Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Tour de Finnmark 2016! The “long-lasting” tradition of a self-assisted cycling tour is revived this summer after the Tour de Finlande 2010 and the Tour de Laponie 2013. This time I decided to focus my trip just to Norway, in the region of Finnmark, that is, in the far north.
Today I was just supposed to move to the starting point: from Oulu to Näätämö – the Finnish-Norwegian border from where I started my tour – it’s a good 675 km, which meant one train + 2 bus = all day.
I left Oulu for Rovaniemi on a train at 4:50 in the morning, just to reach by train Rovaniemi, from where I continued by bus (the railway doesn’t really go any farther) to Ivalo, change bus, and finally to Näätämö, where I arrived at 19.10. Almost 15 hours on the run, not bad.
Originally I was thinking to cross the border, do some 10 km and then stop for the night. But having somehow slept/sat the whole day, I thought to give it a run.
So at the end of the evening I managed to do 62 km to reach the crossroad to Bugøynes/Pykeijä – still about 20 km – where I will go tomorrow.
Although the weather has been quite hot during the previous days (like +29 Celsius, measured actually not so far from here), during the evening it started to be cloudy and the higher mountains hidden in the fog. Temperature dropped to a 10-15 degrees, still fine with me!
And on top of all I managed to see about five reindeers (common), a couple of salmon jumping upstream on the rapids of Neiden river (not so common), and two foxes (very rare)! I tried to take a picture, but I have to say they are really fast running away. I even told them it was just for one picture, they never listen!
Day 01 – Tour de Finnmark 2016: Näätämö – Bugøynes/Pykeijä
Cycling distance: 62 km
Cycling time: 3 h 50 min