Finland: Getting Acquainted

We set off at 1100 to get the plane from Heathrow that was departing at 1935. As usual there was a massive queue at the check in desks, made a whole lot worse because of the auto self check in machines were malfunctioning. But the bikes came to the rescue once more. Every time I have travelled with my bikes on a plane I always seem to get preferential treatment as they always spot them and call us through first. The same happened at Heathrow. When everyone had to line up for the only two desks that were open the supervising person spotted us and took us through the service area, where they security check airline equipment. Straight through, no hassle, more time in the lounge for a beer and some grub.

After the 2h 20m flight we got to Helsinki airport at 0015 local time, they are two hours in front. The bags and bike boxes came off the conveyor quick sharp and we got a large taxi to the camp ground. The block that we had was the furthest it could be from the reception, so I had to do about five trips for the bike boxes and bags as they did not have any pull along carts or owt like that I could use. So I completed my sherpa errands at about 0220 local time. Plus it was hot even at that time, just like the UK, they are experiencing a bit of a heat wave. Normally the temperature is about 24 degrees, that was my reason for picking somewhere like this, as the 36-40 degree heat on the Danube last summer was way too much for me. But it is touching 30 degrees here, just like the UK at the moment I think, hopefully in a few days it is showing it to be just as sunny, but ten degrees cooler, cant wait for that!

We are booked in the campsite for another night to give us time to get set up and find out a bit more about how things work in this country. So today without luggage we rode into Helsinki. It is an 18 mile round trip from where we are camping and the temp rose in the heat of the city. We had to make the trip to buy some gas for our stove. Now last year we could not find camping gas anywhere, so for this year I bought a MSR Dragonfly as a back up, but I also brought the canister gas burner too, this was a good job because the camp store had loads of gas but no liquid gas.

Wildlife we have seen so far was a massive hare that just trotted past us and up the street at about 0100 last night. It was about knee height and came right by us as if to have a chat, but then just carried on up past the closed supermarket.

We are making our way to Mikkeli tomorrow which is in the Lakeland area. I just sorted that out today. We are there for two nights, after that I dont have a clue. I have been emailing warmshower.org hosts but none have been successful yet.

So we have just got the bikes ready as we have a 0600 start tomorrow.

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