Day 5 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Kirkenes – Varangerfjorden

(no net folks, you’ll get this updates with some delay)

Today I’ll start from the end, as I had to stop cycling earlier than planned. As I’m writing, a terrible rainstorm with lightening and thunders is going on out of my tent. Which I had to built in record time not to get soaking wet.

Here’s the storm on the other side of Varangerfjord:

But let’s get things in order anyway: After a long night sleep I left the camping site in Kirkenes to get back where I came from (continuing the same way would have meant Russia).

After the 8-km absolutely-forbidden-to-stop military zone, the road was as I left it: hilly. Stopping to take the last picture of Munkefjord an old man came to chat. He spoke also a bit of Finnish. He was from the house just where I was taking the picture, and nowadays staying there only for the summer, as he moved to live in Sweden. It was nice to meet him as he gave me some anticipation about the route I was taking. Not as hard as I thought.

Getting back to the crossroad to Finland, I stopped again admiring the mouth of Neidenelva and, as a real surprise, I saw for the first time in my life the salmons jumping up the stream on the rapids of the river. Sorry, I didn’t even try to take a picture (although some people where standing still with their cameras and swearing all the time because they miss the fish), it’s something you really need to see it yourselves.

Neidenelva from above.

From that point on, it was a new route (I’ll get back to Finland from another border crossing). And from that point on, it was a similar scenery to the one I saw three years ago. Nature and nothing else. Yes, a couple of houses every here and there, but no humans at the horizons (except for the noisy ones overtaking me in their cars). Even for a WC you have to travel (although there’s plenty of nature around):

The area after Bugøyfjord is actually another protected area in Norway (you can’t, for example, use vehicles except than on the E6), mainly because it has been practically untouched after the last ice age. I mean, that’s something. Think of these falling stones:

Have they been falling for the last 10 000 years? Unbelievable.

Neverending road.

Sliding down towards Bugøyfjord.

A lost reindeer in Bugøyfjord.

A lost boat in Bugøyfjord waiting for the high tide.

So, as the old man told me, the route started to be more levelled. We are now completely inland for some 30 km, after which beauty of the huge Varangerfjorden came all of a sudden, and at the same time, another big question: shall we do some 20 km on the wrong direction to visit the little village of Bugøynes (Pykeä or Pykejä or Pykeija in Finnish, seems they haven’t decided yet what the right name is)?

On the road to Bugøynes?

(now it really rains cats and dogs, a good way to test how this tent is water proof. up to now no water inside. it seems)

The village of Bugøynes (20 km from the crossroad to Tana Bru where I was) is one of the few that wasn’t burnt during WWII, and also the scenery of the fjord is amazing. However, the decision is difficult, I’m running out of food (in Kirkenes everything was closed on Sundays) and on the way (more than 80 km) there was really nothing, not even a gas station (well, the fact that the area is completely preserved after the last ice age must tell you something).

Anyway, the decision had to be postponed, as I noticed some huge black clouds started to follow me. I took right towards Bugøynes, as I wanted to take some pictures of the fjord and find a proper place to put my tent. Here we are really in proper tundra, no big trees at all. I found a small area on the right of the road, where a Finnish house-on-wheels had parked and stopped there. Just a few words with the couple, who was there outside looking at the sky as well, and the rain started. Fortunately the beginning was quite, so I had time to built my tent and put everything inside.

And here I am, the rain stopped again and I’m still dry. Well, time to go to sleep!

Day 5 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Kirkenes – Varangerfjorden

Trip distance: 86 km
Actual trip time: 6 h


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