Almost There!

11/7/17. The route from Mikkeli to Kouvola was too far to cover in a day at almost 140 km so we were resigned to splitting it into two. The problem was finding somewhere to stop for the night.  There was a town at about 55 km where we could find no details of any accommodation and was not really far enough as we preferred a long day day followed by a shorter one rather than the other way round. However, the next place, a campsite, was nearly 90 km which was, possibly, a little too far. We decided to set off and see how it went. We could always wild camp if necessary.

Progress in the morning was slow as the route we were taking south from Mikkeli, to avoid the manic Finnish drivers on the main road, was undulating and largely on gravel roads. In addition the sun was blazing out of a cloudless sky and there was a headwind. Christine, in particular, wilted but Stephen also found it tough going.

We reached the “55km town” by mid afternoon and it definitely felt too early to stop so we pressed on – at least we were on paved roads and a few clouds were taking the edge off the sun’s heat by now. After many more small hills we were thinking of stopping but just before 6 o’clock we received some welcome encouragement in the form of a signpost to the campsite showing 18 km to go. That’s “doable”!

With about 5 km to go Stephen stopped waiting for Christine at the top of hills and headed for the campsite to get checked in and erect the tent. He was just starting to put his bags inside before going to find Christine when she arrived – hot, tired but proud to have covered a tough 88km!

A quick dinner and refreshing showers were taken before we hit the sack for some very welcome sleep.

Waking the next morning to a thin layer of cloud keeping things a little cooler we had just enough food for breakfast as we had been scoffing supplies throughout the previous afternoon to keep us going. It wasn’t a problem as we knew there was a small supermarket about 15 km down the road where we could buy lunch and then we would be close to Kouvola which is a large town.

Another undulating road to start of off with slowed things down somewhat but by the time we came to eat lunch it was flatter and we were approaching the outlying villages around Kouvola so we arrived at the campsite around 3 o’clock and checked in for 2 nights.

We are now a day’s ride from the Baltic so we intend to leave most of our bags here and have a “blast” down to the coast without luggage returning by train. That is always assuming the weather plays ball – the forecast is not promising and it has started to rain this evening!

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