train and bus and start of trail

Finland is green.
In Tampere a nosily eating Russian appears on the bench opposite. And otherwise it gets more crowded as well. The sleeping wagons are full.
My clock-computer gives storm alert consistently because air pressure appears to be dropping. At the same time sky stays blue. The sun tries to go down but train rushes after it. It does not get dark. The Russian offers me an apple (or maybe he's Georgian because the author of the book he's reading has a Georgian name).
In the morning everything goes as planned. Bus from Rovaniemi to Ivalo leaves 30 minutes after train has arrived. The bus is full, everybody is going to Sodankylä to a film festival. After Sodankylä only a few people remain.

Bus driver is attentive. First we turn back after some time driving, to take a young woman to Santa Claus village. She either forgot to get out at the right place or decided too late that she wants to see Santa. The driver is sorry that it's a bit hot in the bus and reminds us that we can turn on the over-head fan and lower curtains. In stops he tells exactly how many minutes we're going to stay there and if there's enough time to get a coffee. And in Ivalo he sees that everyone catches their connecting bus. I have two and half hours until that. Big bag stays in the luggage room and I go to look around. If the sun comes out it's hot, if a cloud appears before the sun it gets chilly. A subsequent cloud appears while taking a picture of a giant fish and a passing man understands the situation immediately. It's 303 km to Murmansk and because of that there are many Russian language signs.
I find an eat-as-much-as-you-like place. Wooden mugs which are good for drinking from streams cost 3-4 times more here than in Rovaniemi. But look more beautiful.
I've exhausted the city but there's still one hour to kill. A boat landing-stage behind the bus station is a good place to sit down. There comes a man to check his boat and asks for help. Do I have ten minutes? Sure. What the help is about remains a little mystery for me but I have to sit in the boat while he drives a little way along the river and comes back. Well, you're welcome. The ice just went from the river a month ago.
Get my backpack and go to bus platform. An old lady approaches and starts to talk to me. Why is a human being built so that he can not sit on a cloud? Really, dark blue clouds have appeared in the sky.

When we sit in the bus, the first drops of rain fall. It goes on to be furious thunder. I sleep most of the time and don't worry about how I'm going to swim towards Norway along the trail. Bus driver qualifies as a post man on half way and throws newspapers and letters from the bus into post boxes. By the time we get to Sevettijärvi there's some blue sky further away and the rain has turned into drizzle. To darken my joy there's some water in the bus luggage room and my jacket and some parts of the bag are thoroughly wet. I get pointed the way to the museum because the trail should start there as far as I know. It is so. Just in case I pack myself rainproof and unpack after some time. I only keep the gaiters.
It took only 24 hours to get from Helsinki to Sevettijärvi.

First three kilometers are in birch and pine forest, then for some time along gravel road. Then it's trail puzzlement because red marks continue into the forest earlier than they should according to the map. Besides, reindeer fence blocks the trail there. Map says that this trail just ends after some time. I continue along the gravel road and trusting the map. After some time a trail goes to the right which is on the map marked as motor sledge trail but supposedly is not. At least there are no blue marks for sledges. It's a partly cobbled road, maybe this could be the old market road? Landscape matches with the map and we reach mutual understanding with my two compasses. It's cloudy but no rain. Here and there are small waterholes, some places are swampy, then there are boulders. Birds chirp, trees have their spring-time look and on the trail there are a lot of goat droppings. A few kilometers before Opukasjärvi I meet the marked trail again. I've walked a bit longer than on the marked trail but probably faster because I didn't have to climb over turfs. On lake Opukasjärvi is a 'autiotupa' (small cabin) and I've set my hopes for tonight's accommodation on that. I'm pretty exhausted once I get there.
Started walking about 18:30, finished 23:15. What the GPS says: distance 14,8 km, average speed 4,1 km/h, moving time 3:36, stopped time 1:27.
There's no-one in the cabin. This year it hasn't had many visitors but the last hiker left this morning. On Finish hiking trails it's recommended to write an entry into the 'diaries' that are in these cabins and if something should happen to the hiker then it's more or less clear where to start looking. I fetch water from the lake, chop some firewood. Hang the room full of wet clothes (although I didn't walk in the rain). Boil water on the gas stove and prepare dinner, despite chilly air make a sprint into the lake for washing. In addition to other equipment there's dish washing liquid in Saaremaa Vodka's bottle.
It's completely light outside. No mosquitoes to be seen. Regrettably no internet in the bushes.
the beginning of the journey
on the border

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