Bored of Borders

The time is 19:30 and we have fixed up our camp, but we still have no fire. Martins is attending to that right now. Perhaps the lack of a pile of wood combusting in a rapid manner is the reason behind the mystery of the evening – how come that this evening -9 degrees feel a lot colder than -22 degrees yesterday evening? Praise all Finnish gods, last night didn’t turn out to be the ice-box I anticipated. I even managed to keep my feet warm partly thanks to the shut entrance of our tent.

This morning we started of in a forest with no roads and tracks, but with plenty of ditches and trenches, so we had a chance to closely investigate the melioration system of Finnish forests slowly crawling from one ditch into another. After a thorough investigation I have to admit that someone has gone to great length to plan all of these ditches exactly across our path. This was a particularly hard stretch, so we were particularly happy to see a forest road emerge between the tree branches.

Soon the happiness was accompanied by a warm feeling of hope, as we passed by a road-sign saying that there is a restaurant in the next small-town Raajärvi. And it’s on our route! We put our muscles to work and rushed towards the promised land dreaming of all the delicacies we will eat in the Restaurant. I was teasing myself with an image of Cesar’s salad, but Martins was daydreaming about french-fries and Coke. When we finally reached the place where our dreams should come true, we were drooling all over the place, but at the sigh of the closed restaurant the only thing to swallow was our grief.

The local electric we met near the ruins of our dreams explained us that the Miners restaurant is closed due to a force-majeure – the winter. The same electrician delighted us stating that the nearest shop is located 35 kilometers from here and in another direction. Damn! At least we could replenish our water supply – again thanks to the same electrician. A bit saddened by this unfortunate event we went back into forest, but this time we didn’t have to crawl over a web of ditches – we got on a snowmobile track leading straight to Rovaniemi.

Tomorrow we will follow this trail to its next crossing with a forest road, where our ways will part. I will continue following the Polar Circle, but Martins will walk to the highway and try to hitch-hike a ride to Rovaniemi, where he has to catch the evening train to start his journey home.

Karlis (66° 32.69N, 026° 45.67E)

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