Summer in Finland, Turku – Nokia – Helsinki

So it’s that time of the year again, summer is almost over (if you can call what we had summer, it’s +13 in the middle of July).

But I’we had another week long bike trip, this time in Finland, again!
It all started a Tuesday morning in Stockholm, around 04:45 we all got up to go to the Viking Line harbor, I left around 05:15 I think and the bike ride through a fairly empty Stockholm took like 45 minutes.

20150623_051338 20150623_061904
My bike outside home, packed and ready. and a picture from the line at the Viking check in.

The boat itself was a lot nicer than the other Finland ferries we have taken previously (it’s only two years old so there is that).
Time on the boat was spent as usual, breakfast buffet, shopping, kids playtime and some more food before heading of on the other side, we did get a dinner with a view in the gourmet restaurant to.

View during dinner, a dinner that ended quicker than it should, due to kids obviously.. 

Right, boat over Finland here we are, and guess the weather, RAIN!

Me at the Finnish side of things, in the Turku Harbor.

I found one of my bike partners, plus my wife and kids fairly quick, and then we headed out to meet up with the last man of the trip.

Me, Siiri, the wife and Sami at the parkingspace outside the harbor.

The rest of the Tuesday was spent getting a couple of beers before bed time (shocker I know).

Day 1 of the trip. Turku to Merimasku.

So day one started around 06:45, getting up and having some light breakfast of eggs, bacon and white bread.
The weather said rain again so we dressed for that, sort of.

We stopped on some bridge for Hannu (not pictured) to take some pictures, it was also close to where Sami studied (Sami has the yellow helmet)

Oh right, this day, with it’s nice rainy weather was supposed to be the parade day, we went through the archipelago, so soon coming up was the first ferry to Nauvo.

By said ferry waiting to get on board and sail to Nauvo.

Hannu, the picture taker, rarely seen on pictures…

From here it was a pretty short trip to the next ferry that would take us to another island, Rymättylä.

20150624_120427 20150624_120621
Sami and Hannu fixing with the packing, and well, I knew there was something about the boat that said quality, turns out it’s built in Norway!

Lunch on the boat, the cookies was shared between the three of us, I think Sami ate some more though.. add coffee for reasons.

The Ferry to Rymättylä took something like an hour or so stopping at some old asylum/leper  colony on the island of Seili.
Today it seems to be full of tourists and things though..
20150624_124414 20150624_124625
People entering the boat to continue their trip (by bike mostly it seemed) and a side view of the docks at Seili.

Hannu took some better picture(s) of the Seili docks.

One hour boat rides leads to Titanic feelings aparently…

Right, halfway through day one, or at least about, rest of the day was sunny and fairly nice, we had to take one more ferry and we stopped at research station for fish (Sami works for them) to refill water before going up to our destination for the day.

Leaving the boat at Rymättylä, and some scenery shoot by Hannu.

The big boys on the last ferry of the day!

During the day I think Sami got a wee bit broken, he kept on fighting though, some hills still needed to be walked, I’m just posing on a random bridge somewhere…

The end of the day was spent around Merimasku, which had the smallest shop I ever saw, but we got food and drinks, we also checked in to a place called Taattisten Tila, a nice little farm with some camping options and facilities (WC, Shower, Laundry and BBQ).

Sami lit up the wood fuled bbq and we had some sausages and pork pieces on it, also some corn for Hannu.

20150624_180438 20150624_192324
The dinner of champions, Meat, meat, carbs and carbs, with a dash of fat and a side of alcohol, the other is the old house on the farm that now is a camp.

Our bikes in front of the camp ground, the large tent is mine (ultralight 2 man tent) the other cocoon is where Sami “slept”

Thats it for day one, here is the route of the day.

Day two, Sami goes for a long ride!

Well, we woke up fairly early, or several times depending on how you see it, turns out that this camp had animals, lots of them, one thing they had was two roosters, they started crowing around 4 am or so, which was nice..

so anyway, we got six thirty or so, started to pack and clean up camp and prepare for breakfast.

