Day 9 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Karigasniemi – Tirro

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Yesterday, arriving in Karigasniemi, I dropped by the border to ask the Border Guards if they know something about the road to Angeli:

I wasn’t sure about the type of road, since nobody seemed to know anything about it. “Hiekkatie, hyväkuntoinen hiekkatie”, he answered. Gravel road, a gravel road in good shape. All in all about 100 km. No big deal.

So, at the beginning the road looked like this:

Then it changed into this:

And finally it looked like this:

Put in that way, it didn’t seem a lot of fun. Unfortunately, cycling is not a thing that can be told, it must be experienced. Yes, the road wasn’t that various in its form, but that’s just a small particular.

Think about the feeling when you see something like this in front of you:

Scary, isn’t it? Not as scary at the downhill after that, it seems:

To be honest, today I had a nice ride. Maybe in the end I was a bit tired, but it was definitely worth it.

The weather was very humid in the morning and also the last night. That’s the reason you can see clothes hanging on the back of my bike: I did a bit of laundry yesterday, but they didn’t really dry out overnight. But during the day it got much better, once again sunny and with temperatures well above 20 Celsius.

The road to Angeli has probably been the emptiest I’ve ever taken. Not only it’s a gravel road, but there are very few cottages along the way. I’d say that the average was a car every ten-fifteen minutes. Funny enough, often I could hear the sound of a car coming from behind, but it was just the wind blowing through the trees.

Stop for water refuelling.

The first thing I noticed, after a few kilometres, was that my cell phone couldn’t find a network anymore. Not Finnish, not Norwegian (I was still cycling along the border). Not that I got a bit nervous, but getting used to have a working phone, you start to consider many other variables when it doesn’t work.

Well, in such a situation the last thing you expect is to meet another long-distance cyclist. Wrong! Just after half an hour, here’s one guy coming the opposite direction with a lot of panniers.

Of course we stopped to chat, and it turned out to be a Scottish guy, Ian, who is crazy for Sami music, and decided to ride across Angeli because it’s the birthplace of the member of the Sami band Angelit. He was travelling all around Northern Lapland, both in Finland and Norway. I mean, isn’t it unbelievable.

I also asked him if he had problems in finding the network with his mobile. The answer was: “I keep it turned off, don’t need it in the forest”. Well, perfect answer I’d say.

Cycling was fun today, warm but not too hot, and legs were working fine. Just a couple of drops of rain, something like the day before yesterday. There must have been a thunderstorm in the surrounding, as a wonderful rainbow appeared in front of me:

It remained so long in the sky, that I also manage to take a picture of the other half:

It’s real, I haven’t mirrored the picture, believe me.

Private benches on the Norwegian side of Inarijoki.

Cage for reindeer. The road was actually completely closed by fences on both sides for a long time, it seems they have reindeer harvesting in the autumn around here.

However, the absence of signal on the mobile didn’t last long, I also manage to find the repeater, just to make sure to have a good connection:

At last asphalt also came back. The road leads to Inari, but I wanted to spend the night in the forest, so I checked on the map the best place:

So here I am in a place called Tirro (I wouldn’t call it village, can’t see houses around), closed to a lake and probably to hundreds of reindeer, having seen the amount of it along the road today. Sorry for not having taken yet picture of them.

Another night in the forest.

Reindeer really run away as soon as they see me on my bike. It’s very strange: if you are in a car, sometimes they just stop in front of you without moving. When they see bikes, they get a sort of scared and run away. Poor innocent animals, maybe they get scared of my shadow!

Day 9 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Karigasniemi – Tirro

Trip distance: 109 km
Actual trip time: 7 h


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