Day 138 | Sauna time in Pyhäjärvi

Day 138 | Saturday July 30

Quick flashback to yesterday, I mentioned that I was offered a little tour through Oulu but we didn’t go as there was not much to see. So apparently Teemu’s mother-in-law read this, called and told him we absolutely needed to drive around. So we did. The ride itself was very pleasant, Teemu drives this big fat Mustung GT something which he imported from the US. 300 horsepowers! Everything shaket though, one of the downsides of ICE cars 😉

I have to admit that Teemu was kind of right. Not to say that Oulu is not a nice town, it has it’s charm and feels cosy but it’s missing some highlights like architecture, parks or something like that. There was a festival were The Prodigy was playing, that was a highlight even though I didn’t see them.

So back to today. I went for a run, need to keep my mind and body fixated. When I got back Heli already made a big breakfast. Today I was planning to go to Ylivieska, I had an host there and contacted them a few days ago. When I wanted to leave I found out that they didn’t reply on my mails so I quickly needed to find another place to stay. Luckily I’m well covered in Finland.
I contacted Tony in Pyhäjärvi, he quickly responded that it was ok to come by today. 

It was a 180km drive which is never sure if I can make that but the weather was perfect (+20 degrees) and the roads mainly flat so I got there with 7% left. My navigation didn’t find his house number, later he explained that the number means how many kilometers the house is located from the main road. So for example ‘Churchstreet 400’ means the house is 400 meters from the start, if it’s an one-way road.

The house was in the middle of a forrest and they use it for summer holiday’s, christmas and new years parties. Located right on a like and one of the most beautiful places I had the opportunity to stay. So as it’s their summer resort they stay there with the whole family. Toni with his girlfriend Vanessa, the parents and his brother Niko with his wife who I didn’t met unfortunately. Their grandparents are staying at a house next door. Oh yeah and a dog. Think that feels crowded? It definitely doesn’t because there is a huge forrest and a lake where you can jump in to. And we did that. They read on the blog that I didn’t take a sauna yet in Finland and they had to change that quickly. They had a separate sauna building next to their house. I never was a big sauna fan as I found them to hot and steamy mostly but this one was pretty good. Nice temperature and they put some tastes in the water to let it smell like eucalyptus and freshly baked bread.

After the sauna we took a dive in the lake, which was nicely 20 degrees, then we went into the hottub and repeated this process a couple of times. Accompanied with the unlimited beers they offered me, this was a damn refreshing experience!

 

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Day 136 & 137 | From Kemi to Oulu

Day 136 | Thursday July 28

Today I finally made it to someone who plugged me in. The last time had been in Badderen, Norway and was already 1.162km ago. All those days I had survived by camping and asking people to help me along the way. Which was good for many interesting stories but I also felt a bit isolated and most of all, hungry! In the last 3 days I had one meal a day at most.

So I arrived in Kemi, a city on the Gulf of Bothnia. Jarno plugged me in here, he found me via a friend of Gregor Terrer were I stayed 2 nights in Austria. Jarno was still at work and invited me to come over there. He works for Polar-Automaatioa, a solution provider for industrial electrification and automation. He showed me some of the work they are doing and it was quite impressive. They have this huge 450 meters wide machines and there job is to make this come alive.

Jarno had booked a hotel for me and after 3 days without a shower that was not a bad place to stay. After I showered he picked me up and drove to a restaurant, I could pick anything I wanted and choose a big pile of meat with red-wine sauce. Damn that tasted good.

After dinner we went for some sightseeing around the town. Funny enough Jarno showed me things which are interesting mostly in the winter. First an huge impressive ice-breaker and then the site were a snow castle is build every year when the snow falls. Jarno asked me if I needed any stuff and told him my toothpaste ran out so the nice guy bought me a new one and also hairgel and mosquito spray! Back at hotel Merihovi I finished the night with a big fat hamburger which was provided by them so I’m all good for the coming days 🙂

Day 137 | Friday July 29

The night in a 2 person hotelroom bed did me well after 4 nights of survival. I had breakfast, did some work and then went back to Jarno’s workplace as he invited me for lunch. He even gave me 200 Russian Ruble (which is about 5 euro) for my trip there in a few weeks. So great!

My next stop was in Oulu, the names here in Finland are pretty funny, especially when I pronounce it with my Dinglish accent. Teemu was the one who plugged me in here, he found me because of an article in Helsingi Sanomat, one of Finland’s biggest newspapers. He lives here with his wife Heli. This was the first time in Finland that I stay at someones home. Teemu works as in IT-specialist and Heli does something with paper, they both couldn’t explain what exactly. They have a sauna in their house, but that’s really common here, every house has one. Teemu offered me to take a ride and show me around but told me that there was nothing to see here, so we didn’t go.

 

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Day 134 & 135 | Into Finland

Day 134 | Tuesday July 26

Woke up at camping Karacamp in Karasjov (it almost sounds Russian). While it was 25 degrees yesterday, today it was raining hard. For today I had not a tight plan, I just needed to go south towards Finland.

I stopped in Kautokeino which was close to the end of my battery. It was a quitte town and someone tipped me that I had to go to the Juhls Silver Gallery. It’s a shop where they sell jewelry, made from Sami silver. It’s not only a shop but there also is a museum where they show tools of the Sami people.

As I found a socket to charge the car I decided that I wanted to pass the Finish border today. On the Smart Charging app I found there was a Type 2 charging station in Palojarvi, I was not sure if it would work but it was worth taking the risk. Around 11pm I arrived in Finland! Country #11 already this trip and my first time here. I don’t know much about it except for that my childhood hero Jari Litmanen comes was born here and the legendary Nokia company.
As I secretly expected the charging station didn’t communicate with the car. It was placed next to a gasstation with camping and that was about it here. The camping shop was already closed but luckily there was normal socket used to keep accu’s running in the winter so there I plugged it in.

I could sleep in the car or at the camping but I was not sure who they would react in the morning. At the other side of the road was nothing and why not put up the tent there in stead of 30 meters away and risk getting trouble. So this was the first time I went “wild camping”. The place was filled with mosquitos, like thousands, it made it almost impossible to put up the tent but eventually it stood there.

Day 135 | Wednesday July 27

I counted my mosquito bites, there were at least 25 of them. On my face, arms, back and ass. Crazy how was they can get you.

The car was fully charged thankfully and I continued my way down south. The first biggest “city” i passed was Muomi and there was a charger too, again I couldn’t use it. When I got there I was terrible hungry and while driving I felt not fresh at all. The last time I had some food was breakfast yesterday morning, and that were just some slices of bread with jam. The charger was located next to Hotel Harriniva and the very friendly lady was willing to offer me a lunch. They had a buffet with many thinks and normally I would have gone for croissants and sweet stuff but I choose paste, cauliflower and salade. I could feel the vitamins flowing through my veins, it felt damn good.

I charged a little but and continued driving it started raining heavily and even huge hailstones fell out the air. I ended up in Kolari with 7% battery left. There was a huge building with a big sign “hotel” on top of it but when I entered I found it was now used as a home for refugees. There was a caretaker and I explained him I was looking for a bed and place to charge the car. I felt actually a bit stupid that I came here to ask that while there were so many people here in a bad situation. After all I am in a luxurious position that I can make a trip like this. The caretaker was really nice and thought he had an idea. With his car we drove to a train station nearby, it was only used in the weekend and he thought we would find a place to charge here. There was a press-container and we tried to find some people to ask it it was ok to charge there. There was nobody. On the container was a phonenumber which he dialed. Long story short: it was ok to unplug the container and charge the car there. It didn’t work out well, after 20 minutes it stopped charging and I changed to a normal plug.

Around 4 in the morning I arrived in Pello where I found a plug outside. It was in the city and no place to camp so I spend the night in the car, just like old times.

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