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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
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 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.
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.
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.