Day VIII – 8th July 2017 – Downpour and mosquitoes again
The night wasn’t easy. We woke up several times to scratch our itching bodies and we heard constant buzzing of new insects trying to get to our sleeping bags.
The alarm clock woke us up in the morning and we ate our oatmeals inside again – it hasn’t stopped raining since last night. We had 24 km to undergo today, but the thought of reaching civilization the next night kept us in good mood.
The morning drizzle later became a heavy rain, so we had to put our big military raincoats (we bought them on the internet for 2 $ each). Max looked in his like a sapper and Dominika like a wizard. Safe from the rain, but not safe from the mosquitoes we had to endure the same thing as yesterday and we did 7 km without stopping. We stopped when we found another hut – we didn’t meet anyone there, but we found English-Czech phrasebook, which for us Polish people was funny, as Czech language is weirdly similar, but so different.
We wanted to wait out the rain, so the break was long, but the rain didn’t stop and we had to leave this dry place. The walk was getting more difficult, we had a feeling it was raining harder and harder and the temperature has dropped. Even though we were dry from the waist up (the raincoats protected our backpacks too), our pants and shoes were soaked wet. The road was covered with paddles and we were so cold! After 3 hours ( 8 km from the hut with phrasebook) we reached a spot, where we could take a break again.
It was Oulanka Visitors Centre – the only civilized place on the whole trail. The centre was a tourist information with a small cafeteria: we could wash our hands in hot water, get warm, charge our phones and buy a real sandwich (with a reindeer or salmon). Heaven!
We were exhausted, wet and we had 9 km to the next hut, in which we planned to spend the night. We experienced a crisis there. Our tired backs, abrasions on the hips from our hip sacs and ofcourse abrasions on our feet and water, water everywhere – it wasn’t easy. It took us so long to leave this warm heaven, but the thought that, if we don’t hurry, there won’t be a place for us in the hut (imagine putting up a tent in this rain) mobilized us.
The next 9 km we didn’t spoke much (only music from Max’s phone kept us going), as it also required energy. We counted that it was more than 24 hours since the rain started- the paddles were so big they sometimes became rivers and the roots were slippery. Fortunately the views were pretty, on the last kilometer we crossed three rope bridges hanging above torrents.
We’ve reached the hut later than on the previous days, but there was still plenty of room for us. The cabin was two- floored: there was a little kitchen, a fireplace and 4 places to sleep downstairs and 10-12 places upstairs. We chose upstairs. Dominika started putting our wet shoes and pants near the fireplace (someone who got there before us took care of the fire) and Max prepared supper – we had pasta with tuna and dried tomatoes.
We laid down earlier than usual, as we never felt that tired before, but we just couldn’t fall asleep. The hut was slowly filled with people and we talked quietly in our sleeping bags. The itching was still there of course and more mosquitoes were inside the hut than outside. Also it was too hot. The fireplace was great but so many people with wet clothes and hair made it stifling. We couldn’t open the windows, because we didn’t want more mosquitoes, so we had basically two options:
- a) get in the sleeping bag, even put our heads inside and die by suffocating, but without the feeling, that something is drinking your blood
- b) lay on the sleeping bag, be eaten alive by the mosquitoes, but avoid getting boiled.
We weren’t satisfied by any of the options, so the night was even harder than the one before. But fortunately that was supposed to be our last night in the hut. We planned to spend the next night in our tent in Hautajarvi – so it were our last moments on the trail. If only it stopped raining!