Though I like to say, that the past doesn’t exist, the first part of the day went by remembering the sauna and admiring Heikki’s skillful hands. He is a retired hunter, but his hands are quick with plane, chisel and other carpenter’s tools. A lot of the furniture in his house is self-made. But above all Heikki is a Finn, and that means a very special relationship with sauna. There are two saunas in his home - one is located inside the house and is meant for everyday use, but other is a separate building, which from the look of it is more suited for long summer evenings under the Scandinavian stars. So yesterday evening after having a royal dinner we had the pleasure of trying out a real Finnish sauna. Lucky for us this time we didn’t have to participate in a sauna championship, because Heikki admitted that his “engin” is not as steady as it used to be. When I ask Heikki how often they go to sauna, he smiles and says - “One day we go and one day we don’t .” And every second day, when they don’t go to sauna, Heikki and Eva go fishing. Even now in the winter. The proof of this was right there on the dinner table in the form of smoked perch they had caught in the morning. After the dinner and sauna we chatted for a while vigorously turning the pages in the English-Finnish dictionary. Of course we could get by without the written word, but in that scenario the combined vocabulary of Martins and myself would consist of tho words not suited for a thoughtful conversation - “fish addict.” During our chat we found out that Eva and Heikki live here as long as they can remember and during their childhood there were 70 kids learning in the local school. Now the total head count in this village is less than 70. People slowly leave this place. So did 6 children of Eva and Heikki and so will they, when someone will by their property. By the way it’s a nice peace of land on the Polar circle and the price is more than fair.
It snowed all day long, and the thick layer of snow got 25 cm thicker. During the first part of the day we slid over the Hirvasjärvi lake without a worry in our hearts, because skiing on the even surface of the lake was just pure pleasure. But as you know - where’s pleasure, there’s torture. Or at least some folk think so. After crossing the lake we found ourselves in a hilly terrain and had the opportunity to experience the overwhelming joy of dragging our sledge up the hill. The “pig” squealed and squeaked and refused to climb up willingly. There were times when we wanted to cut it loose and let it go its separate way, but we didn’t, at least today we didn’t. We made our camp approx. 10 meters from a snowmobile track, so we hope that the locals wont go off track and pay us an unexpected visit.
Karlis (66° 33.77N, 028° 19.61E)