I’m ready for a good ride after a night in the tent at the camp site in Lieksa. I’ve planned to reach Ilomantsi today, which is about 130Km.. or at least I thought so!?

20140613_185216Nice morning at the camping in Lieksa
I woke up quite early, started to pack my bag and tent, had some breakfast and coffee, while relaxing. I’m prepared for many km on bad roads today.

It’s time to get started. My legs feel fine, and I look forward to a good day on the bike, at least that’s how I try to prepare my head for the bad roads.

The roads are quite nice, it’s not many cars or people. I’m used to this, used to being alone on the road. The few people I speak with is really nice, but I’m surprised over how few people is taking contact when there is a long distance cyclist coming alone.

Word of the day
So to all of you home, if you see someone cycle alone, say hi to them, ask them where they are going, you might end up to be one of the things they remember from the trip!

IMG_0957The bad road has started. At the beginning it is paved, but with a lot of holes, which is not a problem, you just drive a bit like slalom, easy!

I’m not 100% sure how long the road in this condition will be, so I’m hoping for the best, but fears the worst. And there it comes, gravel and sand. Parts of the gravel is ok to cycle on, but suddenly you can feel the road disappear under you, stay focused, 100% focused!

Normally I appreciate company, not always!
I’ve got some company along the bad road. There is about 7 bees, which is flying around my head. At first I thought that they will leave me soon, but how wrong can you be!?

This is a personal war, I’ve trying to cycle hard to lose them, not a chance. Finally a small downhill appears, I cycle hard and continue with an ok tempo on the flat parts. I look down on my shaddow and can see 7-10 bees flying there as well…….ARGH

The road is continues in the forrest, it is up and down all the way, and the road is not in any condition for a good speed.

I must really smell good (maybe bad?) since my friends from the forrest are still following me, kissing me on my ear, lips, neck and nose. I wish it would have been easier to tell them that I don’t like them, but I guess this is the way it’s supposed to be, there will always be someone who don’t listen.

IMG_0974From time to time I have to tell myself to remember having my mouth closed, sunglasses on, breath with the nose… carefully.. aghhh, I said, mouth closed.

Well, looking at the positive side, I guess it’s just proteins, I’m just happy it wasn’t a bee.

Finally paved road, It’s almost like I want to kiss it!
Finally I’m finished with the gravel road, this is a life saver, even my friends have disappeared, I guess 40Km away from home was as far as they was allowed to go.

The road from here is quite good. I see a sign by the road, saying that there is a place serving food on the left side. When I arrive at this place, I can see that it’s a war museum. I order some food and buy a ticket to have a look.

He shows me a movie from the cold war. I walk around, taking pictures and reading. When I’m at places like this and like I’ve been for the last 3 days, I get more and more interested.

IMG_0976It’s not often I have this feeling. In history classes from school, I remember that it was especially when we had Svein Kåre Meling as a substitute teacher in history class, that it was really interesting. It was something about the way he told the stories, all class was quiet and just listened carefully.

Back on the road. Continuing towards Ilomantsi, knowing that there is 40Km left, but also aware that the road I’m taking, might be in bad condition and also a detour.

Gravel road? That’s too good conditions, why don’t we try tracktor roads!
I’m turning left. The road turnes to gravel straight away, then it turnes into tracktor roads in the middle of the woods. I’m getting really close to the Russian boarder now. I can see the stop signs all way. I’m allowed to be here, but not 1 meter to the left, amazing.

Sorry Russia, it’s not your time to get a visit today, you are to stricht, so I have to wait until the 22.

IMG_0977The roads here are really bad. Full focus to stay on the road, difficult not to fall. I’m also focusing about getting to Ilomantsi. After some calculations, I can now see that I will get really close to 160Km today, which is far to long for one day.

On the right side of the road, you can see some remainings from the war. I stop to take some pictures. There are thousands of small flies and creeps around my head, arms and legs. I feel like the bird women in the movie, Home Alone in New York, just swap out the birds with these creeps. Somehow I’m not going crazy, I must be used to this, not sure if that’s a good thing.

The road continues as tracktor road and gravel. There is still 20Km left, I’m quite hungry and I must say that the sandwich with ham does not seem good. It’s been boiling in the sun all day. I’ll keep going on sportsdrink and some salted nuts.

IMG_0995Hello, Ilomantsi!
Finally I’m here. Things is opening up, the waters around here is beautiful. And the most important of all, I’m here!!! I have a bed available!

The guy that opens up the room to me, tells me what I already guessed, FINLAND CLOSES AT 9PM. He must have seen that I needed food, so he went to his car and picked up some ham, cheese, bread, butter and eggs that he boiled for me. He also brought a protein shake to me, what can I say? THANKS!

Just before he left, he gave me a box with some protein powder to take after a long day on the road.

I’m a bit late with this post, since I was late in Ilomantsi! Have a look at the pictures. I’m not sure about the next stage, we’ll see If I take a day off, or if I continue.

Pictures from today’s stage:

GPS Data from today’s stage: