Morning and breakfast in Juoksengi.
This was the day that we would try our equipment and also our self. Together with my friends Mats Williamson from Luleå and Tarja Leinonen from Kajaani we sat on our bikes in Juoksengi and headed north around 10.30 in the morning. The weather was just wonderful and for the first time I could use my biking-shorts and also only t-shirt for the whole day.
Just a moment before start from Juoksengi.
Mats and Tarja in front of Dränglängan – worth a visit even though it was closed this time.
In Svanstein we met Irene and her granddaugher Salma before making a short stop at Dränglängan. From there it is just a short distance to Valkeakoski, a small village before Neistenkangas. An elk stod in the edge of the forest and a couple of confused reindeers run in front of us on the road for a while before they understood that it is always better to be off-road if you are a reindeer!
Reindeers on the road near Valkeakoski.
In Neistenkangas we looked at the big pine ”Sparbanks-tallen”. Well actually it should be an oak, but they don´t grow on this latitude.
A short visit to parents of Andréa in Neistenkangas just to get to know that she was not there and that there was absolutely too much work that should be done there – the family was painting the house.
Yes, Finland is still there on the other side. The photo is from the Swedish side before crossing the Torne river in Pello. The house in the background is the old customs house, not needed any more because of the open borders.
On the border Sweden – Finland in Pello.
In Pello we crossed the bridge to Finland and to Pello. Yes, on both sides of the river the villages are called the same, exception might be Turtola on Finnish side that does not equal Svanstein on the Swedish side.
In Pello it was time for lunch and we find that the Joppari had enough food for us. There we also met Uno and Anders Lahti, originally from Juoksengi but now living in Stockholm and Luleå.
Did we by the way tell, the sun was shining from a brigh sky and the birds were singing?! The amount of clear air was enough on this beatiful day, except too little was in the tires of ours… so in Pello we had to fill in some and everything started to go smoothly.Well, a typical mistake that one not should do after a while.
From Pello towards Aavasaksa on the Finnish side of the Torne River there was a very good tailwind so the speed went up remarkably. We passed Mämmilä and headed towards Turtola when the phone rang. Linda Danhall from the local newspaper in Norrbotten, NSD, phoned and wanted to an interview with me. She wanted to come to Juoksengi the next day, but I convinced her that it was better for the climate if she phoned me instead and also could we take photos with med biking. That was a little less CO2 into the athmosphere…🙂
Tarja Leinonen in the sunshine, enjoing life and the biketrip.
In Turtola, that is opposite to Svanstein on the Swedish side, we made a stop at the local memorial for the people who died during the three wars Finland hade 1939-1945.
In Finnish Juoksenki there was a meeting with some old friends from the time I lived in Vittangi. It was a short visit to Tauno and Eeva Piippola and it was really nice that Eeva actually recogniced me! That is after about 35 years! Thanks for the coffee!
When making a halt in front of Tuomaan tupa there was one of those problems during this first longer trip – the clip in my left shoe broke apart from the shoe. The Arctic Circle passes the village of Juoksenki.
South from Juoksenki we passed Kaulinranta and Kuivakangas.
Next bigger place on the road was Aavasaksa. When making a halt at the sign for the village my bike fell, several times now by the way, and one of the hooks on the backbag from Biltema on the left side broke. They are not made for longer trips…
When in Aavasaksa we had some interest in icecream in the local shop🙂. The sign tells you that theft is criminal and that they will tell the police, the social agencies and the parents!
The church in Övertorneå / Matarenki.
In Kuivakangas Mats noticed the first house-martin, Delichon urbicum (hussvala/räystäspääsky/Городская ласточка). As they say in finnish: ”Kuu kiurusta kesään, puolikuuta peipposesta, västäräkistä vähäsen, pääskysestä ei päivääkään” – ”A month to summer from skylark, half month from the chaffinch, a little from the wagtail, from swallow not even a day”. So, the summer came in Kuivakangas!
In Korva we made a short visit to Rolf Lahti, who has a company called Arctic Circle Experience and making some outdoor adventure in the surroundings. He is also the local chairman for the local board of The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.
We once more saved a Common frog, Rana temporaria, from the road. Hopefully it survived a little longer.
When in Niskanpää we made a short stop on the parking place for Kattilakoski.
We came back to Juoksengi around 22.00 hours.
So, after this it was time for sauna! And yes, we forgot to put on the bike-computer in some places and the distance today with 117,5 km is a minimum.