Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Stocking Up

Kautokeino – Enontakio   83.9 km   860’ ascent
Interesting conversation last night with a local Sami lad who spent his early days herding reindeer. The battles they had to maintain their culture, language and way of life are not unfamiliar to so many indigenous peoples   of the world but here the pace of change is very fast. Not so fast is our bike riding.After battling with 30 kilometre winds yesterday we were keen to see what the forecast had in store for today. First impressions were encouraging, for as we opened the curtains, the wind was coming from the north west and it was much less strong. It was forecast to come round to the west which meant it would either be vaguely behind us and then on our right shoulder. We can cope with that! So after a hearty breakfast, we set off, in optimistic mood, for Enontakio. Never quite sure how far it is to the next supermarket, (80kms the longest so far) we stocked up with plenty of goodies at the earliest opportunity.
It has to be said that the Scandinavians don’t do flat as in no ups and no downs so we resumed our roller coaster ride but without the wind. In the sunshine, it was delightful. Spring was in full flourish with buds, birds and butterflies and the inevitable reindeer. In fact Alan had such a close encounter with the latter that he managed a full frontal close-up photo of some very fine specimens. The scenery of the last few days continued to follow us around and can best be described as resembling Llangynidr moor with birch trees(very small ones!) and lots of lakes. The major difference being one of scale. Forget Llangynidr moor and imagine the whole of Wales and more!  I had thought there might be a major change on crossing the border into Finland but it remained defiantly the same until we dropped (yes, we actually went downhill) into areas of coniferous woodland.  Enontakio suddenly appeared with none of the usual plethora of signs on the roadside to warn us of its arrival and so we made the final pull up to our hotel.  After a decent interval (I have discovered that I need a little time to relocate my legs and more importantly, my tongue before I can present myself to receptionists) we booked a room, luxuriated in a shower and went for a meal. Such luxury! Pasta and soup does pall after a while.
On leaving the restaurant , we found ourselves in conversation with an English guy who sells  saw mills to the Finns. He was very grateful for the opportunity to speak  his mother tongue! He explained his situation and we told him of ours. Our social obligation fulfilled, and this blog written means that I can now, with clear conscience, collapse onto my bunk!
Until tomorrow. 


  1. Have been having trouble posting comments for the last couple of days (hence the text). So has aunty Wendy incidentally; she sends her love. Glad you're both still in one piece and are (somehow) still smiling?! Xxx

  2. Next stop Muonio? Just looked up Enontekio on Google maps - it's pretty bleak up there..?? Are you going to carry on through Finland or go down through Sweden?

  3. Ps I'm told that the Restaurant J.L.H.R Ravintola is where you can get the best reindeer burger in Muonio..!