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J225 - Saturday, May 29: Kakslauttanen – 5km before Inari

74.3km  –10H37’
Altitude : 151 m        
At km 8, the van, its occupants and Serge passed the famous village of Saariselkä.  One of Finnish Lapland’s most important tourist sites, this village of 300 souls has a capacity of 13,500 beds.  For the moment, it is as deserted as all the villages we have gone through these past days.  Once past Saariskelkä, there is an incline which takes us down to an altitude of less than 200 meters and all vegetation almost disappears.  False alert, the forest reappears as quickly as it disappeared.
It was a beautiful, bright day with little wind and the surroundings were pleasant, even splendid once we passed Ivalo, the only village we crossed today.  Even though Ivalo has 4,000 inhabitants, it is still part of the municipality of Inari, which has a total population of almost 7,000 inhabitants and a territory about half the size of Belgium.  So, the majority of the municipality’s inhabitants are located in Ivalo, a true urban oasis in the Lapp countryside.
We met people today, starting with a middle aged couple who stopped to speak a bit with Serge.  Then in the afternoon, Eliane and René talked with two couples from Brittany who are travelling in recreational vehicles.  They are heading for the North Cape and will return via Norway.  Their trip will last a month and a half more.
And we continue to see reindeer wandering around, rabbits that scamper off and birds we don’t know, such as this strange poultry with a white body, a brown neck and a red comb on its head.  No, it’s not a hen!!! Apparently it is a snow partridge, whose color changes according to the season.
Serge seems to be less tired than yesterday, in spite of the fact that he does not say much during the day, aside from the usual « thank you » during refueling.  As René says, it’s an effort for him to chew, just imagine talking!!!!!

Town : 5km avant Inari

GPS : N 68.52’92.3° E 027.07’02.1°