Friday, 7 June 2013

Day 4 - Kautokeino to Katkasuvan (approx. 122km)

I ended up going to bed very late the previous night in order to make use of Michelle's ipad after everyone else had finished with it. Therefore when my alarm went off about 5 hours later and it was raining heavily outside I opted to stay in my cocoon and wait for the rain to stop (especially given the fact I could hear Mark still i his tent). 11am, then midday - still raining. I tentatively unzipped the tent door to see that the others had already taken their tents down and were seeking refuge in the kitchen area. They then urged me to start packing up so I began the awkward, cramped process of deflating and packing the sleeping mat, rolling up and packing the blue kazoo (my sleeping bag that all the others are well jealous of) and slagging all the clothes and random posessions into the pannier bags. After the packing it was a quick dash to the dry kitchen area with all my stuff. My breakfast eating session began with a generous bowl of corn flakes with condensed milk )at least that's what I think it was - more like cream than milk), peanut butter baguette with virtually a whole jar of peanut butter, peanut butter bourbons (a layer of peanut butter that I sanwiched between 2 leftover rich tea-style biscuits) along with the standard crisps and chocolate. At one point Chris needed a carrier bag to cover his handlebar bag to act as a waterproof cover and there weren't any around. Then Kinza spotted a bag next to the toilet with discarded toilet paper in and suggested he used this. This resulted in Chris spending about 5 minutes gradually emptying the contents of the bag down the toilet and flushing so he could have the bag much to everyone's amusement. The girls then had to get food from the petrol station in town (they had to go back the way we came for 1 or 2 km to get there) as they arrived after the supermarket shut the previous evening so had run out of food. Tom went with them as well as he had eaten all of his supermarket food from yesterday. When Tom and the girls got back we finally left at 2.20pm with a 128km day ahead of us. The rain had significantly eased and the heavy rain had faded into a drizzle. Initially I felt good having had the spaghetti last night and a good eating session before leaving. We were crossing the border into Finland soon so this helped with motivation. There were a few more rain showers during the earlier section of the day which made for rather unpleasant riding for a bit. Thankfully these were short lived and by the time we crossed into Finland the rain had gone. We stopped at a 'Roadside Grill' for another eating session at around 8 or 9pm and got burgers, kebabs and chips. This was also when I discovered the delicious strawberry cider they seem to have everywhere have up here. Despite feeling fatigued the cycle from the roadside grill to our destination was wonderful (long, smooth, reletively flat roads) and it had turned into a beautiful sunny evening. We were wild camping so as we approached the designated daily mileage the lookout for potential places to crash began. Soon we came across this souvenir place which also had cabins to rent. Nobody was up for camping so mother Kinza along with her son Tom went knocking looking around for someone to ask about renting a cabin. Inevitably nobody was around as it had gone midnight. There were several outbuildings dotted around so we had a look at these for potential sanctuary, finding an empty teepee-style wooden hut with a reindeer-hyde bench around the perimeter indide with reindeer hyde's for cushions and a massive stove/chimney in the middle. This warm, dry, mosquito free area would definitely do. We set to work shotgunning spaces on the perimeter bench/reindeer hydes/getting sleeping arrangements in order. The girls wrote a note to the owners as were worried about the possibility of an angry Finnish farmer coming in at 5am wondering what on earth 6 cyclists were doing sprawled across his hut. After a smallish eating session we went to bed. Highlights: Chris's toliet paper bag, the evening ride after the roadside grill, mother Kinza and son Tom.

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