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Night #6: Pallaskota camping site
Night number six was peaceful location-wise but I couldn’t help but stress a bit. I couldn’t sleep properly and I kept worrying about the little things and quite a bit of big stuff too – like starting the wilderness guide studies. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? Needless to say, I kept waking up through the night.
Even though the skies were clear the night before, the morning greeted us with a thick fog. I nearly ran to the Nature Center. I might’ve been a bit excited.
But not before someone ran past the pole we hung our tent to dry on.
Night #7: Hetta Office House
I thought I’d get to the Pyhäkero wilderness hut already but this didn’t happen until Tuesday. Instead we set up our tent on the yard of the Office House and felt extremely tired at around 8 PM.
Then came the wind and rain and we noticed a small design flaw in our otherwise awesome tent. The little clips that hold the door flap open, aren’t sealed the way everything else is. So during heavy downpour water slips through. It wouldn’t be such a bother but heavy wind directs the water into the pouches inside. We also carry a light tarp around for extra protection. It goes underneath the tent and you need to take extra caution when setting it up so it doesn’t gather water. Which it did.
After our little evening chores we finally fell asleep with the rain bashing against the tent roof. I hate to admit it but our old tent, heavier though it may be, had better rain resistance capabilities. I’ll try to get over the fact that having a lighter tent means sacrificing the aforementioned.
Nights #8 and #9: The patio of the Pyhäkero Café
Before night number 8 I felt a tiny bit like giving up and sleeping indoors.The previous night had soaked the tent and we had to hang it inside to dry. After a day’s worth of painting we took a little nap by the fire. It turned out to be a good idea and it made sense to go outside again. The exceptional location, the patio, shielded us from he majority of the rain.
Normally people aren’t allowed to set their tents there, obviously, but we had special permission. It was the only dry place around, too. It rained for days and the ground was muddy all over. We made our meals either on the Trangia or in the kitchen. Luxury!
I’ve spent a night in a puddle of water (or, more accurately, in a swamp) and even though the gear we had at our disposal were of significantly poorer quality, this time around the wet and cold ground felt freezing. Our old dome tent has a thick lower layer to keep moisture out and the new one unfortunately lets some in. Important camping lesson: location, location, location. Don’t pitch a tent in a puddle!
Night #10: the sand ridge near Pyhäkero Wilderness Hut
After painting over our latest tent spot, we had to find a new place for it.Our foreman Risto told us about a sand ridge behind the outhouse and that turned out to be a perfect spot.
It had been a warm and sunny day through and through but as soon as we had set the tent up, it started raining. The area was busy with all kinds of different groups of people either passing through or staying for the night. One group in particular was noisy enough for me to consider giving them hell about disturbing the peace but then I realized it was only 9 PM. So, not exactly bedtime no matter how much sleepy I felt.
Night #11: The Vista Hut of Jyppyrä Hill
The original idea was to go take pictures of stars and we had a couple of options but the Office House yard had too much light pollution. So we packed our bags and headed for the Jyppyrä Hill. We had visited it before on our previous trip, so we knew what to expect.
And what a view it was! The hut offered shelter from the elements and even though we left our bug nets home, I managed to make a decent cover using the sleeping bag and beanie combination. Plus the dog was basically mosquito bait. Heikki wasn’t as fortunate but thankfully it got cold enough during the night so the bugs didn’t bother him for too long.
Night #12: Red Sands
Our last night in Lapland (so far) was spectacular. The most colorful auroras kept us in awe and we got to meet some interesting people. The morning view from the tent wasn’t too bad either.
I like this challenge even though from time to time I’m worried I don’t have enough time. I’ve had to cancel a few treks and so on. We wanted to spend more nights outdoors in Lapland but an oncoming flu kept us inside. Our dog was dead tired after a week s well. All the hours outdoors was pretty damaging to our lips and didn’t really recover until a few weeks had gone by.
I’m still confident that I’ll get this done.