Sunday, August 07, 2005

DAY 14 - rain, three countries in a day and a suicidal bird

yes indeed the rain has come to stay. it's pouring down all morning, and it does not look like anybody's going to climb saana that day - the top of the mountain is actually shrouded in mist, clouds are hanging low today. we are not quite sure what to do - wait or move on. striking a tent in the pouring rain is never fun. around lunchtime the rain almost ceases though, and we decide to act. we take the tent and try to clean it a little and pack up in the shower/toilet block. that makes things a little easier. by the time we are ready to leave, it's raining again. and today there is no escaping the rain. it feels like it's raining in the whole wide world.

we drive towards kaaresuvanto / karesuando, a little town at the finnish-swedish border. we cross into sweden briefly, stop at the tourist info / souvenir shop / café where i buy a sami cd (the song you can hear on this site is from that cd) and we have a hot drink. outside, there is no sign of the rain ever stopping again. we are not quite sure which way to go now - too soon to return to kiruna, not enough time to go all the way to gällivare or jokkmokk and do things there, so we decide to move north again, to kautokeino - which is neither in sweden nor in finland, but in norway.

karesuando is also the place where my faithful mckinleys, my hiking shoes, finally decide that their time has come. i suspect the hike in the rain the previous day did not do them much good. but i have had them for years, and they have travelled around the world with me. but one of the shoes is now definitely beyond repair. thank goodness that did not happen any sooner on this trip!

santa was here!

it's raining in finland, it's raining in sweden, and it's - surprise surprise! - raining in norway. nonetheless, the landscape is beautiful - so much green, and those little träsks in between, also little streams. what i don't quite get is that there are people out there in the heather, apparently picking something. i mean: why? why not wait for a time when it's not looking like the deluge has come?!

another thing that happens, is that a little bird chooses our windshield to commit suicide. sigh. "plonk" it goes, and the bird is an ex-bird. we stop somewhere to dispose of the little body.

kautokeino is said to have a little cinema - but unfortunately, like so many other cinemas in the north, it is closed during the summer. but we do pay a visit to juhls' silver gallery, which the guide book recommends. and it is well worth it. mrs juhls is originally from germany, and he is danish. they met in the wilderness that was kautokeino over 40 years ago. they both wanted to live away from, well, basically everything. both are artists - and their house / museum / workshop reflects that. they started out with a hut, which is integrated into the much bigger building to this day, and they added rooms through the years, each with its own character, one of them an oriental room, one of them with a mosaic that is still work in progress, and has been for several years. we get a guided tour, even in german. fascinating.

they keep sheep and chicken in a barn, which is also integrated in the big building, practically within the museum! jewellery and paintings are on display - some for sale, some not for sale. regine juhls' jewellery is clearly inspired by nature, some of it very obviously by lichen, and roots, and certain other plants. unique. just like the whole building. and they designed that building, and built a lot of it themselves; the walls and ceiling in the oriental room must have taken ages to saw out, paint, decorate. very impressive, the whole thing.

there is no hope for the rain to stop, and therefore it's quite out of the question that we sleep in the tent that night. we find a campsite with little huts - the owner is fun, he insists on speaking german, because he needs to practice. so we have a warm and dry place to stay that night, and after a trip to the supermarket and a lovely dinner, we have a very cosy night in our little house.

home-cooked meal

and outside, it is still raining as if it will never ever stop again.

campsite in the rain

day 14 photos

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