Monday, August 16, 2010

Travel diary - Day 2

A week ago I wrote about the beginning of the bicycle journey to the Southwestern Archipelago, and today we shall continue where we left, at the farm of the Taattinens.

After a well slept night, breakfast and some goodbyes me and my twin continued the journey along the northern section of the ring road. The weather was really nice, the sun was shining and it wasn't too hot. We had a quick stop at Merimasku, where we visited a local church. It was old, maybe from the 1700's, but in my opinion it was not quite as awesome as the Seili church. Nearby the church there was a parked German tourist bus that had a carrier for the bikes. Later on we sighted the bus and the Germans often because they followed the same route for the day.

On a scenic bridge

After Merimasku the road changed: bike lanes disappeared and we had to ride among the cars. Fortunately the worst tourist season was over and there wasn't too much traffic. The good news was that the terrain changed and there were fewer big hills on the way, although many smaller ones. In my opinion, also the views changed for better, because there were many scenic bridges, agricultural landscapes and even oak forests to be admired. We rode the first 20 kilometers to Velkua a rather good pace and sighted the German tourists every now and then. Unfortunately we started to have some problems with the bikes: the other one's stand started to fail as did the gears in the other one. Apparently our bad luck hadn't abandoned us quite yet ;)

After a couple of hours cycling in a nice weather we arrived at the Velkua port. There was a couple of hours left until our ferry, Kivimo, would leave to the Hakkeenpää port, so we parked our bikes and had lunch there. Velkua port has excellent services: there are restaurants, a guest port, beach nearby and even a shop and a man selling blueberries and smoked fish. Actually, I had forgotten it, but this was not the first time that I had been there. A few years back my friend took me and two guys for a double date in a deserted island nearby. It was great: skinny dipping in the moonlight and barbequing with friends in a natural beach. I didn't quite fancy my blind date, but he bought me a dinner in the restaurant were I was eating now once again, only with my sister.

Susku at the Velkua port restaurant

After the dinner the port started to fill with travelers, including the German tourists. They couldn't fit the bus into the small ferry, so the tourists came with their bikes and the bus took another route by land to the Hakkeenpää port. The ferry Kivimo was full of our German friends and their bikes. Once again it was time to sit back and enjoy the marine scenery in a beautiful day.

Bikes on Kivimo
A sunday at the sea

After we set off to the second 20 km of the day's ride, the weather in the afternoon started to get too hot in my taste. We had to stop ofter for a drink, but there were plenty of beautiful places and bridges to have a break at. This was a rather pleasant piece of the journey, although I was already really looking forward to the next day, when we would enter the outer archipelago. The difference is that the inner archipelago is mainly connected by bridges but the outer by ferries. Also, the landscape changes and becomes more marine in nature.

A couple of kilometers before our next overnight place we were stopped by four Russian cyclists. They inquired if we knew where their overnight was supposed to be, and surprise surprise, it was the same place where we were going. We guided them to our hosts, but they didn't know English so we had to do a little bit of translating before settling down ourselves. Our accommodation was in a small cottage by Tamminiemen lomamökit. There was no running water, but there was an old fashioned and clean wood-heated sauna. But the dry toilets were 200 meters away, so we just went into the bush.

Before bed time, we had spared plenty of time to do some exploring in the environment. The cottage was located in Laupunen, which has a guest port and a couple of nice stops with shopping possibilities. The other one sells handicrafts and has farm animals and the other one has a design store and a fancy restaurant. We went to dine in the fancy restaurant at the guest port in Laupunen, and I have to say that the food was excellent, creative, and worth of every cent that it cost. Mmmm... goat cheese, greens, and berry sauce on a bread, slurp! After the dinner it was already time to heat the sauna and wash up. I was quite happy with good food in the belly and sore muscles softened by the sauna. In the night we decided to go for a little night row in a boat. The boat wasn't too good, but the night was beautiful, take a look.

Summer night

The next time we shall continue with the 3rd day on the road. Bye 'til then!

Day 1 (morning)
Day 1 (afternoon)
Day 3
Day 4

1 comment:

l' homme au velo said...

I am enjoying this Narrative of your trip,it makes me want to visit there sometime.

It seems you had a wonderful time in a Beautiful area.

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