Today it was a wonderful day. And not only because the weather has been perfect (warm and sunny in the morning, a bit cloudy and mild in the evening), not only because for the first time during this journey I broke the barrier of 100 km in a day (yes!), but because I found the most beautiful and rewarding route of the whole trip.
The morning has been a bit lazy. I woke up late and took my time for breakfast. Once on the bike, it seemed like my legs didn’t want to push. I recall something similar during my previous trip, never trust the morning feelings, it can be a completely different day.
You feel tired on the bike when you look all the time at how many km you’ve travelled. 15, 20, 25 km. Not even half way to Utsjoki!
One thing you don’t have to worry around here is water. Even in such a sunny day like today (I think the maximum was around 25 Celsius). Apart from the Teno below you, you have an amazing amount of brooks with superb fresh water. Never tasted any better.
Finally I reached Utsjoki, which is the northernmost municipality in Finland. Compared to Nuorgam (which belongs to the municipality of Utsjoki) it didn’t look much bigger in size, but definitely the border bridge gives to the village another dimension.
It was really warm in Utsjoki. I decided to have a coffee outside, but I had to go back inside the cafeteria as the sun was really strong.
After Utsjoki I decided to take the road to Karigasniemi, the one that follows the Teno River. And here the fun started. I still recall three years ago, the owner of the camping site in Karigasniemi told me about the beauty of this route and now I can say she was definitely right.
First of all, both Utsjoki and Karigasniemi are really small villages, so the road is practically almost without traffic. Then the profile of the route: simply perfect for cycling. Uphills and downhills, steep but not too long, and a beautiful scenery of mountains around you. And the river with its small brooks.
Quiet all around, just me and my bike. This is definitely a route for anybody who wants to try long-distance cycling. I’m pretty sure anybody can do the 100 km from Utsjoki to Karigasniemi (or vice versa) in one day with a light bike. Come here and try!
I felt so tired in the morning, that I manage to cycle over 100 km today! I think there are many variables influencing a cycling day: weather most of all, for example in the evening the temperature went down and it was a bit cloudy and no wind. But I guess also the scenery has its own role in giving you power to go on. Absolutely.
Tonight I’ll sleep in the forest. I found a nice and soft spot just beside the road. I’ve been here for a couple of hours already, and I think only one car passed by. Perfect. And yes, this place is full of blueberries! I tried to eat all the ones that were going to be below my tent, but I’m not sure I managed to do it. Let’s see the colour of the protective sheet tomorrow morning!
Day 7 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Nuorgam – Aittijoki
Trip distance: 106 km
Actual trip time: 7 h 5 m