When leaving Hetta I came across a lake with surprisingly warm water. Not quite warm enough for swimming, but I was able to bathe by splashing some on me. Take that, camping ground owners from the previous update! After a wash and a change of clothes I felt positively sparkling.

Then it started to rain. Not much, just a bit of a drizzle, but I alternated between taking cover under trees and cycling to keep warm. It was past midnight and I wasn’t sure whether to keep going and wait out the weather, or set up camp in the rain. And then I came across this place:

A bird tower with a beautiful spacious laavu! What a perfect sight for a wet traveller. I rolled my bike in and set up my sleeping bag in my mosquito mesh. Safe and sound.

Two days later at Karesuvanto some of my gear was wet again. It had rained for 20 hours straight, so I hadn't had much of a choice but to pack up my tent in the rain. My muscles felt like they needed a rest day, so I wanted to stay near the town. A quick online search showed another laavu next to another bird tower, just a few kilometers from the village.

So I spent the rest of the day there drying my equipment and frying sausages by a fire. This time there didn’t seem to be too many mosquitos around, so I just spread my sleeping bag there and slept around the clock without disturbances.

A more basic and traditional version of a laavu. The previous visitors left me a nice fire before departing.

Sometimes I like to pre-cook the sausages by putting them near the fire for 15 minutes. This way they'll cook more evenly from the inside rather than just burning the skin.

Finland must be one of the most trekking-friendly countries in the world. We have thousands of these kinds of shelters (usually without a bird tower attached), and everyone has the right to use them. I love that the government has the foresight to spend money on building and maintaining these kinds of services. The positive effect of trekking on physical and mental well-being surely pays back in all other areas.

There are many strange and unenviable things about Finnish culture, but this encouragement to outdoor life is one aspect I wish everyone would copy from us. Go Finland!

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