Långe Erik

3-day motorcycle adventure to Öland

The Alvar (almost)

The south cape was the last destination before heading back to the mainland. We had planned to cross the “Store Alvar”, the large limestone terrace, with its distinct vegetation. Due to the high pH value of limestone, species otherwise only found at East European steppes, grows on the alvar.

The limestone, which makes up the Store Alvaret was deposited 500 million years ago. At that time, it was located close to equator, and is rich on fossils of orthoceras, and trilobites.

I had seen on OpenStreetMap that a road went diagonally across the Store Alvar, and we had planned to ride that. When we got to the road, it turned out to be a bicycle path only. It had steel gates, and clear signs so we decided not to take that road.

Road named “Kastlösa Alvargata” is for bicycles and hikers only.

But there a more was across the Stora Alvar. To my knowledge, this one though is the only gravel. We went a bit further north, ended up backtracking quite a bit.

Crossing the Store Alvaret was in a way a disappointment. I didn’t find any place that really showed the distinct features of the limestone terrace. Normally, you don’t see the bedrock exposed unless you’re in a mountainous area, so I wanted to somehow get a picture of that. But every time I passed a place, I was way past it before I could stop. Could I turn around? I guess, but then again, I couldn’t find the right light for a photo. Admitted, it was getting late, and I was getting tired. We had had a long day of riding and were getting tired to the point were we really just wanted to have a shower, a beer and some food. I think that is why I didn’t see the opportunities which I’m sure was there to be found, had I made a little effort.

Some places on the Store Alvar, there is no soil mantle.

We kept on riding, crossing the bridge back to the mainland, and back to Kalmar, where we wanted to stay for the night and ride the last leg tomorrow. Passing the bridge is as easy as riding a normal road. It has two lanes in each direction, no toll gates or anything. Just ride. It’s a flat bridge with a single higher raised section that allow smaller boats to pass underneath.

But it was a nice ride allowing one to contemplate the last couple of days. Lot’s of great experiences, nothing unexpected, nothing out of the ordinary, except that one time riding off road across the landowner’s backyard in the search for the Stone Coast Road. All of the sudden, riding in first gear, the engine stopped. As if it was cut off. It never happened again, and I have had no problems starting it, ever. I don’t know if it is possible for the side stand to bump down when hitting a deep rut, but it kind of had the sensation as if have your motorcycle in gear and you push down the side stand, making the engine cut off.

Slottshotellet is a nice 3-star hotel with private parking (extra charge)

We found a very nice hotel, affordable, very close to the castle we had visited the day before. The rooms were nice, and I am almost certain that the room I had, had been occupied by a female wedding guest the night before due to the noticeable smell of perfume in the room. It was a nice smell though, so complaints from me.

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