Tonight we have an old school for accomodation. Bedrooms for one hundred, fully renovated kitchen, sauna departement, all this for just two of us.
Siilinjärvi central square was full of people and music and local fish muikku. Hope the crowd stays there until half past eight when Emilia plays.
Ukkosen siivillä tultiin. Matka sujui paikallisten pyöräilijöiden kanssa jutellessa.
Nyt majoituimme tänne Juhani Ahon synnyinkotiin. Melkoinen musacorner on Jussilla ollut käytössä. Rumpusetti ja
kolme yhdeksän skittaa ja eeppinen levykokoelma.
Ei vais. Isäntäväki hengittää musiikkia.
Illalla keikka Välilevyjen tyyliin.
- Roadkills. We see all of them, and there are many. Kare even had to finish a grouse that was hit by a car and dying.
- Rubbish. We see all of it and we just don’t understand why people in cars throw empty beer cans and such to nature.
- ABC. The ubiquitous cafe – restaurant – shop – gas station chain. They look and feel and taste always the same, and it gets on our nerves. Their coffee is drinkable only with cream and sugar.
- The fact that we are riding on roads and not paths. We have tweaked our riding position to be perfect, but it still is always the same. Mountain biking is more dynamic and less taxing.
Those were all we could figure out so far, so this is only top 4, sorry.
Haapavesi Folk was great and our concert was ok. Today we only rode 115 km on easy roads. We are near Vieremä in Gasthouse Puomila. It is a former old-age home and looks like it. In a good way. And the food is good and we feel young.
Long, dull kilometres when you are alone with your own thoughts, or your partner’s, crossing endless forests that look always the same.
And then, suddenly, you reach the next concert place, and there is intresting people, great music, lots of things to do.
This tour really emphazises that contrast.
We arrived to Haapavesi Folk festival tonight at seven, and we have since been absorbing the athmosphere. After spending two days on Finnish roads, this festival feels to be full of life and culture. Actually it is.
Great to be here, great to eat everything we get, great to sleep two nights in same place. Tomorrow Emilia plays at 9 pm.
Last night we pushed our bikes on stony paths to a wilderness hut in Salamajärvi national park. The place was quite nice, or would have been without the mosquitoes. We couldn’t get much sleep or even rest in the night. Yes, we have a lot of trekking experience from Lapland, but after 120 km the sudden onset of insect army was truly special.
Now we zig zag our way from Kinnula to Haapavesi. Hopefully we get some sleep there.
Yesterday was a bit busy because the biggest newspaper in Finland Helsingin Sanomat had two pages about our tour. A lot of intresting people made contact after that.
The concert went well and Emilia tested some new tunes. The old wooden church sounds good.
Now we are on the road again, having a banana break at Housukoski rapids.
Emilia was born in Suolahti and Kare in Keuruu. Lately we have ridden between those towns quite often, so it was an easy start for the longest continuous section of our tour.
The road is quiet and lonely. We like it.
The first two hours it was raining but it was good to test that our gear is waterproof. And that all the violins fit to the trailer.
Now we will go and check the opening concert of Soiton Paikka festival.
Enough with training, relatives and midsummer.
Tomorrow we ride from Suolahti to Keuruu, and day after that Emilia plays a concert at Soiton Paikka festival.
We are feeling a bit nostalgic. Soiton Paikka is part of Läntisen Keski-Suomen musiikkileiri, an established summer music course for kids. That’s where we first met. It must have been more than twenty five years ago.
The concert is in Keuruu Old Church, a beautiful wooden church that was built in 1750’s. Actually it is so beautiful, that when they built a new church in 1800’s, Emilia’s great grandfather Pilli-Hermanni wrote an angry, witty and naughty poem to mock the new building.
Right now we are at Emilia’s parent’s house training for the tour and celebrating Finnish midsummer. It is beautiful.
There is a new bar called Kaiku in Nilsiä. Nilsiä is a very small town, and Kaiku is just an ordinary bar, or so they say. But the bartender is a nice guy and they happen to have a poetry night 1.7. and we happen to ride past Nilsiä that day.
So the bartender called us and asked us to play a gig. And of course we will, and for poetry’s sake Emilia will sing all the Kalevala runos and ballads she knows.
This is what the bike tour is all about – playing wherever we are, meeting new people in new places.