Sunday, August 07, 2005

DAY 15 - ex-shoes, more cross-country travels and a national park with an unpronounceable name

miraculously it is not raining when we wake up this morning! and it looks like a nice enough day - pleasant surprise. still, one sad thing in the morning: i have to leave my faithful hiking shoes behind. we decide on a simple goodbye instead of a long ceremony though. in fact, as i meet the owner, i hand the bag with our garbage over to him as he insists on putting it in the container for me.

goodbye to michi's shoes!

though we stop over at kautokeino church which is just as lovely as many others we have seen, and perhaps exceptionally colourful, we are soon on our way south, leaving norway for good this time, and entering finland again. we stop at hetta where i buy two simple silver rings made by sami people. i wear them on my right middle finger. *S*

our destination, for now, is pallas-ja ounastunturi national park. the landscape's lovely, especially in this ever-changing light, due to the sun that's sometimes hiding, sometimes out. so many shades of green, and blue!

we see reindeer on the road several times, and most of them don't seem to be in a hurry. we stop at pallas where there is a hotel/restaurant and a tourist information. it's very windy in this part of the world, and it starts to drizzle when we set out for a brief walk (about 2 or 2,5 km). it must be really nice to do a long hike there, it's quite stunning in its wild, untamed, windswept way. but we simply don't have enough time, and i don't have the proper shoes anymore. so a short walk it is. apart from a few incredibly crooked birches there are no trees. it's heather, lichen, moss, cotton grass.

easy to see which way the wind blows

the sun comes out again towards the end of the walk, and it's unbelievably warm nce we are sitting in the café, behind the window. but the sky is blue now, and the view is a delight.

wall of the hotel at pallas

on our way to karesuando we enjoy the light that once again gives the countryside a surreal atmosphere - shades of green like the ones we see there cannot possible exist in real life!

along the way, at same parking space next to the road, i actually drive the car, just once, and very briefly - just to see what i remember. backwards, forwards, and that's that. i am hopelessly out of practice, of course. i am, however, a fantastically brilliant map-reader and co-driver, even though this part of the world was not the greatest challenge i've known.

we also narrowly avoid a collision with a baby reindeer. apparently its mother moves to the other side of the road as it sees us coming, and baby wants to follow - without looking, as little ones are likely to do; and i am not only talking about reindeers! *S* so baby reindeer jumps out in front of our car, and sepp just manages to swerve, and fortunately the car coming towards us isn't any closer than it is, otherwise, well, we'd have had to hit the little reindeer; that would have caused a lot less damage than crashing with another car - but i suspect it would have been heartbreaking! so, close, but fortunately not a big problem in the end.

once again we have to cross into another country, sweden once more - back in a different time zone again, and this time for good. we stop in karesuando, find a lovely campsite by a träsk, then have to go get us some swedish money at a petrol station. during dinner we get nice views of several successive rainbows - something we did not get very often. we walk down to the shore where, once again, the light is stunning. i cannot get enough of it, and i cannot stop wondering about it. amazing. what's just as amazing is that a local ýouth has a desire to go swimming, or at least, to jump into the water. i am not a sissy, but i doubt i'd have done the same thing, at least at that time of day (around 8 pm). tough guy.

evening in karesuando

this is actually our last night in the tent, although we don't know that for certain yet, because it is undecided whether we'll sleep in the tent in kiruna, our last night in lapland.

day 15 photos

No comments: