29 October 2018

Korvatunturi - Peace and quiet and magic

Korvatunturi 486 m sijaitsee  kaukana Itäkairassa, Venäjän rajalla.
Huipulla käymiseen tarvitsee luvan. 

MONDAY 22.10.2018

We drove our little camper from home to Kemihaara. It is a 5-6 hours drive. On the way we stopped in Kemijärvi to eat. We found a pizzeria called Napoli, which proved to serve the best chicken pizza ever. You should try it!

The way to Kemihaara seemed very long. It made us realize we don't really live in the wilderness in Taivalkoski. After all, from our farm there is only a few kilometers to the nearest big road and only 25 km to the shops. In Kemihaara the nearest village Savukoski is more than 100 km away. Quite a long way to go and get a liter of milk.

The road ends in the place where three small rivers come together and become one. It is the place where the longest river in Finland, Kemijoki, is born. It was just getting dark when we reached it. We made a little walk by the river to stretch our legs and to let Noppa do the same. The river and the weather seemed cold and magically blue.

I must tell you more about Noppa. She is our new puppy. She is five months old. We wanted to take her with us on this trip to teach her how to travel in car, how to trek and how to cope with eating and sleeping in the wilderness huts. But there was nothing to teach. To my surprise she acted calm and adult all the time. Noppa seems to be so clever, that I am almost sure she will be a future leader in my dog team.

Rakitsanojan kammi tarjoaa tunnelmallisen yösijan ja jakaa päivämatkat sopiviksi. 

TUESDAY 23.10. 2018

When we walked up at six, it was really cold. -7 in the car and -10 outside. No wonder I was freezing at night! My husband started the car, so it soon gave us warmth and it was nice to cook breakfast.

We started walking at eight, just before daylight. First we walked over a wooden bridge and across the yard of  a silent guest house. I was wondering if there is anyone in, and how difficult it must be to run one here in the end of the road.

Anyway, from the other side of the river starts the path to Korvatunturi. It is marked and very easy to walk. The path goes through pine and spruce -forest and areas that look like cattle has been there. And so it has - big herds of reindeer are kept in this area. There are some very long fences dividing the area to summer- and winter pastures or something like that. Still, on our trip we did not see any reindeer.

And not much else, either. There was fog and clouds and minus degrees - a combination that made frost grow big on every branch and hey. It looked like walking in a dream. Or in a dead forest.
There were no sounds, no people, not even a breath of wind. I just watched my legs walk and my dog and husband disappear in the whiteness. I must say it was a meditative walk.

In the afternoon we came to Rakitsanoja, where there is a new hut build in old style. It is lovely. It is small, cozy, and has everything in the right place. We cooked dinner and slept 12 hours, Noppa snuggling next to me.

Viiden kuukauden ikäinen Noppa-pentu kulki vierellämme koko matkan. 

WEDNESDAY 24.10. 2018

When my alarm went of at six, I saw my husband and my puppy fast a sleep. I turned one more hour to my clock. At seven the alarm made us move. Markku made fire and put the kettle on, I fed the dog an took her out. We had a good breakfast in good mood: Today was the day to summit.

The path from here was first much less clear and in the bushes, but still quite easy to find. It would have been impossible to find, if it started snowing. So my husband stopped to make some gps marks in case.

After a few kilometers we reached the border area. You need permission to go there. It is easy to get in it in Suomi.fi. After getting it you just need to phone, for example when leaving Kemihaara, because there is no network later, and tell the 24 hour window during which you are allowed to visit the top. You have to stay in the path and keep your dog in the leash.

I was in doubt, if there is a hill at all. In all the pictures Korvatunturi looked so sharp, almost like a mountain. And here I was, walking in a forest under huge pine trees - it could be south of Finland, if you ask me. But then, on the final hundreds of meters there happens a miracle: the trees go smaller and the sun (SUN!) starts to shine.

The fog stays down in the valleys and makes the top feel like Himalaya - above the clouds. It is a gift given to us. We stay a long time on the top, looking at magical views to every direction as far as Saariselkä. Sokosti and Russia. Enjoying warm sunshine with no wind. Eating our lunch. Letting the little brave dog have a nap. Taking pics. Breathing. Light. Energy.

Then, finaly, back to earth, down to forest, under the clouds. Our little home-like hut waiting for us - onlyfor us, still no-one else on this huge and  remote corner of Finland.

Metsän aamun hämärässä sadusta tulee totta ja todesta satua.
Voin tuntea kaiken yhteyden,

THURSDAY 25.10. 2018

Good morning sunshine, Time to walk back! No extra hour of sleep this time. Up at six, little breakfast, careful cleaning of the hut and packing of the gear. At half past seven we go to dark blue forest. This time it looks different. A peace of mystery has traveled with us from the top.

