Wednesday July 29th 2015 Pältsahytta 19 km

 Old time Sami shelter

Cloudy and windy but dry. Twelve degrees C., day and night. When I want to leave, long-haired Morritz comes out of the other cabin to say goodbye and to wish Gute Reise. Very nice. I’m leaving for my last cabin of this part of the trip, the Pāltsahytte. Therefore I pass the Norwegian-Swedish border again for the fifth time this trip. Of course I filmed the border sign, which had already halfway fallen over. Obviously no border control in the middle of the mountains. So I do not have to show papers for Tosca. And I could have gotten rich if I had filled my backpack with ectasy or hashish. Next time…. more! After 19 km. I reach the Pältsahytte, but not after it has been drizzling for an hour. Oh well, just get wet. In an hour I’ll be there. The hytte guardian waited for me. A 10 days old beard. Age, I estimate around 50, rather heavy, didn’t look well dressed or well kept or is he just rude? He had already seen me from afar. I was the first guest this afternoon. Sauna? It is still hot and you can wash your clothes there too, he tried to make me enthusiastic. I’m going there now, he says, as if that was a recommendation. A little strange, that he got the sauna hot if there is no guest and exactly when I arrive, in the afternoon. Allà, who cares. But because I did not eat on the way, I’ll first finish some muesli with the last milk powder and the last honey. In between, I start extirminating the whole army of mosquitoes in my cabin. The windows are one big bloody massacre and I feel fine. When after about 45 minutes I was ready to wash some underwear and myself in the sauna, the guardian just came out of the sauna, all naked, to go to his own cabin. I look at other men’s bodies, like I look at a horse. He had heavy buttocks. He would have made a good draft horse for the Dutch Zeeland clay. As I looked through the sauna window, I saw the 13 next guests arrive. I always get the separate, small, usually less equipped dog cabin. The others in the main house: all Finns and a German couple from Berlin. Later, more people will follow. Three tents are set up outside in this bad weather. Wind, rain, 11 degrees C. And the forecast is bad according to our guardian. Actually, I’m isolated in my dog’s hut, like a kind of leper, but in the big cabin, where the others are, I go “schnautzen” (take a look) and everyone is  on his/her own. That was different in Spain on the camino de Santiago. There was more community sense, in the good sense of the word.

If I look outside here, I have to conclude that an important aspect of my entire journey is survival. How do I make it today to a next sleep-eating place without getting all soaked myself or the contents of my backpack; without getting the shoes full of water, without freezing hands,  without being bitten all over by mosquitoes, without slipping and without breaking a bone in the rocky fields or to slip into a mountain stream, without getting exhausted without getting lost and preferably at least with human contact? Camera battery empty, movie battery is very low, i-pad tonight or tomorrow empty (now 16%), phone must be set “off”, because almost empty, gps batteries are very low. I prepare diner because tomorrow I wanna start early. I plan to enter the inhabited world tomorrow: Kilpishärvi, Finland. I want to stay here for a few days to update my blog, prepare for the next part of the trail, doing shopping, phone calls and text messages etc. The next part is 7-8 d. Again into the jungle, to Kautokeino, also called the capital of the Sami. It is no bigger than our Mechelen, the village where my office is: 3000 inhabitants. I will stay there for a few days before I enter the third and final part: 250 km from Kautokeino to Cape North. Survival, keep smiling, oladeladio. Is this fun now? Fun is no question. What it is? Everything!

N.b. New country: Finland. In the meantime it is customary to point out at each new crossing country frontiers that this tour sponsors Mama Alice, the organization of Fréderique Kallen from Noorbeek (Nl), who now lives in Peru, and who is committed to the fate of street children in Peru, especially Ajacuccho . See my site’s front page Late Wim Kan, Dutch cabaretier, famous for his Sylvester show each year on TV last century, said: give and continue to give.

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