Day 36 Lieksa, lakeside camping



Day 36 Lieksa, lakeside camping, originally uploaded by Big Al!.

Sit back and relax. Even Finland’s back roads are long and straight, fast and flat. The scenery never changes. All of Finland seems to be one gigantic pine forest, punctuated by lakes. When the weather is nice (20 degrees today), it’s very peaceful, but it’s a little dull. Not exciting biking, just snoozing cruising. Pleasant, that’s the word. No traffic to deal with, there are more bicycles than cars, more reindeer than people, sometimes it’s so quiet and there’s so little sign of human existence, you could be the last person on earth, and that makes for a very introspective, meditative ride. Following my proven strategy of aiming at lakes and rivers to find good camping is very easy in the land of a thousand lakes, and I end up at Lieska, a camp site so enlightened the WiFi is free, and after pitching my tent I hear English voices and discover my next-door neighbours are two English touring cyclists. I tell them how much it gives me a lift on a cold, wet day when I see a cyclist and realise I’m not so badly off, and they suddenly realise why they get so many friendly nods and waves from bikers in bad weather. It is partly seeing the proof that it could be worse, but it’s also respect.