Nordkapp – Day 11 – Rovaniemi -> Helsinki, 882km
During that morning breakfast was prepared for me in the hotel. There was access to the net so I could talk with my family for a moment and I started to pack. Fortunately, the weather was nice, though a little cold. I put on my jacket, rain proof trousers so as not to get cold on the way.
Just before 10 in the morning I rode into Rovaniemi in Lapland, the place where Santa lives. By the way, it’s also the place where the Arctic Circle runs across. It’s a very commercialized place but with all those views. I met up with Santa and spoke with him for a moment. Unfortunately a photo with him costs ….just 25 Euros.
I decided therefore to spend that money on something better, on souvenirs. I had prepared myself for a somewhat longer journey, when an HD had parked next to me with a couple and after a moment it appeared they were from Italy. Just like myself, they were on their way back from Nordkapp. Immediately, I asked myself the question how they did it – it’s 4200 kilometers one way, for goodness sake! After a short discussion it appeared that they had covered most of their journey by …train. They certainly did that in Germany and Finland.
I continued my journey through forests. I put on a good audiobook and time seemed to flow faster. At a certain moment I thought to myself that riding along this road was great, there was ‘nothing’ on the way, so I could ride right through to Helsinki. I stopped off at one of the many shopping centres in Finland and went to eat and rest a little. There was still 300km to go to Helsinki. The first motorway since Germany started here, so I decided to consider that instead of a campsite, I could run through to the capital of Finland. I quickly checked the possibilities of accommodation, and since the weather was starting to get worse, I focused on hotels. I found a relatively cheap hotel with breakfast and it did not take me long to decide. I texted my family that I would be longer on the road that day. It was late because I got to my hotel at 11pm. That day I exaggerated a little by doing 882km.
Advice: When you are more patient towards Finland, look through the guides and internet to find an interesting place on the way. I planned to visit the ski jump in Lahti, but in summer there is no snow nor summer competitions and that’s how it looks….
Equipment: Cooker. I know that I’m sentimental and although I have a professional Primus cooker, I take a different one on each expedition, this one is made in the USSR. It’s petrol one, but with a history, which is impossible to describe, you just have to see it. Heating up 0.7l of water takes about 10 minutes, which is quite long. However, it is small, handy and reliable. I used a tourist pot to prepare meals with a capacity a little less than 1l. It was enough to boil water for a freeze-dried meal or coffee or tea, at the same time. I carried water in a 1,5l bottle. It was useful when I stopped by a roadside services or parking area where running water was not available.