Now it’s time for the tramping part of my blog. Even an enthusiast farrier who loves her work as a lifestyle needs to relax every now and then and the best way is to go into a place where there simply is no possibility to reach anyone or be reached by anyone anyhow. I was hiking for a week in Urho Kekkonen national park, located in Lapland, way further north from the artic circle. In Nordic countries we have the only wilderness areas in Europe, where you are on your own with at least a day travel or more to the nearest road and no mobile phone network. I feel always as stunned when I realize that whatever happens “out there”, no one can reach me before I come out of the forest. That just feels somehow odd in our modern world. Anyway, I enjoyed my week and got some photos to share with you
I’m a lightweight backpacking fan. The equipment for two persons including food for a week was 23kg. That means 11,5 kg a person and of that the food weight was 4,5kg, so in the end of the week the backpack was much under 10kg per person. And that was a “heavy luxury set” The equipment included some extra spareclothes, fishing equipment and a tarp cloth that is easy to set in couple of minutes if a storm hits and the camping is much nicer while you get extra room under the tarp. There you can keep equipment, sit and cook and have your meal under the shelter.
With a light backpack the hiking is easy, comfortable, you can even run and you can watch the sceneries while walking. That also makes possible to walk longer distances. “Taking it easy”, having long breaks and not trying to be sporty or something like that we traveled approx. 25km per day in terrain only with footpath, sometimes animal made path or no path at all.
I was heading that way.. Finland has over 1000 km long border line with Russia. The border zone before the actual border is couple of kilometers wide and the the entry there is permitted only for the landowners and officials. As a child I visited couple of times the actual border, since an old relative of mine lives almost on the border in south Karelia and children under 12 years old were allowed to go to the border zone. With my fathers cousin I walked to look behind the Iron Curtain. In my childhood there behind was still USSR.
Another story of the border. My grandfather TJ Kukkamäki was measuring the east border line after the II World War. Some older guys in the group had been measuring the border line also last time in 1920 (the border between Finland and Russia has changed many many times throughout the history). They told that in some point the Russians got fed up in tramping through the swamps companying the horrible amounts of mosquitos and told to the Finns: “Make the border where you want to, we will leave now.” I think Finland won some hectares of swamp and millions of mosquitos there
Got some graylings from the rivers. A delicious fish. These two made a great tasting soup with dried vegetables, some butter and salt.
Ps. Thank you Sweden for the soup A cheap Swedish Mora knife you can buy from every hardware store with a couple of euros worked well this time in preparing the fish.
Crossing a stream. The bottle in my hand is not for the balance, I just filled it from the stream. Hiking in north is nice because you don’t need to carry water with you almost at all. There is water everywhere and it’s clean and delicious. No water purification by boiling, filtering or tablets are necessary.
It’s nice that you don’t need to carry the drinking water with you, but sometimes the plentiness of water starts to make your traveling a bit more difficult.
I mean it, the water really sometimes makes the traveling difficult. I want to go that way, but there is the stupid stream in between. And it’s too deep to wade across. Well, clothes off, all the equipment in a big garbage bag and swimming through the not-so-warm water. I hadn’t tried swimming across the stream before, but it worked, the equipment didn’t get wet, I didn’t lose them and it was a fun experience
In the canyon below my swimming pool there was even some snow left from the last winter.
Taking a nap somewhere.
Paratiisikuru (Paradise valley). You arrive suddenly to a totally different green world between the barren fells. A stream flows through the valley and when you follow it you arrive to the start point of the stream onto a pool and a waterfall. Usually always in such places you have something man made there, rails, steps, signs, something that makes it easy for tourists to reach. But the beauty of the valley was even more impressive because it is untouched. There is only a path in the valley because people and animals walk there, nothing more. And even those who walk have to come at least 30km from the nearest road and cross at least couple of rivers with no bridges.
Reindeer in Paradise.
This was found in the middle of the forest. Lapland is reindeer herding area and though today the herders drive around with snowscooters, the traditional Sami hut model must be in fact quite handy base camp in the wild if you need to be there a little bit longer. I have to admit that as a South Finnish city jerk I don’t know a lot of the reindeer herding ways, but anyway I think this hut couldn’t be older than 10 to 20 years.
Bonus picture: The Frog