Breakfast being prepared, Pikapuuro (instant porridge) and me standing on the kitchen table sort of..

Another one of the animals, Otto the pig, who came to join us for breakfast, he was mostly after Hannu though (who doesn’t eat meat, guess he smelled his ally or something)

Hannu and the pig Otto, bonding over breakfast!

After breakfast we did the last packing and hit the rough route planned earlier,  through Mynämäki, Yläne and then to Huittinen and then from there find some place to camp.
Hannu leaving the first days camp ground

The first stop we did as in Mynämäki, we were all slightly hungry again, turns out on portion of pikapuuro is not enough to go on for long…

20150625_102717 20150625_105718
Parking lot breakfast in Mynämäki.

Refueled and ready to go again we set course for the sprawling metropolis known as Yläne, a place with two stores and at least two places to dine, one of which we actually stopped at, it was a kebab/pizza/grill place of unremembered name..

Lunch at Yläne, pizzas and kebabs all around! mine was huge and I ate only half of it..

After Yläne it was onwards to Huittinen where we got supplies for the nights camp, the last night camping for Sami, so a little extra food and drinks needed!

This was taken after stocking up on food in Huittinen, two one time bbq’s and lots of meat, we are heading towards the end of the day (or looking for it, found it not that far ahead to!

About 15 km north of Huittinen we found a nice spot by the river to set up camp, right outside the centrum of Äetsä, at what looked like some local fisherman/boat club place, it had benches and tables, even a fire pit, perfect for our needs.

Resting in camp before starting the barbecue sessions!  

Bacon on a stick, bacon on bread and not pictured was the spare ribs from cow meat!

First and I think only group photo we took, at the camp during the last night, we kept going to around midnight I think, with more beer, cider and snacks!

End of day two, here is the map:

Day 3 – A short, hilly ride to Nokia

Day 3 started with me feeling slow and sluggish, horrible night, was really cold, my tent is not warm, my mattress is not insulated at all and I set up my tent on a spot with a slight down hill to one side. but we got going after an hour or so of packing and tidying up our mess, the planned route was basically to avoid the big roads and get to Nokia by going north of Sastamala to Heinoo and then turning of around Ojala, roughly 50-60km of small paved and unpaved roads.

We started off at a normal sluggish speed but before we got even 10 km or so Sami got some mechanical problems..

Me fixing the bike or at least trying, in the end I had to lock the front derailleur on the biggest ring, but Sami didn’t give up! 

After the bike was fixed it was a fairly uneventful ride to the next stop Sami had planned at Otamus kahvila (Otamus cafe basicly), that place was closed though, but we ended up having atleast some bread and water there (left overs from last night).

Scenery on the way, a old, really old church and some gas station that has been left to rot in a local place.

Sami and me going down a really nice hill, in the bottom was a river and Otamus cafe where we would stop and eat according to Sami, it was closed though…

This is where we would have had lunch had it been open (we were early)

Less then an hour from Otamus and day three was over, we were at Sami’s childhood home.

End of day three and in Nokia for one bikeless day with the family!

Day 4 – Rest in Nokia and the end of the trip for Sami.

We spent this day chilling, playing with the kids, having saunas and eating, lots and lots of eating. after we came here yesterday we went to deliver Sami’s bike to the place he bought it and after that there was a short stop at a local meat market (butcher, not the place to pick up women mind you). got some bacon (I never got to taste this though), Ribs and some steaks (angus), so without to much more fuzz, here are some random images from the resting day!

Fika first, thats my youngest daughter, me and Sami, then there is a picture of the meat feast Sami fixed!

Two girls one tub, in the sauna, could barely get them out from here this time, Saunas ftw!

Right enough of this resting thing, time to move on!

Day 5 unloaded to the cabin!

Pekka (father in law) came to get the girls and drive them to the cabin, which was our end destination for the day, I’we never been there so this was exciting!
Since a car was coming we left most of our gear (all the heavy stuff in Nokia for Pekka to bring with the car, and thus commenced the quickest part of our journey, from Nokia to Rautajärvi and the Cabin!

