Warning: long post with many images 🙂
The past few days had been quite peaceful. Living in a warm house, food close all the time, no backpack, clubs..
Time had passed. It was Sunday. I dropped off my friend at the train station, said goodbye and drove off in the never-ending, sad rain. I could have stayed in Oulu another night, following some almost-rock stars around. In Oulu terms, that is. Would’ve been fun.
But I chose to leave. Went shopping, got myself pyttipannu, some more stuff and pants that would keep my legs and feet dry.
The entire drive up to Kuusamo it rained and rained.
Kuusamo? Yes, Kuusamo.
Why would you go there? Yeah.. Why?
In the blessed year of 2013 I happened to be at the Finnish festival Provinssirock with another Belgian friend. We didn’t plan on meeting up with anyone there but found friends soon. Among them were a group of people obsessed with a sleazily-dressed copy of Hello Kitty, but this is not about them.
This is about the man who had a few kilograms of D-type batteries (the big shit) just to play me the following song for about three continuous days. And – as if we were high – it was absolutely hilarious the entire time.
I know, I know. Isn’t that the worst reason to drive this far and visit this place? YES IT IS! Imagine how someone must feel arriving to that place, all rainy, without a soul on the street. Kind of like a disappointment.
So maybe there’s interesting nature around? I drove to the Oulanka national park, saw a few cars and reindeers on the road, arrived, checked out the environment and got walking.
The Oulanka national park houses the Karhunkierros. Not that I knew beforehand, I just read about it there. The full trail is about 80km long and passes by a few nice landmarks. I would not walk the full trail, but two small parts.
The first part showed me the Kiutaköngäs rapids in Oulankajoki river, apparently artificially (explosions! boom!) altered to improve the transport of wood across the water back in the days.
Having arrived late there wasn’t much walking before the urge to take a nap took over. As daylight “disappeared”, I made camp, ate dinner and went to sleep. The arctic circle was pretty much around the corner.
The next day I finished my little round and got back to the car to visit another segment. It’s a weird style of camping, but that’s how it is.
The cabin at about halfway of the other daytrip was quite full. June is a busy month for hikers. Who knew? (tip: many, not unprepared me)
Only one option.. Climb up and enjoy an ever more awesome view. Pictured around midnight.
Woke up, gathered my stuff, got to the car, had coffee at another visitor center, drove to Pyhä-Luosto national park.
One more night to Sodankylä. South of Sodankylä is Pyhä-Luosto. This park has a nice 540 meters high peak entirely made of rocks. Guess which guy didn’t know, doesn’t go hiking often and thought it would be a great idea to walk up there. Yep!
In an attempt at keeping the amount of photos a bit down you’re not being shown countless pictures of uneven, rocky pathways. The next day a part of my shoe had gone missing though.
It took me about an hour to get from the Oravanlampi (aka squirrel lake) rest to the top. Not to mention several litres of sweat. And part of the shoe.
But the view was worth it. I felt pretty heroic. (I really don’t do a lot of hiking)
Top tip: being on top of a hill at night makes your hands go cold. So I got down to Karhunjuomalampi (the bears drinking lake, not kidding) and found some delicious Frenchies sleeping in the cabin. I let them be, cooked my own food and joined them later. The sun never left.
Next time: the midnight sun film festival. Might take a while as I’ll be moving my residency to Wacken for the next few days.
It’s here: MSFF