When you plan something, for example a journey, it’s important to have a plan B, in case something goes wrong, or just to feel on the safe side. Well, that’s something I do myself too, with only one difference: I don’t prioritize.
That’s the reason why yesterday I didn’t really know where to go next. I had two ideas, with exactly the same importance. Literally until the last crossroad.
This morning I woke up with a nice feeling, yesterday’s short opening didn’t affect my muscles too much, so the first decision was to have a full cycling day. And that was the easy part. The second decision was, as I mentioned, about where to go, and that did take some time.
Not that I was in a hurry, the main thing about long-distance cycling tourism is not to have too strict goals. But the direction at least!
I had a long breakfast at the cafeteria of the gas station, mainly because I had to recharge all my electronics (phone, laptop, wireless Internet router, the personnel was a impressed by the amount of electric sockets I can use at once). At the same time I was having a look at the road map, which let me take the following decision: I have to buy a bigger map, I can’t decide a route with such a small map of the whole Finland.
Fortunately the Sami museum SIIDA in Inari has a full range of maps, from hiking to cycling. I bought a good map of Northern Finland, where I noticed that there were 25 km to the next crossroad towards north. So I finally took the decision to leave, and it was already 1 p.m. Direction: north. Target: unclear.
Reaching Kaamanen was easy, it was on the same route I took three years ago, but now my idea was of course to take another direction. Which brings me to the biggest decision of all: to Norway or not to Norway, that is the question.
I love Norway, it has the most fantastic natural sceneries I have seen in my life, and moreover, it is north. After that, the Arctic Sea. The problem was that also in 2010 I had a small detour in Norway, which turned out not to be the best time of my trip: rain, wind, cold and rain. And did I mention rain?
That’s why I said before leaving: I won’t improvise anything by going to Norway this time. And here I am at a crossroad: straight north and I can stay safely in Finland all the time. Northeast, and I’ll have to continue in Norway for some 100 km before getting back to Finland.
And after thinking another ten minutes, I started to picture myself reaching the Arctic Sea. Decision taken: I’ll improvise Norway. Did I say something different before leaving? Can’t really remember.
So, direction Sevettijärvi. Just as a reminder it started to rain, almost immediately after the crossroad. Fortunately a) it was a very light rain and b) it didn’t last really long. The route was nice, soft uphills and downhills, and, after some forest, a never-ending amount of wonderful lakes. And an unbelievable amount of blueberries and crowberries! Still have blue fingers!
The only drawback? Good old headwind, didn’t really miss you, and now your back here again! Northern wind is expected also in the next days, guess it’ll turn south when I reach the top.
Another interesting point of the route, is that this is the Skolt Sami area, a minority of Sami (not that many, 700 people all in all), who speak a different type of Sami dialect (the Skolt Sami of course), which is interesting especially when you look at the street signs:
Above in Finnish, below in Skolt Sami. Interesting characters they have.
Worth mentioning also this street panel welcoming you to the Skolt Sami area in three languages. For those of you Finnish-speaking, it might be interesting to notice the diplomatic omissions in the English version if compared to the Finnish one.
Anyway, after cycling almost 100 km I decided to stop. I found a wonderful spot beside a lake, and I have to say I’m impressed by the little amount of mosquitoes this year. Of course they’ll bite you as soon as you stand still for more than three exact seconds, but nothing compared to what I’ve experienced in previous years.
Well, now dinner is eaten and coffee drunk, for my muscles we’ll see tomorrow!
PS: By the way, tomorrow I might be expatriating, so don’t know when I have access to the Internet the next time. Blog updates might arrive with delay, stay tuned!
Day 2 – Tour de Laponie 2013 – Inari – Supru
Trip distance: 92.5 km
Actual trip time: 6 h