fog started to settle in for the night. The following morning we woke up early for the sunrise only to find that the fog was still very much present and much heavier than the night before! We ventured to the beach regardless of the fog and sat on an old concrete bunker. The fog never lifted in time for us to see the sunrise, but it did provide a very eerie scene and something we have never experienced before. We felt like we were smack bang in the middle of a scene from Shutter Island!
The fog persisting we decided to drive a little further north up the coast to see if we could find a part of the beach where it was not so thick, but no such luck! We settled for a section of the beach near Ynsjö and after a couple of hours the fog had cleared and we were transported out of the eerie scenes and back to clear skies, warm sand and blue water. We spent the afternoon at the beach and then bid farewell to the lovely region of Skåne, making our way back north towards the town of Växjö 🙂