Wanting to make the most of our last full day in the vicinity of the alpaca farm, we set off early and parked Scarlett (our hire car) in front of a derelict petrol station near the Silvköparen campsite, next to the one and only lamp post in the car park. Pay attention to that lamp post – it takes on a starring role in the not too distant future.

We’d walked a little of the Gruvdammsruden trail yesterday, and so decided to walk the remoter part of it today – past a lake called Olaf-Jons Damm, up to Notbo, and back down to Sommerhagen and the campsite via gravel roads and forest tracks. Despite being only 80 miles or so from Arlanda airport, we only saw one cyclist and two berry pickers, making the Sala region a surprisingly quiet and appealing walking destination.

We instructed Dervla (our sat nav) to navigate us one last time to our favourite swimming lake, and I excitedly reversed out of the car park, directly into the friggin lamp post. One lamp post in the whole car park. One car – ours. I’ve been driving for five years and have driven in South America and Romania – both places where the standard of driving made us fear for our lives, but never had a car accident. Until now. That the post was already inclined suggests that I wasn’t the first to have driven in to it. Still, after inspecting the damage, and realising that we’d have to leave early tomorrow to sort out the insurance paperwork at the airport, I swallowed my pride, recovered my shaken senses, and drove on to the lake.

Scarlett looking a little worse for wear
Scarlett looking a little worse for wear

Hällsjön felt a bit cooler today, and we couldn’t go skinny dipping as two other swimmers and their dogs turned up shortly after we arrived, but it served its purpose and washed away the stress of the nasty dent in Scarlett’s rear. Poor Scarlett. After heading back to the B&B for a nap we then turned into creatures of habit and returned to the Måns Ols restaurant for our final night’s dinner. We both chose starters of prawns in cream sauce served with caviar, followed by Swedish meatballs for me (when in Rome…) and four generous slices of breaded herring for Rich. Given the quality of the food and size of the portions, it’s no wonder that this seems to be the place to seen at in Sala. Bargain prices too – £35 for a meal for two including drinks and a lakeside setting! So ignore anyone who tells you that Sweden is expensive. The cities might well be, so look further afield.