Skike Tour from Helsinki to Norway 24.06.2008-20.07.2008

  The top-point of the summer and the year of 2008 was to ski with skike

  from Helsinki to Norway. My aim was tough, but also realistic. The thing that raised
 the biggest suspiciousness in me, was that before my trip I had only skied with
 skikes for 2-3 kilometers, so I could not be sure whether I was able to travel
 all the way to Norway with them and if my condition was good enough to travel
 1500 kilometers in 4 weeks.
 I also did not have any experience with using the
 roller-skis or roller-skates in advance. I could almost say having set off
 the journey straight from the sofa, if I do not count my irregular cycling and
 running practice.

 The biggest challenge of the journey was to carry all the stuff along. I
 carried a small back-bag of 35 liters with me, where I only had a sleeping bag,
 a tent, some clothes, gps and a digital camera. There were pockets in the bag, in
 both of which I had a water-bottle of 0.75 liters. Obviously I also could not carry
 much food and water with me, either.

 (in fact, writing these travel stories was much harder thing to do than
 traveling itself.)

 Here below you see the detailed stories of each day of my journey.

 The first day, 24.06.2008
 Eventually I set off the journey from Kontula, Helsinki at 9.30 a.m. It was
 easy to get there by underground and the way to the old way of Lahti
 was straight and easy from Kontula. For some reason the first falling down
 happened already after 200 meters in the first downhill, probably because of the
 panic I felt as almost half of the road had been dug off and I could not do
 anything but take myself to the grass... As I had not had a lot of time to
 install the skikes before starting the journey, the rest of the day went mainly by
 discovering the right technique and the installations. Little by little the
 skikes found their right position in my feet. I finished the day already in
 the Northern part of Mantsala around 5 p.m. I built up my tent-alike
 structure by the street-side while it was raining, and I started to sleep, or at least
 try to do so. 59 kilometers.

 The second day, 25.06
 It was not a long way left until Lahti anymore. There was waiting an
 indoor accommodation at my aunt's place, so the day passed easier and also the
 length of the journey was only 38 kilometers.

 The third day, 26.06
 A day-off in Lahti. I start with a lighter program in the beginning,
 because i want to get the best advantage out of this experience also considering
 the quality of practice. That is the reason for a day-off already in the
 very beginning and also, and the foremost, because I have no background or
 experience about this kind of practice in advance. Roller-skating and
 skiing are both completely unfamiliar forms of exercise to me.  In winter I
 only skied some 40 kilometers in my winter vacation. I can reveal this fact now, as
 i knew that it is possible to do this kind of experience without any former
 knowledge if one just has the guts to do it!

 The fourth day, 27.06
 An early start in a sunny weather. In the rainy weathers the skikes
 started to make nasty noises, but now they were fine. Probably they enjoyed the
 shower while being in Lahti. Now the installations were finally correct, as in
 the beginning there were small problems in making them fit well so that they
 go on straight and not in wrong position. I also started to be more aware of the
 details in braking, even though i did it differently than what the information
 says, but it worked better and more safe. So, I move my right leg forward
 and at the same time the calf back, so that my posture is in balance and the
 speed slows down without shaking. From Lahti I skiked to Pulkkilanharju, and

from there to Sysma. There I also visited a shop for the first time- just
 hang my skikes to the side of the bag and took the sticks with me. I spent the
 night among the pine trees somewhere between Sysma and Luhanka. 93 kilometers..

 The fifth day, 28.06
 From the deepness of the forest I continued towards Luhanka and
 Korpilahti. The landscape was damning hilly, but the weather was rather
 warm and sunny. The hard part was to climb e.g. to the top of
 Vaarumountain and other mountains as well. Fortunately I got water to
 drink from lake Paijanne. By the way, it is the same water that we
 drink in Helsinki, the only difference is that this water did not come
 from the pipe. I spent a night under spruce trees nearby, about 3
 kilometers from the road. 53 kilometers.

 The sixth day, 29.06
 I kept going all the way to Jyvaskyla at one time. I ate in a buffet
 table, and by the way, I have eaten quite much during the journey.
 Tomorrow I will take a day-off and have an interview for
 Keskisuomalainen news-paper. 26 kilometers.

 The seventh day, 30.06
 The day-off in Jyvaskyla.

