Thursday July 30th 2015. Kilpishärvi 20 km

Alle bergen zijn in de wolken. Ik ben niet in de wolken

All mountains are clouded. So am I.

Nat. De wind zie je niet op de foto

Wet. On a picture one can’t see the wind.

Traditionele samen hut met wilderness man ervoor

Traditional samen dwelling with wilderness man in front of it.

Wachten op boot naar Kilpisjärvi in Finland, samen met 3 Zweden en Fins gezin. Kachel gestookt en alles te drogen gehangen tijdens lunch

Waiting for the boat to Kilpisjärvi in Finland, together with 3 Swedish people and a Finnish family. Lighting the stove to dry all our cloths during lunch.

Every time I woke up, I heard the splashing on the roof of the Pältsahytta. Today fortunately only 15 go. Or shall I stay one day longer in the Pältsa cabin? According to the guardian there is a depression above all of Scandinavia, so waiting one day for better weather does not make sense. What should I do at these three x three meters? Well, some of my 7 student rooms were not much bigger, but I don’t feel like eating one day out of my nose. The last bit to Kilpisjärvi today is by boat at half past four. And because I do not know how the trail will be, I have to get up in time. I was mistaken one hour and was ready before 6 o’clock, but left at 7.30am., after having breakfast, packing my backpack, washing dishes, making the bed, cleaning the cottage. It was clouded and without enthusiasm I went on my way. Way? Rather a stream of water. The path of about 20-40 cm. wide is worn out everywhere and is like a riverbed. Next to it is swamp, or low, tough, but anyway wet, scrub. Everywhere water, water and water again. Between mud or stones. And I’m still in the mountains, up and down. Tosca, enthusiastic like always, jumps from left to right, almost pulling me over and hunting for lemmings, and with occasional success. Around 12 degrees C, rather windy and, although less than before, still enough mosquitoes to be annoying. Same song as before. This will be my last walking day before I want to take a rest for a few days.

I was wondering what was the most pleasant and what was the hardest part of my trip. Everything was equally heavy in its own way. I’ve been going for my maximum during 10 months each day. First of all, because of the heat in Andalucia, the great uncertainty about how to get food for my horse and shelter in winter Europe. The long distances, sometimes more than 30 km. Crossing roads with dangerous roadside traffic and cities that were very difficult to cross  with a horse etc. etc. Now in the Lapponia mountains I have to carry food for dog and man for one week, which amounts to a 25 kilo backpack. Every day I went until my limit. And that will last another 4 weeks.  Of those stones often only a top or a strong sloping side protrudes above the water, with the next step to reach the other side or next stone. That side should not be slippery and you have to land on that rocking point exactly in balance, otherwise the weight of the backpack pulls you into the water. Downhill goes much slower than in the booklet, because of Tosca pulling over those smooth stones. The writer of my guide, like I already wrote yesterday, of course does not go on its way when it rains, or when all the rivers overflow, or if there is still a lot of snow, and preferably not with a food store for more than a week. Thus, the indicated walking times are not reliable.

 I arrived a few hours early at the dock where the boat would come. In the temporary cabin there were already three Swedish people and a Finnish family. We pulled a few nails out of the wall in the adjacent wood barn. Hammering those with a stone into the walls of our dock , we put a rope between the nails and hung our stuff to dry above the heated stove, awaiting the arrival of the boat, which would bring us to Kilpisjärvi. Actually very cozy. Photo. we talked about sports, the strongest men in the world, including a Fin, whom one of the guests resembled. The stove was heated. We exchanged some foods and it was quite amicable. One of the Swedish told me about his work for a firm that manufactures medical articles. He had driven 90,000 kilometers last year as a salesman. Spoke English well because he had been in Ireland for two years. His wife, who was with him, was a surveyor.  And then the boat came.  During the boattrip somewhere on the lake we pass the Finnish border. In Finland it is one hour later. Of course you all know. But before we were in Finland, Tosca was lying on my feet, half under the bench in front of me. A woman sits down on that couch, arousing Tosca’s fear, resulting in a terrible barking. The woman almost exploded. I found it so funny that I burst out laughing instead of apologizing. With mixed feelings she accepted it. Once ashore in Finland, I immediately dive into Kilpisjärvi’s hiker’s center/youth hostal, order a hot chocolate and ask what is the cheapest overnight stay here for a man with dog: dormitory, room, log cabin? Everything full, sir, only tenting is possible. Yes, you bet! A week away in the Lapponian mountains and then she wants me, with wet clothes in the rain in my one person’s tent with a wet, dirty dog, here in the cold. Not even for nothing, tenting is no option. During the night I’d have to keep on the wet clothes in the sleeping bag to stay warm. But if those are wet, it will be a very wet dream night. And I also wanted to shower, laundry, internet. I walk around the camp, but do not see any tenst. Caravans only. No, tenting in this cold, windy weather, wet and dirty, with Tosca, doesn’t appeal to me at all. What next? The girl at the front desk called for a hotel. According to the booklet there is one 2 km. further down the road. Line constantly occupied. I took MY I-Pad and looked for accommodation in Finland, searching for the net number of Finland and soon I found accommodation, cheaper than the youth hostel here where I was at the reception. Buses did not run anymore, so the leg car. The two kilometers mentioned in my booklet turned out to be five. We pass a supermarket. Buying food for Tosca and on to the Kilpislodge, with restaurant and sauna. And so I ended well again and even cheaper than in the youth hostel. And that’s how it should be.

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