Day 01 – Tour de Finnmark 2016: Näätämö – Bugøynes/Pykeijä

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!

Last cup of coffee in Rovaniemi before the long bus transfer

Last cup of coffee in Rovaniemi before the long bus transfer

Monument to the gold prospectors in Ivalo

Monument to the gold prospectors in Ivalo

Reindeers at the Finnish-Norwegian border

Reindeers at the Finnish-Norwegian border

Crossing the border. Not so many guards around

Crossing the border. Not so many guards around

Entering the Finnmark region in Norway

Entering the Finnmark region in Norway

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The rapids of Neiden river with jumping salmon (not in the picture, it happend just a second before)

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The church of Neiden

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I know, it’s a bit blurred, but that’s a fox cub getting a bit nervous when it saw me

Not really much traffic up here

Not really much traffic up here

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Sunset, time to go to sleep! (Well, it’ll be just half an hour before sunrise.)

Day 01 – Tour de Finnmark 2016: Näätämö – Bugøynes/Pykeijä
Cycling distance: 62 km
Cycling time: 3 h 50 min

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