For some Christmas means slowing down the everyday rhythm of life.
We took the challenge more than literally and decided to spend a few days isolated at Anssi's little cabin without electricity and running water. The secret cabin – or hut - is by the lake and it has only two little rooms. When we arrived there the temperature indoors was less than outdoors, minus five celsius degrees. Three or four hours later it had increased to 30 degrees, and we're comfortable enough to go to sleep. Heat always climbs to the roof, and the cabin stayed chilly on the floor level. Cannot fight physics!
How self evident thing heating is at home! Anssi needed to fill up the stove with wood two times during the night, because the temperature was dropping dramatically. No one had been in the cabin since September, and the old building needed to suck in the heat for two days before it started to function normally.
The following morning came bright, beautiful and white. We stayed warmly indoors reading books until it was time to start the project with sauna. For that we had to make a hole to the lake ice, pump up the water and carry it to the sauna. We made the hole slightly bigger than normally so we could use it for ice swimming. It's amazing how the lake water actually feels warm when you dip in there from icy outdoor climate. I wish that dipping in ice cold water makes my circulation and resistance better. There are ice swimming holes anywhere in Finland where there is water, so give it a try if you get a chance!
The second night came the storm, that was so forceful that I thought the roof will fly out. Storm always comes when temperature rises dramatically, and this time morning was ten degrees warmer than the previous evening. Gone were the snowy covered trees and puffy powdery snow next morning, touché! You never know about climate these days, I thinks winters have become very unpredictable nowadays.
However, we needed to do some grocery, and that meant that we needed to use our van. That car is a biggie and very bad climber even in the smallest uphills in wintertime. I had my doubts beforehand about our chances of getting stuck, and I was right (as usual, ha ha). It took one hour to get the van facing the right direction and another one to get it from down there up on the road – and it was just then when the front wheel sinked to a ditch. A phone call, and help came in a form of proper four-wheel-drive that pulled us out.
Driving conditions here in Lapland aren't normally as harsh as in that private road, but I nevertheless admire some tourists' courage when they rent a car and cruise around. These kinds of days when temperature suddenly rises dramatically are the worst possible for driving. That, and the fact that it's pitch black most of the day combines to extremely difficult conditions.
We never went back to the cabin, as we would have needed a new car for that. We drove west to the city Kemi instead.
Suom: Kemi, Suomen Monaco.