Day 12 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Karigasniemi – Somewhere in Norway

The idea of having a stage of the tour abroad is not new. Every now and then both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia have some legs in neighbouring countries. So, potentially, it was a good idea to cross Norway for a 150 km  trip and get back to Finnish Lapland on the west side. The road looked like a perfect arc to start finally to move towards south.

Potentially it was a good idea. Practically it has been a disaster. At least up to now. I have to say that if such a day had happened at the beginning of my tour, I wouldn't have been as enthusiastic as I have been until now and hopefully in the future.

As I mentioned on my yesterday's post, it started to rain just when I was writing it. The first rain of this tour. And it hasn't stopped since then. Almost never. As a matter of fact during the night it rained so strong that some water started to leak inside the tent and I had to rearrange my stuff and myself in order not to get wetter than it was.

Sleeping was also hard, as the rain made really a lot of noise. And in the morning things didn't change, so I decided to stay in bed, well, in the sleeping bag, until 11, when it seemed all over. I then started to pack things and move everything in the kitchen of Karigasniemi camping, and try to dry out the tent itself. I have to say it was quite fast to dry, and so it had to be since it started raining again soon after I moved the tent in the kitchen.

Then I started thinking whether to leave or not. Karigasniemi is not that big, and with such weather it didn't look like I could hang around that much, so I decided to move on.

Everything on the bike, all secured with water-proof bags, and there we go, just a few metres and the border was crossed. Here's Norway.

And here's the rain, of course. You know, those little tiny drops of rain that slowly fall down from the sky. You think it's nothing until you realise you are soaking wet. Well, something similar today (and now). Being well equipped I didn't care that much even because, hey, it's the end of June, it'll be a matter of few hours and it'll stop.

Nothing, getting even worse. After 18 km I got to Kaarasjoki, well, Karasjok in Norwegian, and thinking about how Norway is expensive and how low is the Euro, I decided to eat my own stuff outside the bus station. With 8 degrees. Fingers frozen. Once again I knew that if I get on the bike it'll be warmer. So I did. And it worked for everything except the hands. Fortunately I had with me also cross-country skiing gloves, and those worked well.

Passing by the camping area of Karasjok I had a fast thought: what if I stop there? No way, I did just 20 km, I have to go a bit further. Moreover, with this temperature there won't be sweating at all, and legs work really well. It's just this annoying rain.

And the wind. When you think that things will get better, sometimes it's also good to think that they can even go worse. In the morning I was listening to the news: "Lapissa lounaistuulta", "very well!," I said, and then forgot it. Later on, once the wind started blowing and throwing rain just in front of me, I recalled: "Lounaistuuli? South-west wind? It's just where I'm heading to!". The arc has a round shape, you change the direction, sometimes the wind doesn't.

And I decided to fight. Fighting, shouting and swearing, I just realised that there was only forest surrounding me, and the first village 50 km away. After realising that, I started shouting a bit less, and looked for a place where to camp.

And here I am, hidden in the woods close to the Kárášjohka or the Iešjohka river (who knows exactly, there's nothing around here anyway), writing this post that will appear in a few days once I get back in Finland, hopefully thinking a little bit more positive. Now, as the rain falls down, I start wondering what I am going to do tomorrow morning if the sky looks still like a single-tone shadow of gray as it is now. Well, tomorrow will be another day. Hopefully.

Day 12 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Karigasniemi – Somewhere in the Norwegian forest between Karasjok and Jergol

Trip distance: 50 km
Actual trip time: 3 h 15 m

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