Day 26 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Joensuu – Valamo Monastery

Watch the route up to day 18
Watch the route from day 19 to 26

Yesterday I had a stroll around Joensuu, which was very very full of people for the Ilosaarirock  Festival. I really felt I was the only one not going to it! I've enjoyed the city anyway, especially as I was given the hint to eat some karjalanpiirakka with munavoi at the Marttakahvila café in the main square. They were delicious.

This morning I woke up with no hurry, as the rest of the people in the house did go to the festival, so they got back home really late. Well, somebody didn't get home at all, just later in the morning 🙂

Today's plan was however delayed by an hour, as I forgot my Ordlieb foldable water bucket at Anna's, so I had to go back (I really need that bucket, and it's not that cheap). I managed anyway to do the planned detour towards Sotkuma and Viinijärvi, since the road was quiet and appropriate for cycling. As a matter of fact it was the first time after day 1 that I met a cyclist with whom I did a part of the journey together. In Lapland I did meet several cyclists, although all of them going in the opposite direction, south of Oulu really a few. That's a pity as these roads are wonderful!

Viinijärvi is widely known in Finland for its pesäpallo team, and as a matter of fact they were just playing when I got there, so I decided to join the crowd of spectators for some time! I then went to visit the local Orthodox church, which was being repainted, but looked really beautiful anyway. In Karelia, and generally in eastern Finland, the Orthodox Church has a significant number of believers, due to the influence from the east in the last centuries. That's maybe the most peculiar cultural difference between this area and the rest of Finland.

I then continued my journey (taking the risk of cycling on some gravel roads, but it feels so good sometimes not to have so many cars around!) until a few km before the Valamo Monastery, which I will be visiting tomorrow. The forest here has a very soft comfortable soil, and tonight it is the first time I have to use artificial light, as now it starts to get completely dark, at least for a few hours.

Also today I cycled a lot after all, but what can I say, it just feels better and better!

Day 26 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Joensuu – Valamo Monastery

Trip distance: 122 km
Actual trip time: 6 h 30 m


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