Wednesday 28th June
We woke up in the middle of the apparently wolf-inhabited forest, where we’d slept in the car last night.
“I was in the car all night,” said Morgan upon waking. “I absolutely didn’t spend the night running through the forest with the wolves.”
Pleased that, at any rate, I hadn’t been abandoned and left to fend for myself, I made us some fried egg sandwiches for breakfast. Our water carriers were running very low, so after some dubiously ‘efficient’ washing up, we set off back to Koli national park to do some more hiking and refill our water supplies.
Today we hiked through the opposite end of the park from yesterday, which was higher up and revealed yet more stunning views over the lake.
As usual, Lex got just as much attention as the national park, including a little Japanese boy shrieking “Kawaii! Husky! Kawaii!” repeatedly, as his parents tried to enjoy nature with him.
As we headed back down to the car park, some Finnish hikers started chatting to us about how cute Lex is, telling us too about their past dogs and plans to get another one in the future. Turns out they were also looking for a lift down the mountain, so we offered and ended up driving them about 70km south too, towards their hometown and our next destination. They taught us about Finnish culture as we drove, explaining that every Finnish person has a sauna at least once a week, and they find it very odd that other countries don’t do this. They also talked about how Finnish people are stereotypically perceived.
“It’s like, you’ve got the democratic socialism of Scandinavia, but the people are still infused with a Baltic melancholy, and they drink too much,” they explained.
“But the younger generation aren’t like that,” they continued.
These two certainly seemed incredibly cheerful, especially when, mid-way through the journey, both received emails confirming they’d just been accepted into their chosen universities! One of them was going to train to be a music teacher, and the other had been accepted into the most prestigious music academy in Finland, to train as a singer. He was so excited he literally couldn’t sit still, bouncing around in his seat, phoning his parents and randomly switching between Finnish and English in his excitement.
“I literally don’t think I’ve ever been that happy in my life”, commented Morgan after we’d dropped them off. But it was lovely to experience such infectious glee.
We found a particularly lovely campsite this evening, on a small island in the middle of lakeland.
After a quick swim and our much-needed showers, we settled down to enjoy some bear-flavoured Finnish beers.
Lex busied himself by digging a hole on the beach, then curling up and going to sleep in it. This was absolutely fascinating for us because Lex often tries to dig at things like rugs, car seats and his bed. However, due to his poor choice of digging locations, he has never managed to produce an actual hole before. It was proud moment for him, and for us.
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