 The eight day, 01.07
 The descriptor of Keskisuomalainen came to film me on my way towards
 Petajavesi and took many pictures from here and there. Skiking itself
 felt already easier as I had gained knowledge on how to do it. The
 first drawback happened when one thorn from another stick broke. So,
had to continue with only one stick for half a day as it is not
 possible to get a hold on asphalt with a stick without a thorn! Luckily
 my sponsor promised to send me new sticks to Ahtari, the next city I
 was heading to. The weather was extremely variable- The sun and the
 rain took turns. I ended up to spend a night 25 kilometers away from
 Ahtari. 87 kilometers.

 The ninth day, 02.07
 I woke up when it started to thunder, and finished packing my stuff
 right before the total downpour. I started to go for Ahtari. There I
 had to wait for a couple of hours to get the new sticks but fortunately
 I finally got them! The weather turned out to be sunny after all and it
 was nice to ski with two sticks all the way to Lappajarvi. 112

The tenth day, 03.07

 Today was the hardest day by far. It was far too hot for skiing. After
 having given all of myself, i finally reached Kaustinen. My ears were badly
 burned and aching.
 56 kilometers.

 The eleventh day, 04.07
 It was still a hot weather. Nothing special happened. The wind was rather
 hard and it seemed to blow against from the North. I spent the night in the
 pineforest, more than 10 kilometers to North from Ylivieska. I could build up the
 tent without disturbance as the insects are not around in windy weathers.
 Despite the weather I reached 85 kilometers today.

 The twelfth day, 05.07
 Second drawback happened in Oulainen.. It was exactly my luck, that in
 this particular city there was some kind of Old cars weekend going on, so it
 meant that each accommodation place was fully occupied. I was very lucky when I
 eventually got the last free room from Hotel Sun for one night. My plan was to take a
 day-off, but this hotel was closed on Sundays! And in all the other places the check-in
 would have been in the afternoon, which would have meant 5 hours waiting outside...
 I started to dislike the whole Oulainen after that.. And after all, I was wondering
 how people can be so interested in old, rusted, ramshackle cars, that all the
 accommodation capacity becomes occupied and that one who is skiking his way to the
world records, can not find a place to sleep because of that.. And when I finally found
one, this hotel is closed on Sundays.. In the future I will pass Oulainen from a far distance.
24 kilometers.

 The thirteenth day, 06.07
 I absolutely wanted to take a day-off, so there was nothing else to do but
 go and find the new accommodation place there in the rain from the next
 city to North. I found a cosy place called Hotel Seurahuone where I booked an
 accommodation for 2 nights. 30 kilometers.

 The fourteenth day, 07.07
 A day-off in Vihanti.

 The fifteenth day, 08.07
 It rained all day long. Today the way continued from Vihanti to
 Liminka-Tyrnava, Yli-Kiiminki. I built the tent on some road among the mosquitoes, 8
 kilometers to North from Yli-Kiiminki. Camping was not that nice with the rain and
 mosquitoes, and the departure in the morning is not comfortable thing to do. Wet socks to
 the feet etc. 115 kilometers.

 The sixteenth day, 09.07
 Today I did not set off the road at all. I was not interested in going
 out to the rain. So I spent the whole day in a tent. You can just imagine how ^fast^
 the day passed in that tent... In fact it was also cold, as these days were the coldest
 ones during the whole journey.

 The seventeenth day, 10.07
 Nothing special really. Rainshowers during the day. I managed to get to
 a summerhotel in Pudasjarvi for the night, where I introduced skikes and
 myself to an English cycle traveller. Now I could finally dry the equipment in the hotel. 69 kilometers

 The eighteenth and the nineteenth day, 11-12.07
 I left Pudasjarvi for Ranua and on the way the reporter from MTV3 made a
 piece of news about me and my travel. He filmed me some 30 minutes. The day
 before I got a call where they told this report to come out on tv on Saturday.. Anyway it
 came out already the same day, Friday, and half of the Finnish population was confused
 when they saw some mountain-jumping on Saturday news.
 The news is still on the webpage of MTV3)
On the other hand because of
 this mistake I got some power and more guts to keep going and i skied the whole night through.
It was awesome to travel in the nightless night, where it was not dark at all, only a bit darker
than at daytime.. I also took many nice pictures during the night and saw the first reindeers as well.

 I could not have believed, before starting my journey, that I could be able to travel
with skikes for 24 hours for such a long way..
Around 8 a.m. I finally arrived in
Kemijarvi, where i booked the accommodation for 2 nights in a village of cottages. 199 kilometers.

