Day 37. 90km. Karesuando – Leppäjärvi

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Cycling, Finland
Tags: ,

Today was a day of cloud watching. Spectacular light and dark contrasts over the Finnish arctic landscape. I’m back on the campervan pilgrim trail. Night cycling is called for.

Day 37. 90km. Karesuando – Leppäjärvi. Map and gpx.

I slept with a technical problem. My back tyre is worn out. Apparently there wasn’t enough air in it, and it might have suffered from the extra rations I have been taking.

I have a spare tyre – a foldable one. It is inferior to the original one, but good as a replacement. Should I change to the spare now, or try to cycle to Alta and change it if necessary on the way? After sleeping over it, the answer was clear. Here I am dry and not being attacked by mosquitos, midges, flies or whatever. I should change the tyre. A new experience for me with a bike with Rotloff gears and a carbon belt drive. I used the video clip I took of the guy at my local bike shop explaining how to do it a lot, and, voilà – I succeeded.

Today was a lovely day cycling. I had a nice tailwind which conveniently blew away all the mosquitos. The sun was out, and the sky was a spectacular panorama of clouds – dark and looming, fluffy and white, wispy and thin. All over the Finnish tundra, forest and lake landscape.






From Enontekkiö onwards, the number of campervans increased. I’m back on the North Cape pilgrim trail. I started yearning for peace. I’m coming up to the Finnmarksvidda – one of the most remote and barren places in Europe. I want to cycle it in peace. I want to hear the wind. I want to feel the emptiness. Time for night cycling.

I’m at a lovely camping ground at Leppäjärvi, in a mosquito proof cabin. (This is needed. They are fierce just outside the door.) I’ve just had dinner of reindeer stew and mashed potatoes. Tonight – the Finnmarksvidda. Stay tuned.

  1. Arthur says:

    Great photos again…. Cycling out of Alta along the fjord just before hitting the hills leading onto the Alta Plateau towards Kaidi, there is a shopping mall. Look for the big Shimano sign on the building. Some years ago I bought some sprokets there. You will have no problem replacing your tire. Just out of interest, how many kilometers did you ride this tire?
    All the best

  2. Arthur says:

    I thought I remembered something about broken spokes. Liked your blog about your visit to Pyramiden on Spitsbergen…6600Km on a rear tire is not bad at all. My record tires all fail under 5000 unfortunatly. This bit and the strech of road on the Alta Plateau are my favorites. The Alta plateau should be cycled during the day. If the sun is out you get a fantastic dome of blue. And if it rains… well you probably now that it all looks misserable when wet and cold 😉
    The entrance of the shopping center has a small statue of a fishermen in oil skins, overlooking the sea if I remember well. Otherwise ask for the nearest InterSport shop. they usually do sports wear, guns and (mountain)bike stuff…. Good luck

    • The dome of blue on the Alta plateau sounds beautiful. It was grey when I was there last year. Looking forward to it. I love that sort of scenery. 🙂

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