|Journal for 8-Sep : Saltry Bay|
I'm spending a beautiful warm sunny day off the bike in Kemijarvi. It really is in the mid 20s today, and I've spent much of it chatting to a French couple about cycling, travel and whatever.
So, a few more observations about Finland and Europe in general.
Ski Poles. As everyone in Germany and Scandinavia knows, it's not possible to walk anywhere without a sturdy pair of ski poles. The only exception is if you have with you a huge dog (always on a lead) to pull you out of whatever it is you might get stuck in.
There are lots of bike paths in Finish towns, but only the occasional cyclist. Almost as common are rollerbladers, who always carry with them, you guessed it: ski poles. And instead of a skating action, it's more of a cross country skiing motion they all adopt. This is where the poles start to make sense, because ice skaters rarely need to climb hills. It also makes sense of the bike paths. They might not be used much in summer, but I think they must become very effective and popular ski roads in winter.
Fins love to gamble. Most supermarkets have between 1 and 3 poker machines. And there are betting kiosks where you can engage in all sorts of keno and/or lotto type games. At least I think that's what's going on. For all I know they are ATMs and car registration forms.
I should mention Frank, a German cycle tourist from Dresden. He rocked into the campground at 10pm then put on a load of w
washing while he ate his breakfast. We chatted for a while, he constantly correcting my German pronunciations. (When I subsequently used those pronunciations on German and swiss tourists they were corrected back again to what I thought before I met Frank.)
Henk was cycling the way I used to work. With the aid of a huge bottle of coca-cola he found his most productive time was midnight till 4am, when there was no-one around to bother him.
Slept in - much needed sleep.
15min of rain to start the day's cycling.
Knocked off the remaining 30ks of no shoulder hwy no worries. More trees, rivers, hills etc.
Campbell River a pretty big town, with a massive log processing shop on the northern side. WiFi in the visitors centre, yes! Cell phone still not working though. Big burger & fries for lunch.
Left town on bike route suggested by map in the tourist info office. It took 3/4 of an hour to do 10ks of hills, gravel, 326 stop signs all to avoid 5ks of highway, which had a bike lane!
Good riding on the 19a next to the water, if a little busy.
Just made it to the ferry terminal - not for ferry, but to empty my bowels not in my pants.
Loaded my bike on the ferry. Chocked up the wheels really well, only for deck hand to remove my blocks to secure the cars.
Sea Lion playing in the backwash of the ferry as we pulled out.
Uneventful ferry ride, except I've started to notice an uncomfortable trend with all of BC ferries: they list.
Powel River a bustle of urban life, not what I was hoping/ expecting/ used to from up north. It's a place people make the great escape from the city to, but end up bringing the city with them.
Had an Australian moment at a mini-mart just out of town: "is there somewhere I can fill my water bottles?" "You want drinking water, you buy!!"
Nice riding along the foreshore past the million dollar shacks.
Cracked like a walnut on the last hill of the day - having only eaten a rice cake and a small bananna since lunch, 6 hours, 5 stops and a dose of the runs previously.
Great fire at nice campground at Saltery Bay, ideal to do diary by.
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