The sun is intense in Finland this time of year. The flaming orb never leaves the sky, even at night. At our current latitude, sunset sort of occurs around 12AM, but it never actually gets dark. Then, around 3AM, the murky pink skies brighten again. By 5AM, the sun is back with a vengeance for another 19 hours of high-noon like blazing.
This morning, the tent was so stiflingly hot it felt as though we were in some sort of solar oven, being slow cooked to death. Eager to escape our sauna-like accommodations, we shook away the morning's sleepy haze, and went on our almost-daily run.
A half lap around the lake we'd camped near didn't cool us down any, but a swim in it sure did. We jumped into the icy cold waters (just a few feet from our car), yelping and laughing until our bodies acclimated to the sharp change in temperature. I could get used to starting the day like this.
Back on the road, we headed into the hilly countryside. Though we miss how easy it was to meet people while traveling by bike, and we're somewhat sad that our enthusiastic waves now go largely unnoticed by the cycle tourists we pass, we were thankful to be in our car today:
So far, the scenery here hasn't changed much: lush green forests, and one crystal blue lake after another. I don't think we've gone more than 30km without seeing a body of water (usually several) since we arrived in Finland! We're really enjoying the scenery here.
Every so often, we pass small signs indicating a turn-off for a rest area. This usually consists of a lake, some sort of mini-log cabin, a picnic table or two, a garbage can, and a campfire pit. This afternoon we passed a particularly inviting one and decided to call it a day. After we parked our car by the side of a nearby boat slip, we went for another chilly swim.
When the skies got menacing, we took our books and computers and retreated to the shelter of a nearby cabin. From its safety, we watched a storm roll in. Lightning struck in long jagged bolts over the lake while rain pattered peacefully on our wooden roof. We whiled away the time, alternating between reading, writing and programming.
Our journals never stop coming, nor do the projects from my clients. Lately, it seems as though we're in non-stop motion from 6AM to 12AM, every day. This might not sound very appealing, but it is actually a lot of fun. We both enjoy having engaging projects to work on, and though it can be a little overwhelming at times, it is very fulfilling.
After the rain passed, we briefly contemplated having a fire, and roasting sausages over it with the barbecue pokers resting against the cabin.
But we decided against this in favor of lighting our little oven for a late supper (is it 11:00 PM already?) of frozen pizza. The view from our "dining room" was spectacular.