Day 19 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Oulu – Vaala

And today the journey restarted, this time heading from Oulu towards south-east. Road 22 gets the name of Tervan tie, the Tar Route, as it goes along the Oulujoki river, which has been intensively used for transporting tar to the port of Oulu, especially in the last part of the 19th century. As a matter of fact, this part of the journey will bring me towards the so-called Finnish-Lakeland, so there'll be a high chance to see a bunch of picture of lakes. The first stage has been to Vaala, located exactly where the Oulujoki river outflows from the Oulujärvi lake, and the scenery starts to change. Big thanks to Helena, who acted as a perfect host (and what a delicious dinner!) and as a guide around Vaala, where I had the chance to see also the Vaala Beach Volley tournament at the Sahanranta beach just in front of the wonderful scenery of the Oulujärvi lake.

Apart from a few quick showers, the day has been mostly dry with almost no wind, and best of all, many many kilometres of cycling paths. The Oulu area is gorgeous as you can cycle quietly avoiding noisy cars and cumbersome lorries. I manage to do 107 km without signs of fatigue. Well, with respect to Lapland, I have to admit that the roads in Northern Ostrobothnia are without a doubt much much flatter, which makes bikers' life much easier!

Only two drawbacks on today's route. The first one is related to the holes you can see at the side road in the picture. In the last years they started to mark the side of the roads by making small holes in the asphalt. This is very good during the winter when the snow on the road (and all over) makes problems to recognise the edge of the road. What they haven't taken into account is the fact that they have taken off the room for bike to drive outside the main lane. If you stay on the right of the holes, you go on such a small stripe of asphalt that you often end up on the gravel. If you stay on the left side, you just get closer to the impolite car drivers who don't care to overtake you keeping a safe distance. That is: those holes are useful in the winter, dangerous in the summer. I wonder now whether it was a good idea.

The second problem: mosquitoes. What? Have I already talked about them? Ok, this will be the last time. Along the road 22 there is a very nice wooden suspension bridge, the Ahmaskoski bridge and I wanted to take a picture of it. The only problem was a 100 metre walk in the woods. All of a sudden I felt like somebody was covering me with a soft blanket. Soon after I felt like a hundred needles were biting me. Unbelievable how fast I had to run, and how many red stripes I got on my legs by killing them! You can see the half-closed eyes in the photo depicting all my suffering for just a picture 🙂

Day 19 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Oulu – Vaala

Trip distance: 107 km
Actual trip time: 5 h 30 m

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