Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wednesday 26
The Striders are in Ritsem! We got here last night after more than 40k of mountain paths and road. And we've now done some 550k!!
From Abisko we were for some 45k along the famous Kungsleden - so busy! A shock after days alone on the trails! Then we were back in wilderness and bare mountains. Weather still beautiful, hot and sunny - we're so lucky
Today we're crossing to Vaisaluokta and head on the Padjelantaleden for a while. Sparta and Nyx are really impressive by their vitality and motivation to go, they really got it now, have their little habits during the day, rest when we stop, then Sparta walks ahead and Nyx stays behind me. Love it to be out there with them!
It's the last part. Next Monday or Tuesday we'll reach Kvikkjokk and the end of three fantastic weeks of Hiking for the Arctic... But for now, let's enjoy the trail!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

 Saturday 22.08
Hello everyone! News from the Nordkalottleden! Here we are in Abisko after more than 400k!! We arrived yesterday afternoon and my friend Ziss Stålhandske picked us up just out of town. How nice to have a home, a nice bed and a lovely evening with friends after 12 days on the trails. Sparta & Nyx are resting, enjoying lying on the carpets!
We had 6 fantastic days out there, lots of kilometers and long hours, bare mountains, rocky forests and many rivers crossings, sometimes even bridges, a luxury! We met some amazing people in the most remote places and I can't thank Jodun and her friend enough for saving my feet in Dividalshytta!
Today I am cleaning, refreshing and refilling what needs to be. We need to be fully ready for the second half of this extraordinary trip. Departure at 4.30pm for a short 15k-walk.
We did very well up to here and I've decided to do a bit less mileage for the next 11 days for the dogs to recover better from the daily stage. Next target: Ritsem/SE! And arrival planned for 31st Aug or 1st Sept in Kvikkjokk 😀 Keep u posted! Take care

Saturday, 15 August 2015

After 5.5 days and some 200k, the Striders arrived in Kilpisjarvi this afternoon.
This first stage, leaving from Kautokeino/NO, was pretty tough, with very wet portions on the first days, and then many stones fields and very rocky paths. The scenery is amazing and very varied, from lush forests, bogs and canyons to dry mountainous landscapes and blue lakes. 
All three Striders are doing fine: the dogs are truly amazing!  doing all this distance plenty of energy, chasing lemmings when free, spotting reindeers when on the leash. Rachel is feeling good and strong; only some nasty blisters hindered her pace over the past 2 days. But that'll be healed soon!!
Tomorrow they set of for the next bit, heading towards Abisko/SE. Keep you posted!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Striders – Rovaniemi, last stop

Saturday 08.08. We arrived in Rovaniemi last night after having spent three days driving through Finland, kilometres of woodlands and countless lakes and rivers.

Seen in Ranua zoo

2 days in the same place seems like a luxury! It’s nice to stop here to do the final check, a few last buys, and pack. I really like this city and on my fourth time here feel a bit at home! It's great to be here with my beloved ones! 
Even though Kamil very kindly offered us to stay at his place, we opted for the campsite, more convenient to accommodate the Striders’ team not that clean after 10 days on the road! 

Tonight everything is ready for tomorrow’s departure: backpack packed with:

6 days food for us 3, some spare and warm clothes, a Gore-tex jacket, a poncho, 2 pairs of socks, gloves and buff, tent, sleeping-bag, a light mat, some toiletries and first aid kit, insect-repellent roll-on (!), thermos, a tiny pot, a spork, a foldable plate, fuel and stove, a pair of running shoes, plastic bags to cross rivers, the maps for the first stretch and compass, a tiny headlamp, a rescue blanket, a compact signal launcher,  the InReach, GoPro, solar panel and an external battery, some change, credit card and ID documents. And of course my Swiss Army knife (but the light version!). All of it kept to the minimum possible without depriving our safety. 

We had fine weather all the way up, and the only rain we got was on Friday night and early this morning. I know the summer has been terrible up here till now, so let’s hope we brought some of the heatwave with us! All I ask is dry weather J. I also know that some of the segments of the trail, especially in the first part, can be quite dangerous if the water level is too high and am ready to have to change my route if need be. So now…let’s wait and see!

Tomorrow bus to Hetta/Enontekkio. Then I just had the great news that we’ll get a lift to Kautokeino, thanks to Jip, a Dutch guy who works and lives there. And on Monday… we’ll be there for good! At last!! I must say… I am getting nervous… but so looking forward to this great time out on the trail with the dogs!

Keep you posted J

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Striders – Journey to Finland

Gränna, Sweden

Here we are! On our way to the North! 

The Striders left Switzerland on July 31 along with Mr Marc and Little Marc (our summer holiday kid). Our beloved Land Cruiser fully packed – with all the gear for 10 days holidays + the expedition + the return journey – happy to set of for a long drive. The route plan for the first 6days: Germany – Denmark – Southern Sweden (Helsingborg – Stockholm) – Southern Finland (Turku).

On the way to Denmark

After the busy activity of the past months, it is lovely to have a few relaxing days off. Driving. Visits of small towns and historical sites. Taking walks or going for a run on beautiful forest trails and along the seaside. Bivouacs in various places : in the woods, on the see shore, close to the ferry terminal or on motorway carparks.. ! We’re all having a great time; I am truly happy to be back in Scandinavia! And feel re-energised and in the best shape possible for the coming challenge.  

Sparta and Nyx are just great, happy to go for walks and runs in new places,play on the beach and seem to appreciate their first ferry crossings. In Sweden we went for the compulsory vet appointment to have the deworming treatment administered: I wanted to keep it at the strict requested minimum so chose to have it done only once before entering Finland (you can also use the 28-days rule treatment which inmplies a deworming treatment every 28 days); I will have to do it once again after the hike before re-entering Finland. 


Ferry to Finland

Today we are on the 8-hour ferry crossing from Kapellskär/Sweden to Naantali (Turku/Finland). It was my first time in Southern Sweden and found it beautiful! I now look forward to being back in Finland, home of Moomin, reindeer and the Rovaniemi 150 ;-)
Next post form Rovaniemi!