Day 18. Luleå – Töre, 77 km.

I wake up to early, it’s cold inside, and some of the other guests are already up, smoking and talking outside. Can’t go back to sleep, decide to get going instead.

Figure 1. Map day 18-20

I cycle the backroads to Persön, I find that they have a combined service station and diner that serves cooked food at 09:30 in the morning. I get a cheese burger for early lunch.

Figure 2. Typical Swedish house

There is a small shoulder on the E4 highway and the traffic is very light so I decide to go on the E4 to Råneå. The heat is picking up so I stop at a service station in Råneå to have an ice cream, when I arrive there is guy there that is shouting and screaming, he has filled petrol in his diesel car. I feel sorry for him. I continue along the old E4 which is slowly becoming an overgrown forest track.

Old E4
Figure 3. Old E4

I think it’s strange that during weekends there are almost no one at home, during the weekdays I see lots of people at their houses doing stuff. When I get to Töre my Garmin GPS sends me on a wild chase for a pizzeria, once 1.5 km outside of Töre I realize that there is no pizzeria there. I go back and find it near the bus stop.

I try to find information if there is a camping or so 20 km north of there but after a while I give up and go to the camping 2 km south of Töre. The camping is very basic, I pitch my tent and go and sit in the kitchen. Its just a table and four chairs, but that beats sitting on the ground in the tent. I check the bike and the gearbox has cried a few drops of oil again.

Important place
Figure 4. Important place

I go to bed at 21, no wind at all, daylight, I read my book for a while. From now there is no more E4, every km pedaled will be in the direction I am going instead of avoiding the E4. I also expect to get much more mosquitoes.

Day 19. Töre – Överkalix, 58 km.

Woke up at 6, I had a really good nights sleep in the tent. The extra pillow was a good investment and also I lowered the pressure in the air mattress, that seems to have done the trick. There are some very dark clouds in the south, 13C and light wind. I decide to get going really fast. I am starting to learn how to break camp now, it just takes 60-80 minutes.

I wait at the tourist information in Töre until they open at 8, they say that there is nothing between Överkalix and Korpilombolo. That is a bummer since Överkalix is really to near for a whole days cycling and Korpilombolo is to far.

I start to cycle north, the dark clouds are chasing me from the south. When I get in to the village 20 km north of Töre there is a sign by the road saying camping+hostel 3km, bummer no one knew about that yesterday.

Later I find a place to have lunch at, when I have had lunch I find a poster for a fishing competition, it also states that there is a camping between Överkalix and Korpilombolo, I call them to see if this can be true. Yes, there is a camping and its open, its just by the road and I can’t miss it. The place is called Jockfall 40 km or so north of Överkalix.

When I get to Överkalix I try the tourist information at the camping to see if there is some form of lodging between there and Jockfall. There is not, there are however 3 hostels in Korpilombolo. I decide to stop at the camping and go for a Friday burger at the nearby hotel.

It’s insane hot at the camping, just by the river and the sun is blasting from a clear sky. It’s over 35C in the tent so I just lie down outside the tent in the shade and wait for the evening.

Hot tent
Figure 5. 35C inside the tent

Finally there are some clouds and the temperature falls enough to be inside the tent, I read some and fall a sleep. The town is very noisy, it seems like everyone is out on something with a motor and without a muffler, motorized retards make burnouts on the parking next to the camping. I manage to fall a sleep again, I wake up at 23 and brush my teeth and get the sleeping bag out.

Day 20. Överkalix – Pajala, 118 km.

I wake up and feel very rested, outside the inner tent it is full of mosquitoes, I go outside and look around. It’s 19C and the sky is black in the south, I decide to get started.

Figure 6. Trouble in the South

I pack up and get to the hotel where they serve buffet breakfast for 55 SEK, special price if you stay at the camping. I have a massive breakfast, bread, juice, milk, egg, bacon, sausage, yoghurt, muesli, five kinds of cookies etc etc.

At breakfast I hear people from Gällivare complaining that they have never seen so many mosquitoes in their life, they haven’t slept all night. I start pedaling north, I am supercharged after breakfast, there is a slight tail wind, I average 17 km/h for the next 2 hours or so.

About 20 km outside Överkalix I see one of the cars from yesterday, its an old American car. So retard lives outside town and go “down town” to bother people on Friday, I guess that tells us a bit about his great life.

I cross the Arctic Circle, not a very big event but now it will for sure be 24×7 daylight except the days when it will rain and snow.

Figure 7. Arctic circle

I arrive at a junction, it seems the camping in Jockfall is 5 km up another road, I decide it can’t be worth a 10 km detour. I pedal on towards Korpilombolo, I decide to stop there if I can find a room at any of the 3 hostels.

When I get there I see road signs with a bed and one with a knife&fork, this is starting to look good. I ask a local about where this restaurant might be,

  • Is there a restaurant here ?

  • yes

  • Where is the restaurant ?

  • Just across the street

  • Is it open ?

  • Don’t think it has opened yet

  • OK, I see, when will it open ?

  • Later maybe

  • Later like today or later in the summer

  • Next week maybe

I have fun asking around about the hostels, there are no hostels here they say, I show them the brochure from the tourist info with a picture of the building.

It seems none of the 5-6 locals I asked knew it was a hostel and when I got to the building it turned out to not be a hostel.

Figure 8. Reindeer

I do some shopping and go on towards Pajala 47 long kilometer north of there. The biking goes quite well and as soon I have GSM coverage and can start calling ahead. I get a room at Snickarbackens lägenhetshotell, supposed to be a B&B/Apartment hotel.

The price is really to expensive, but since it started to rain just as I started to call around and I had +100km in the legs right then, I decide to fuck the budget and go for it. Once I get there it turns out to be really nice and I get some discount. So all in all a great place at almost hostel price.

I get shown my room and it’s next to a small kitchen and the relax room, there is a sauna and steam shower. I have now entered the part of the world where the sauna gets turned on when people arrive.

I still need to drink some more water before entering the hot sauna. I take a look at my finances and the budget. This is now my third week and I will soon be entering Finland. I hope to be camping lots in Finland and Norway. I am running a few percent over budget and below diagram shows how the costs are distributed.

Figure 9. Budget

I hope that the sleeping costs will be lower in the next 3 weeks. On Monday I will enter Finland, I hope that some will speak English otherwise it will be just Finnish and Sami for the next weeks to come.