Well, I'm back home, since monday evening. The archipelago trip fell through and I rode home.
All in all I had a great time, and good luck with the weather sure helped. There was a light drizzle on the first evening,
but I had already pitched my tent and got my bags inside so nothing got wet. Otherwise the skies were almost
clear the whole time. The wind helped a lot on day two and otherwise it was mostly light sidewinds.
Finnish wildlife seems to have some sort of camera-detection built in, whenever I packed my camera in a bag all manners of beasts
and birds pranced about on and above the road. I saw two Golden Eagles(Aquila Chrysaetos) chasing crows, presumeably away from a nest.
I saw european Elk(called Moose and slightly bigger in america), White-tail Deer, something big and brown scurrying
away from me in a hurry that might have been a brown bear, a Black Kite(Milvus migrans) and lots of rabbits and
some red foxes.
The trangia stove was a life-saver, cooking on it is very simple and it's reasonably light and compact. I made something called "Outdoor Meal"
made by a swedish foodstuffs-maker called Blå Band, some nudle soup bags, instant coffee and bought some microwaveable soups and
sausages and such in shops along the road. Tried to catch some fish a lake I camped by outside of Lavia, no luck.
I met a nice tourer from Helsinki in Juonikylä, who had done over 400km on a 5-speed and with minimal camping equipment.
Went by lake Kyöliö(Where the farmer Lalli is said to have slain Bishop Henry of Sweden in 1155, the municipality symbol depicts a bishops hat
and an axe (http://www.ngw.nl/int/fin/k/images/koylio.jpg))
, and lake Pyhäjärvi where I camped the third night.
Coming into Turku I met 3 tourers, first a cool german guy who had come via Denmark and Sweden to visit a friend, saw another guy in a stoplight
and we exchanged quick greetings, then just after I met up with my brother we met an older, bearded gentleman with lots of packing and a Bob YAK.
He smiled when I told him I'd been out for 3½ days, he had been going for 3½ weeks :-). Rode a little bit on the outskirts of Turku on my first day there,
then went out pipe-shopping and got myself a nice new churchwarden(long stemmed pipe) and some tobacco. Went to a pub later on and saw a cople playng acoustic versions
of pop and rock songs, and doing it pretty well.
I swapped the "normal" handles on my bike for rubbery grips, and got a set of ergonomical barends too. I like the extra
hand positions it gave me.
On the way back i camped in the woods outside of Laitila, then rented a small cabin in a campsite in Kristiinankaupunki,
I figured I was worth it after 11 hours in the saddle. Met a very nice californian now living in Helsinki who tours
a bit every summer. We got a sixpack and talked bikes and touring for a few hours while the sun set.
After getting groceries in kristiinankaupunki, i broke my chain while mounting the bike. Took me a while to find a replacement,
and none of the shopps I saw selling bikes had a chaintool :-o
But with a lot of friendly help and sevice we got the chain off(only one of the sideplaes of a link had come loose)
and mounted a new chain with a pair of pliers and a hammer. Big thanks to J at Kone Ollila in Kristiinankaupunki.
The cassette, or rather, the fifth blade was so worn the chain skipped a lot. It was, of course the gear of choise for cruising, so it took a while
for me to adjust.
The last day was the hardest, long, long straight stretches of road and a few bigger hills. But I knew I could make it home
and I enjoyed the ride anyway.
I really got a new interest in seeing more of my own country, and being disconnected from the rest of the world for a while was awsome.
I kept my phone swithced off for most of the time, sent and recieved text messages during longer brakes and in the evenings.
The "Everymans Right" http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?...d=49256&lan=EN
is great, basically you can camp anywhere, cook and swim
and wander as long as you don't disturb anyone.
In numbers; Day one: 109km, 5 hours, got to Seinäjoki. Day two: 155km, 7 hours, got to Lavia. Day three: 112km, 5 hours, got to Säkylä. Day four: 75km, to Turku.
Going home only took 2½ days, started in the afternoon from Turku, got about 67km and pitched my tent in a nice little clearing. Day two i did 197km in 11 hours, got to Kristiinankaupunki. Day three I kept pedalling until I got home att 23.00 after fighting a headwind all day, my average was somewhere around 18-19 km/h.
The beach oputside Lavia where I camped, lovely place.
The guy I met in Juonikylä
Myself in Juonikylä
Sunset on lake Pyhäjärvi
Horrible straight, nice downhill though
A cool tourer i met at the campsite in Kristiinankaupunki