Tuesday 27th June
We started today with a 3 hour drive to Koli national park – supposedly one of Finland’s prettiest hiking spots. We found a Lidl on the way, which was highly exciting, and allowed us to restock our Skyr supplies (apple flavour Skyr is amazing. Who’d have thought it?!)
Koli national park didn’t disappoint. We were now firmly in the lakeland region of Finland, and as soon as we left the car park, we were greeted with this stunning view:
“Well, that’s that then”, said Morgan. “We can go now.”
But, we decided to stick around anyway and actually do some hiking. It started raining as soon as we set out, but we’ve come to expect that now and quite frankly would have been alarmed if it had been sunny. This meant we had umbrellas, anoraks and waterproof bag-covers with us, so we coped with the rain pretty well. I even had waterproof hiking boots on, although Morgan was in meshy running shoes, having insisted that his feet would get hot if he brought his actual hiking boots with him to Scandinavia.
Lex however, had forgotten his raincoat and turned into a very wet dog.
Lex also managed to increase his neediness levels to hitherto unseen levels, by rejecting his bowl of dog water and requesting human water instead. All because of one time when we didn’t have his water bowl handy, so I gave him a drink out of the lid of our human water bottle. Lex clearly viewed this as a great treat, and now paws at our water bottles and tries to stick his tongue in them if we have them open near ground level.
When the rain finally stopped, we were rewarded with this beautiful little beach.
Of course, the end of the rain meant the mosquitoes could now come out in full force.
“I think,” I mused to Morgan, as mosquitoes started biting my deet-covered legs through my thick leggings, “I preferred the rain.”
After making good use of the free wifi outside the visitor centre, we took the funicular back down to the car park:
We then went off in search of somewhere to sleep, and eventually came upon a dense and scary forest, which we happily made our home for the night.
We stayed up late catching up on some writing, and as we turned in at about 2am, we could just see the sun starting to rise through the trees. The sun had set so recently that the woods were still perfectly illuminated.
“This is really weird,” I murmured. “I’ve forgotten what darkness even looks like…”
At some point later in the night I spotted a shadowy shape moving past the car outside. “There’s an… animal outside!” I exclaimed, and a startled Morgan jumped up to have a look. Turns out it was a couple of hares munching on grass, which disappointed him somewhat.
“Wolves live in this area!” Morgan declared excitedly, after some quick Googling. “Can I go and live with them in the forest?”
Apparently, sleeping in the car was not feral enough for Morgan anymore. He longed to spend the night running wild amongst the trees, but I vetoed this on account of just no.
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