 The twentieth day, 13.07
 The day-off in Kemijarvi was similar to all the previous free days, meaning only eating and sleeping.

 The twenty first day, 14.07
 The plans changed and I did not go to Sodankyla yet. I found such a nice
 gravel hole, that I felt like setting my camp in the edge of that hole. In the
 down below there were no mosquitos at all, here on top they were enough. On the road
 number 5 which goes down below are almost no cars driving at all. I still had way
 to Sodankyla left around 34 kilometers. The rainshowers and the sun took turns today.
I also had to move on on a rocky road for some 3 kilometers because of the bridge
that was
 under repairing. I managed it quite well after all. 81 kilometers

The twenty second day, 15.07
An extremely hot day. The thorn broke from the stick again, and I
 thought to continue with one stick for the rest of the way. I stopped in one tourist cafe
 to eat pancakes. There I met one lifestyle-cyclist, who even had a dog with him in a
 front basket of the bike. Also the owner of the cafe was amazed and interested in my
 journey. She said that she had only been working there for 2 days and had already seen all sorts of things!
To be honest, this other lifestyle cyclist was definitely the most
special traveller I have seen.
I can not understand how one can carry so much stuff in a

 bike. It is a pity that i did not take a picture of him.. Also a slovenian touristgroup
 came there and somehow we got into discussion.. Then I mentioned that i was travelling
with skikes and all of them were nodding as if saying-yes,yes,it is familiar for us. That

 was bit of a surprise to me , but I realised that Slovenia might have been one of the first
 countries where the skikes first were used. That is why they knew. I spent the night in
 the pineforest 60 kilometers before Ivalo. 133 kilometers.

 The twenty third day, 16.07
 Today the weather was more rainy but still warm. I ordered new sticks to Ivalo,
 where I will have a day-off tomorrow. I discovered, that if I lose the thorn also from another stick,
I will not be able to continue at all.. And that would be a bit bigger
problem in Lapland where the
distances between the villages and the cities can
easily be over 100 kilometers. 59 kilometers today.

The twenty fourth day, 17.07
The day-off in Ivalo.

The twenty fifth day, 18.07
The sticks arrived around 10 a.m. and I set off the journey at 12 o clock. The
 weather was changing again, it was the rain and the sun in turns. Today I had
 the longest roads without any inhabitation. After Inari there was mainly nothing but
alpine birches, marshes and small lakes. The roads were a bit too long without
a support car along. I kept going almost without breaks for the whole day,
because due to the mosquitoes it was impossible to stop! There were masses
of them during my whole way through Lapland, and if I stopped even for a while,
those bloodthirsty
  insect were immediately there to suck my blood. It was real suffering to
 put up a tent around 11 p.m... This day was one of the hardest ones.. 106 kilometers.

The Twenty sixth day, 19.07
Arrival time to Utsjoki around 3 p.m. The plan for tomorrow is to go to Norway

to skike around. It will be the last skiking day. 59 kilometers

The twenty seventh day, 20.07
I then crossed the border to Norway and to my big astonishment, there was nobody
on the border bridge, or on the shore of Norway to take a picture of me.. So, I had
to settle for that and be without a picture and take some myself on the ground of
Norway. Well, there were a couple of cars driving and even one rollerskater who
payed attention to my skikes with a surprised expression. There are no skikes yet in
Norway, though. I skied 12 kilometers in Norway and the same route back. 24 kilometers..

 In the end the total result of my whole journey was 1508 kilometers and i could
 claim that this is at least an unofficial world record! At least I myself do not know
anyone who would have traveled a longer way with skikes.
 The weather was surely a bit disadvantegous, as it was rainy almost every day,
 and it may have been only some 4 days without any raindrops. In Lapland
 the mosquitoes were teasing me all the way.
 I also decided that this was to be my last sports-journey in Lapland during
 mosquitoseason. If someday I will go to Lapland again, by skikes or by
 bike, I will do it before the beginning of June or beginning from the end of August.

 Mainly I was very happy, that i chose the skikes as a traveling equipment. I
 can not say anything negative about them, even though usually there is always
 something to complain about.
 I used the same wheels all the way through, and I did not even oil or repair
 the skikes, just with the water couple of times. There were also no punctures at all,
what someone asked in my guestbook in my webpage. I do not find attentionvest
a comfortable piece of clothing, either and I do not find it necessary.
Well I did not see the reindeers wear them either!