a hike to nowhere

Everything started out so nicely.
The rain stops just when I am ready to go. The old man promises to send me a message if he’ll visit Tallinn again. He wants me to take his umbrella but I politely refuse.
There’s a bright strip over the horizon and sun is shining there somewhere. The views are lovely. Only the trail is similar to a stream and I end up walking on the moss most of the time. Feet get as wet of course. On some places there’s so much water on the trail that it almost reaches my knees. It flows from the thicket on one side of the trail to the thicket on the other side of the trail. Between turfs are holes filled with water, dark and deep.
Roaring ahead. There should be many rivers today but no blogger has mentioned them so I consider them harmless. Well, this one is only about three or four meters wide but very fast and deep. When I test it with a walking stick then the stick disappears up to its handle. Near the shore. I can see two boulders under the water but not the bottom of the river. Maybe under normal conditions people just step on the boulders and don’t even notice the water.
I try looking upstream. Mostly I struggle in thicket up to my shoulders. There are bottomless waterholes under the thicket and a huge amount of mosquitos living in the undergrowth. It starts to rain rather heavily. The river looks only scarier. I find another wading place, perhaps for reindeer herders. It looks better than the one on the trail but it’s still too deep and the water too fast for me to try stepping in. More upstream the river forks. I figure that the water should be more manageable in parts. The closer branch forms some kind of pool in one place and I cross it. Get wet up to my undies. The second part does not look any better than before. I continue to the next forking, see the other side-river which is doable. But I cannot get there. The swamp river in the middle is bottomless and very fast-flowing. I’m now about 1,5 km from the original crossing, stuck between two rivers, very wet and very cold. So I turn back. Manage the other river this time jumping over it some way upstream. Look at both of the wading places again. No. Unreasonably risky.
The best thing to do seems to go back to the fjellstue. Cross all the wet places again. Views are gone. It is obvious that when it rains like this today then the rivers will be the same or worse tomorrow. And then there are two really big rivers and a super muddy swamp awaiting.
Back at the fjellstue there’s no-one. The toilet-shower house is locked but my previous cabin is luckily open. Put on dry clothes, hang the wet ones up. Turn the heating back on. Put a bucket outside to collect rain water for making tea. The tap is in the shower room. Check weather forecast. Rain today, rain tomorrow, rain the day after tomorrow. If I stay here that long then I’ll run out of food and out of cash (the old man only takes Norwegian cash). And I cannot be sure that the rain stops or how fast will the rivers get back to normal.
With a broken hearth I decide to quit. After I’ve waited so many years for this trip. No point arguing with nature, it will always win. Who knows what this is good for. I still have the dream and I still can make it, someday.
The weird thing is that the old man is still missing. No answer on the phone written on the door, no answer on FB. A few cars drive here and leave again.
The whole journey today was 18,5 km.
rain to Madam Bongos
from Čunovuohppi to Karasjok

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