There is nothing more beautiful than the light of the forest just before dawn - it seem to give every little thing a deeper meaning, almost like revealing the true nature of  us beings. When I say us, I mean trees, stumps that have been trees, seeds that will be trees - and the same with animals and people. We are all one. A fact that shows itself more clear some moments than the others.

My feet got really tired walking all day. After all, this was the third day on the row. But nothing serious, no bad pain or blisters. Just a little sore. Normal for trekking. And we walked much faster than the other way. We came to the car early in the afternoon and started driving back home.

On the way we had a most interesting stop in Savukoski. Maybe I will tell you about that some day, but for now I just say I feel blessed.

Watch the best pictures from the trip: Korvatunturi
Meditative music in the video is made by our son Aleksanteri

13 October 2018

Part of Bear Trail

Elokuussa kävelin pätkän Karhunkierrosta yksinäni. 

In August I walked a part of Bear Trail alone.

Bear Trail in Kuusamo is one of the most famous trekking trails in Finland. It's 85 km long, following river Oulanka and climbing over the hills of Ruka.

I started my trip early in the morning in Kuusamo, where I catch a bus. The ride to the starting point made me fell sick, because there was so many up- and down hills on the small roads. I was happy to get out of the bus and breath fresh air. I started walking right away.

The air was surprisingly cold so early in the morning. I felt good, knowing the walk would make me warm, and enjoying the feeling of the path I had never walked before.

Ristikallio on upea näköalapaikka. 

The first exciting place I reached was called Ristikallio. It was cliff bigger than thought, giving a great view to the river and lake below. There was no-one else there. On the highest point I sat down, opened my backpack and ate some sandwiches. Boy they tasted good! It was almost unreal to sit alone on the top of the cliff, hearing nothing but the wind, and still I felt it was hard to concentrate - difficult just to be here and now, my mind jumping to the days before and ahead of me. After all, these were the last days of my holiday, and I'd be back to work in a couple of days.

All these thoughts criss-crossing my mind I walked down the cliff. There was a neat cabin by the water. It would be nice to ca night there some time. On holidays I always think I can came back later in  the autumn, maybe with friends, but why not admit it: It's not very likely to happen. When the work starts, on weekends it is so much easier just to stay home and rest.

After the cabin I saw some swamps and forest, and still no people. It pleased me to be walking alone.
I passed an other cabin by a pond. With no fireplace it was not suitable for overnight, but a very nice place for lunch break. I didn't stay, I just walked on.

Taivaalkönkäällä on kolme riippusiltaa.

In Taivalköngäs there were many small rivers and three bridges over them. There were also people. Some of them had come by the river on canoes. I stopped to eat my lunch on a wooden table outside. It started raining a little, but the weather was warm.

After lunch I walked to Runsulampi. There was a very nice fireplace by the river. I put on my hammock. Sitting there I suddenly noticed my mind was in peace. I felt no need to rush on. I layed down, and without really noticing it, fell a sleep. It must have been half an hour or so, but when I woke up, I felt like walking again. I  put on my backpack and went on.

Rentouttava lepotauko Runsulammilla.

At about five o'clock I reached Oulanka Nature Center. To my surprise it was open and there was a restaurant. I ordered a vegetarian  hamburger with salad. It was much better than the tuna and noodles that stayed in my bag. I also filled all my bottles and bags with fresh water.

In the evening I still had time to go and see the biggest white water, Kiutaköngäs. Late on this dry summer there was not much water, but somehow it was even more interesting to see so much of the stones and the river bed. And the sound of the water in between the rocks was still huge.
Nukuin riippukeinussa Kiutakönkään alapuolella. 

I went on to find a place to stay the night. A few km to down stream there was tenting area. I put my hammock between two big trees. I cooked some tea and then  had the best night sleep ever. It must be the combination of 20 km of walking and the soothing sound of  white waters, that made me sleep almost 12 hours!

In the morning my dear husband came to meet me and to walk a  5 km nature path with me. I made fire and boiled some water for our breakfast.  Just before he arrived, some taiga jays came to eat with me. I like them so much I tried to feed them from my hand, but hey always stayed some inches apart from touching.



Suo Puikkokämpän lähellä. 

Kävelin Sallantien aloituspaikalta Oulangalle noin 20 km. 


Variksenmarja on hyvä taukojuoma, kun vesi on vähissä. 

Fosforusammalta Taivalkönkään kallioissa. 

Myrkyllinen punakonnanmarja. 

Kuin leikattu. 

Luonnon oma taukopaikka. 

Sade harmaannutti metsän. 

Kiutakönkäässä oli vesi vähissä. 

Majoitteena riippukeinu on ihan huippu. 

Iltateetä risukeittimellä.

Aurinko laskee.

Upea yöpaikka. 

Hyvää yötä ja  huomenta.