Sunday, August 07, 2005

DAY 13 - mossies, rain and tired feet

a beautiful morning in kilpisjärvi! we take the boat across the lake (kilpisjärvi) to koltaluokta, the jetty out there in malla national park. there's this boy on board, opposite us, dressed in camouflage from head to toe. looks kind of funny on this skinny kid. *S*

kata (sami tent) at koltaluokta

the sky's blue with a few white clouds just for effect, but as we arrive at koltaluokta, the clouds start to move in from all sides, and there are some grey ones among the whites. i hope that it won't rain soon - we have 14 km to go, and that doesn't sound like too much fun in the rain! so, one step after another, we walk along the lake at first, it's flat, so it's easy walking.

the path leads to treriksröset, the border triangle (finland, norway, sweden), that's a little over 3 km, and then back to kilpisjärvi. the lake is completely calm, birds are twittering everywhere, and the sun's back out. pretty soon after treriksröset, the path climbs a little, we walk across swampy areas on planks, and then, as the path climbs again, the mossies strike. for some reason, the higher we go, the more there are - and they are a pain. they certainly are. and once again, they like to go for the head, yuck!


we have a quick stop for lunch on top of some hill with a lovely view of the national park, but the insects are so annoying that it's impossible to sit still. we talk to a finnish guy briefly, who assures us that it's not a bad mossie year - because usually "you cannot really breathe for insects". what a comfort. *S*

malla national park

and so we move on along the ridge, across boulders, across little streams. the views are stunning, it's quiet, wonderfully quiet, and i enjoy walking. we stop again along the way, near a waterfall, and thank goodness there are not as many mossies around there! it's getting cloudy again, the sun hardly ever peeks out anymore, and i am quite sure it will rain.

malla sky

and it does. once we are past another peak, descending to some plateau, the first raindrops fall. it stops again, but then - it rains. and rains. for a few kilometres, we have to walk in the pouring rain. it takes a little fun out of the hiking, especially since the slopes are rather steep and slippery in places, and we really have to watch our step.

terrible things could happen!

water mingles with mygga insect repellent and drips into my eyes, which is, well, slightly unpleasant. but still - instead of complaining, i concentrate on walking, and hoping fervently that it'll stop.

a hole in the clouds

downhill it goes, and through some wood, and then we are there! back near the main road into kilpisjärvi, at the car park. only what we did not know, is that it's another 3 kilometres to our campground! at least it stops raining again, and we walk the last part of the long hike in sunshine. i look like a little piggy, or at least my trousers are mud-spattered! and we are quite, quite knackered after these 17,5 km, and once again i thank heaven for a (free) shower! i think i spend about 20 minutes in there!

filthy michi!

i cannot for the life of me imagine climbing saana the next day, but that's only temporary, i know i want to do that.

we get us some food from the marvellous supermarket, and while we have dinner, it begins to rain again. and the rain has come to stay.

day 13 photos

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