The weather changed overnight becoming cloudy. However the temperature was still very good and the wind was blowing from east, which was also good as after stubbornly heading straight north, now my route changed towards north-west. Road 92, departing from Kaamanen, was the hilliest I have found so far, with slopes reaching a gradient of 10%. I have to say that more than on the legs, I felt it on my body temperature. It’s a sort of funny, but it feels like being a car without a proper cooling system. If you cycle with a moderate tailwind, you are actually getting no wind at all, since you move more or less at its speed. This means you go faster, but it also means you don’t get any breeze. And when you start climbing up-hill, there’s no way to cool down. Maybe someone should invent a big fan for bicycle or something like that.
Road 92 is the route to North Cape, which means it was almost empty except for the tourist buses. I recall at least German, Austrian and French buses, plus Italians, Spanish, Czech and Estonians travelling by car or motorcycle. Really few local cars, namely Finnish and Norwegian, and the reason is quite clear: there was no reasonable-sized village along the whole route. And a couple of cyclotourists, both of them going in the opposite direction.
In the first part of the route there was really little to see, the landscape is very hilly, but the surrounding forest doesn’t give you the chance to see much more. Approaching Norway, however, the first high hills-slash-mountains showed up, some of those with still some frozen snow on.
Getting closer to Karigasniemi I had the chance to see the beginning of the hiking route towards the Kevo Strict Nature Reserve, which hosts also a wonderful 40 km-long canyon. Something to do in the future years. This one reserved to cycling.
The journey ended in Karigasniemi, which is exactly at the Norwegian border, marked in this area by the river Teno. A wonderful downhill with 10% gradient let me break the speed record of this trip, reaching 61.5 km/h. And I didn’t have the courage of leaning down to speed up. Exciting anyway. Tonight I’ll stay in a camping area, as you need to shower and wash clothes every now and then 🙂 As a matter of fact, the main reason was bicycle maintenance: yesterday I noticed that the rear tire was quite worn: this came as a surprise, as it has really never happened to me that a bike tire was in need of replacement. Maybe I haven’t cycled so much in my whole life, at least with the same bike. It was good anyway to do this kind of maintenance; at least now I know how to remove a wheel in case some spike shows up. This time I just switched the front with the rear tire, and I guess I’ll be fine for another 500 km or so, but the next time a full replacement will be needed.
I'm afraid I have to stick with posts without pictures for some time, only plain GSM is available here (without even EDGE). As a matter of fact tomorrow I will cross the border towards Norway, so it might also be I won’t be able to post at all for some days, unless I find an Internet connection that doesn’t involve roaming with my mobile phone.
And of course, being at the border with Norway, the first rain of this trip just started…
Day 11 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Kaamanen – Karigasniemi
Trip distance: 71 km
Actual trip time: 3 h 45 m
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