20150628_103143 20150628_103512
Our first of three stops on what turned out to be one of the most epic bike roads ever (literally bike paths from heaven!) this is in Matinsaari (it’s between Tampere and Sahalahti).

Not a particularly bad view right after Matinsaari either (the bridge after the Island)

With the roads being so good we hit Sahalahti around 11:00 (one hour before shops open on Sunday) so our plans for a food stop got foiled and we had to keep on going towards our next stop, which turned out to be Luopioinen, here we got something cold to drink and something to eat, plus a few beers and stuff for the cabin. from Luopioninen to the cabin is like 10 km, so this was quick and we took no pictures, so coming up is a dump of pictures from the cabin itself!

Hannu and I got the cabin before the rest, so we could snap some pictures of the girls when they came, thats Saga to the left and Siiri to the right.

Panorama of the cabin grounds, cabin to the left and sauna on the rights with the bikes.

My bike in some nice light – Saga and her Tosca bun, Siiri, my wife and me in the background

One of the awesome things about the cabin, sauna and swimming, Saga insisted on joining, she regretted that pretty quick though (cold water)

The whole family gathered (-Hannu the photographer)

20150628_150128 20150628_152618
Fire started, food cooked, what else then sausages when having a camp fire??

End of day 5!

Day 6 – locked and loaded again, two bike days left!

Day started with the family in the cabin, cleaning and tidying before saying our goodbyes and getting out on the road around 12:00, we had a rough idea where to go, since we wanted to ride through Nuuksio (National Park, more on that later).

Bikes packed and ready for the days riding, all gear packed again..

For the last night I got to borrow Pekka’s thermarest sleeping mat, which he said was lighter, more comfortable and warmer than the one I have, exciting times.
The first part of the ride was to Hauho here we stopped for some light snacks and drinks before heading out on the road again, destination Hämeenlinna for lunch/dinner.

Disaster strikes, somewhere along the way I got a puncture and had to swap a tire, which is boring when you got a full set of panniers on the bike that has to come off.

After eating and shopping in Hämeenlinna we set course for Loppi, where we would check the internet for information about camping and ask the locals to. While I was in the store Hannu found a local beach area that looked promising (it was!) so we headed there, the clock was getying close to 21:00 and we were pretty ready for the stop anyway!

The view from the camp area in Loppi, not bad really!

Checking some social media and chatting with the wife while waiting for food to be done (Sausages, mushrooms, pasta in tomato sauce!)

That was the end of day 6 and the last night of camping before Helsinki, so here is the daily map:

Day 7 it all ends in rain.

Woke up and felt pretty good, the thermarest mattress worked like a charm (guess who is on the look for a new inflatable mat…)
But thats where the good stuff ends for now, before we even managed to pack camp it started raining and I had to pack my tent wet (it was hung to dry asap when we got back so no damage). but breakfast was cooked before we headed out to our destination, a small town called Salmi just north of Nuuksio.

Pikapuuro and banana for breakfast, again..

Due to last day and tiredness we didnt take much pictures, but on the way to Salmi we found a local farm sale place, they had vegetables from the farm and a baked goods for sale, so we stopped for some carbohydrates and caffeine!

20150630_100151 20150630_100228
Where stopped – Heikki Mikkolan Suoramyynti and what we had, pulla and coffee, I also bought some local sausages (pepper) and a loaf of dark bread to bring home!

We had a quick pit stop in Salmi to, at a s or k market (cant remember which one) and then we found Nuuksio’s route 2000 to bike!
I think we had about five minutes of pleasantness in Nuuksio, the rain hit so heavy that we were soaked in two minutes, and the dirt roads were small streams, but we managed to get through.

Once done in Nuuksio we headed for our last planned stop, Iikkas forge in Kirkkonumm.

The forge and the Smith.

After maybe 30-40 minutes here we biked the 30-40 km back to Helsinki.

20150630_180923 20150630_212821
Hannu giving notice of us being really close and my bags, packed and washed inside, a sign that the adventure is over for this time.

End of day 7 and the last map of the tour.

For those who want the whole trip in one map here that is to, the merged 7 day trip route: