Day 36. 189km. Anttis – Karesuando

Posted: July 13, 2013 in Cycling, Sweden
Tags: ,

The mosquitos vs Matthew. Through the night and the day I was pursued. And eaten. 

Day 36. 189km. Anttis – Karesuando. Map and gpx

Cycling at night is peaceful. I really feel remote now. And the distances feel even longer. As it was overcast, it was quite dim, but still easy enough to see. A car or truck passes every half an hour or so. You hear it coming for miles. And then the return to only the sound of the turning off the wheels and the pedaling.
The clouds decked the skies except for a thin sliver near the horizon. It was a firey orange and stayed that way in an almost eternal twilight.

I started cycling at midnight, and at 1:30 am, I passed Junosuando. I was told that there was a shop there. I dreamed of dropping in to the night café – a stop for all lonely travelers like me. Ones that don’t sleep. Then: I passed a sign – bar/restaurant open. What?? There were people. I looked closer. Drunken youth. Staggering around, urinating and embracing each other. I felt even more like on a different planet. I cycled on into the dusk. Onwards into the forest.

I had to continue cycling. No stopping. The moment I stopped, I was attacked by hundreds of mosquitos. The photos I took were all taken within 5 seconds of stopping. No time to breathe in the scenery.

Dear Mr Mosquito. Why bother? I am faster than you when I am cycling.
But Mr Matthew. You need to stop. I’ll get you then.
Mr Mosquito. I have head to toe clothing for when I stop.

Then Mr Matthew. I’ll manage to get you while you’re cycling.
Ha! Mr Mosquito. I’m too fast for you!
Then, Mr Matthew, I will get you in the roadworks. All 25km of them.
Sweden’s goodbye present to me. Roadworks that went on and on and on. Roadworks so bad, I was put at the mosquito’s mercy.

Towns with anything like a shop are 50km apart here. I used the exactly 2 mosquito proof public toilets on my 187km journey today. In Övere Sopparo I had a snack at the little kiosk followed by the use of the toilet at the local hostel. I was told there that everything was closed in Finland on Sunday (tomorrow), and was told of the magic tent of mosquito netting that was available in Karesuando, only until 1600 today. Perfect for toilet stops in the forest, and I can use it on my long trek to the coast. You can squat and deficate in peace. I could still buy it if I hurry. That’s why I continued the last 50 km today. When I arrived, they didn’t have these magical nets. Never heard of them. They did have full upper body netting coats with the face completely enclosed. My mosquito equipment is equally effective. Defecating on my trip in the coming days will be an issue.

I am now at the Swedish/Finnish border again. My last time to cross back and forth saying Hello Finland/ Hello Sweden etc.

I am staying in a hut at the camping ground. Unfortunately it appears not to be mosquito proof. 😦 I should have gone for a room in the hotel. Our used the tent.

  1. Arthur says:

    Are you heading for Kautokeino, or visiting Killpisjarvi and mount Saana on your way to the coast.?
    Good luck.

  2. Thomas says:

    Wow, you can even see the mosquitoes flying in the snack stop video! Not being able to even poop in peace would sure make me grumpy in a hurry..

    • Yes. I guess I could get grumpy on the next leg of my trip. Having a late start today and might cycle in to the night. We’ll see. It’s raining at the moment and I need to change my tyre.

    • I have another cool snack mosquito video which I forgot to upload. Will do that soon when I’m at the wifi again. 🙂

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