The second day of the trip was all about driving. The day was luckily very sunny to the extent that it became very hot in the riding gear if the speed was under 80km/h. Luckily the speed usually stayed over that. 🙂
The day’s route took us from Kalajoki to Ivalo or to be exact a bit north of Ivalo to Ukonjärven lomakylä (not that this has anything to do with the trip, but their website is straight from the early 90s), where we had booked yet another cabin. On this day we drove 649km and that was a bit too much. The entire day we only stopped for very short times and despite that we only arrived around 10 p.m.
In the morning we decided to drive to Raahe and have breakfast there. We just managed to reach hotel Raahen hovi before 10 a.m. when they stopped serving breakfast. The breakfast was a rather unremarkable hotel breakfast, but the price was 17€ for two, so compared to Helsinki hotel breakfast prices, this was cheap. After breakfast we headed to Rovaniemi only stopping to stretch our legs. I have never been so north and of course I wanted to see the Arctic Circle line in Rovaniemi. It turned out that the line is in the middle of Santa Claus’ village, which despite Christmas music was the least christmasy place I’ve even been. The +30C degree heat didn’t help any. 🙂 There were a few shops, but nothing we wanted to visit and it was becoming seriously uncomfortable in the biking gear, so we continued on.
We kept going until we reached our accommodation where we arrived very tired and hungry around 10 p.m. The reception in this place was something else. At the reception I told that I had a reservation and was given a form with the only the words “Fill in”. No greeting and no other question. After I filled in the form, the payment terminal was shoved in front of me without any words. When I noticed that there were a couple of people eating at the cafe I asked about the possibility of getting something to eat. The lady just managed to say that “All the food for today is sold out.” Suuuure…
Well, we didn’t have a lot of options, so we took our things to the cabin, which was quite clean and we didn’t have to pay anything for the sheets this time. There were three or four cabins in a row and ours was the last one. We managed to park our bikes quite well near the cabin. There was a motor home park and a lake in the background.
There was enough room for two in the cabin, but some sort of blackout curtains would be a huge plus. The sun shone the entire night and the orange drapes didn’t help much. This cabin didn’t have any smart way to get fresh air either. It also had a ventilation window, but it didn’t have any kind of mosquito net, so there wasn’t much we could do, so the night was kind of sweaty. We tried to keep the door open, but in 10 min there were a couple of mosquitoes in the cabin although I wouldn’t say that the mosquitoes were a problem.
On the plus side we had our own bathroom and a good stream of hot water. Not the cleanest one I’ve ever seen, but it was ok.
The night in this cabin cost 59€ and the price-quality ratio was much better than in the previous one. Although the service was non-existent in this place. Also when we couldn’t get anything to eat, we had no choice but to get back on bikes and ride approx. 13km back to Ivalo, where we ended up having dinner in a Hotel Kultahippu’s restaurant, which was luckily open until 11 p.m. The food there was pretty good (we had mushroom soup as a starter and sautéed reindeer as main course) and the prices were quite ok. We just managed to eat and then drove back to the cabin to get a some sleep. Luckily this was the only day when we needed to ride the entire day.
Oh, btw, we saw reindeer three times on this day. Twice when they tried to cross the road and the third time very near the cabin. I’ve never seen reindeers before (well, except in reindeer skin rug form), so that was kind of exciting, even though they’re quite dangerous because they just jump on the road from the roadside bushes.