What do you say we go the spa in Peurunka…
-.. on foot?
-How far away was it again?
-Why the hell not.
Behind some web search, maybe when I was browsing Nature Walks, I found something last Fall. Actually, now I remember! I saw a photo on Instagram where someone went from Halssila to Peurunka on a mountain bike and I thought: we could totally do that on foot. I did some googling and found a blog called Jalkaisin, which told me all I needed to know about the Metsoreitti. So I threw an idea in the air one early morning after Heikki had just woken up. I tend to stay up at night and surf the web, occasionally writing down ideas when I can’t sleep. So as soon as my husband got his eyes open, I came at him with this one. Ideas like this are usually… not hard to accept but they do require some effort. So after his morning coffee, he was on board and we started making plans. We reached a compromise: afternoon at the spa and take the bus back home.
Because we wanted to get an early start, we took a cab to the beginning of the trail. The sign read: Peurunka 22,4 km. We weren’t worried, these (new) hiking boots were made for walking!
We held a steady pace and not before long we came across Koiralampi, a tiny pond with a lean-to on its shore. We stopped to take photos and posted some on Instagram.
Somewhere in Tiituspohja we found awesome sand dunes which gave me a rush of nostalgia – we used to play in similar ones as kids, never mind how dangerous and prohibited it was. Maybe I’m not held accountable anymore? The view atop the largest dune was very autumn-y. At the bottom I remember something from Jalkaisin blog: a word of warning on a distinct lack of trail marks. But we found the way!
It was grey and cool all day long, which is the best weather for hiking.
The plan was to have something to eat at Heposuo and we managed to light up our trusty Trangia for the water but the amount of deer flies caught us by surprise. So we packed up our stuff and marched on to a more open area. It was pretty effortless with meals like this. They use them in the army, you know.
The trail was riddled with places to sit on. It’s used as a ski trail during winter.
When we weren’t surrounded by beautiful forests, we were sloshing around in mud. Some parts weren’t so interesting to look at but I assume this was because it’s used as a ski trail and a ski trail doesn’t have to look pretty. But the scenery was, at times, breathtaking and we did enjoy the hike. I suppose if I had written everything of interest down as we went along, I wouldn’t have to rely on my memory alone. What I can tell you, is that the photos are definitely from that walk but I won’t promise they’re in the right order. My extremely disorganized life had no room for trail descriptions until now, so expect more thorough reports, come Spring.
We were almost in Peurunka when a man riding a trotter horse stopped and asked us where we were going. To Peurunka! After hearing how far we were from, he looked at us like we were insane. On his way back, he stopped again to confirm: ”Seriously? All the way from Jyväskylä?” He even offered to give us a ride but we were determined. One final meal stop at the lean-to of Kivikallio and away we were. Everything was fine until we reached pavement. New hiking boots are amazing but walking on pavement left my calves on a state of constant cramp. Fortunately it subsided after a half an hour in the jaccuzzi. Needless to say, the spa compromise was more than necessary. I suffer from overly tight soles and loose ankles, so my shins and calves are more prone to strain than usual. Proper footwear helps but back then my hiking shoes hadn’t taken shape yet. These days they feel perfect. The last kilometer was tough but we made it!
We loved it in Peurunka. Soaking in hot water for about three hours and dozing off on the bus ride home. Peurunka is fairly well connected when it comes to bus lines. Afterwards our legs were aching like hell but after a day or two we were back on our feet as per usual, so no permanent damage done! In Salamajärvi we miscalculated, too. 20 kms a day taught us that, well… 20 kms is too much. Cut that in half and you’ve got the maximum amount of distance we should cover. Until we suffer another hit of temporary insanity and go for 20 again.
Best tips for the trip can be found (in Finnish) here: