Day 12 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Pokka – Levi

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What a relief today, cycling without (too much) headwind! A completely different day, which didn’t start very well anyway.

I woke up at four hearing that it started to rain. No problem, my tent passed the test of Norwegian rainstorms. The problem was that, when I woke up again at eight, the tent was still wet. Well, no big deal, I’ll just leave the upper layer on the bag to dry.

I just had my traditional breakfast when I’m cycling (one-minute-ready porridge and a banana), started packing, and of course it started to rain again. Really the worst time. Nothing to do, I was caged in my tent, fortunately for just another half an hour.

Black sacks at the side of the road to scare reindeer and make them go back to the area where they belong. There was also a movement detector which, as I passed by, triggered off the sound of a car alarm that really scared the hell out of me (think of it, an alarm in the middle of nowere). The reindeer belong to an owner and they also should stay in an area defined by the cooperative the owner belongs to. That’s the reason the invent all sort of things to stop them (I guess if they could close the street, they would)

The first break was just 20 km away: I wanted to have a proper coffee after some time. And recharge everything as usual (phone, laptop, router).

Pokka is known for being the place where the lowest temperature ever in Finland (and in Europe, they claim) has been measured: -51,5 Celsius in 1999. Today it was about 23. Plus, of course

The cafeteria in Pokka works also as a gas station. And smells strongly of it. Still no need of it from my side. Legs are still working

Soon after Pokka, I had to say goodbye to the asphalt, as they forgot to pave half of the road to Kittilä.

It says: “Paved road ends”. Thanks, I noticed myself too

The gravel road was in good shape, and the wind wasn’t disturbing too much, so I could get even a better pace than yesterday. Being by bike it’s easier to avoid (almost all) the bumps in the gravel. You just have to remember not to look around for too long.

Pathetically staged picture

And of course I couldn’t miss my portion of blueberry for today.

Wounds due to blueberry picking

The day was sunny but cloudy, something like this:

I managed anyway to get also some rain, but a couple of pine trees saved me for getting too wet. Nicely this kind of rain doesn’t last too much (differently from Norway).

Sunrays coming out after the rain

I got back to human life in Köngäs, after over 50 km of cycling, meaning I managed to see the first houses there since I left the cafeteria above.

A picturesque post box

Small house at the lake

And then I reached my final destination for today: Levi.

Skiing slopes at Levi

Levi is primarily a winter resort, because of the skiing. But I have to say that I’m a bit confused by coming from the woods and ending up in a village with more than everything.

Shopping street in Levi

Swiss houses in Levi

Golf course in Levi

So I just headed for the woods once again. Problem: the wood has been devastated by houses. Everywhere. Then I noticed that a road reaches almost the top of the hill, where the slope starts. The final climb was rewarded: some forest with nothing else than places where to put a tent.

This time I’m camping beside a snowmobile route. Guess I won’t hear that many tonight

And from here also the sunset looked prettier (here the sun sets for a couple of hours, although there’s no darkness yet).

Good night!

A happy cyclist

Day 12 – Tour de Laponie 2013: Pokka – Levi

Trip distance: 99 km
Actual trip time: 6 h 45 m

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