Murmansk + 156km – Ivalo

Didn’t sleep too well. The wind got stronger during the night and shook the tent quite a bit. I woke up with every bigger gust.

Got up shortly after 6am, packed, and had a hasty and disgusting breakfast. By now, I seriously hate that porridge-style stuff that I’ve been having for breakfast for pretty much all of the past 3 months, despite it’s usefulness when cycling.

Left around 7.30. The wind was still blowing strongly straight into my face, but I had all day for the remaining 141km to Ivalo. Got offered a ride to Finland 2km from my campsite but turned it down, I was feeling well enough. The road continued to be pretty flat most of the time and I didn’t see much besides trees along the road (and everywhere else, too) and the water of the Lotta river, shimmering through the branches, which the (quite excellent) road followed. Traffic was negligible. About 15km from the border, however, the road was under construction, and the surface varied from uncompacted sand to uncompacted gravel.

The Russian Customs officer was happy to report that he’d been at a Beck’s beer tasting in Bremen. Border formalities went smoothly on both sides, and I was back in the European Union!

Finland greeted me with rain. A short shower only, fortunately.

The last 50km to Ivalo where quite a windy PITA. I seriously  feel all of the 300km in my legs now. Went to the first supermarket and immediately fell in love with Finland. Like in Russia, one actually has some choice here when shopping. I’m quite happy that Norway is the only exception in that regard. Found a campsite near the town.

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