the Arctic Circle!

July 15, 92

So I made it!

I'm camped right on the Arctic Circle.

(It isn't really a good spot - but I have to say I've done it!)

It was only 160 km today but through the rain. A really yucky day. ...please don't rain tomorrow! And the mosquitoes!!! I had to keep my mouth shut and still breathed them in my nose. Repellent is useless. I've never set up my tent so fast, less than a minute I'm sure! I even have lots of bites on my bum from when I went to the bathroom!

I had no problem motivating myself today. I really wanted to camp right on the Arctic Circle. A good day.

But if it doesn't clear up tomorrow I may have to stay in a youth hostel to dry out. I don't even have enough money to buy food for the whole trip. I started really rationing today. Back to bread only, no honey. When I get to Nordkapp I am going to have reindeer steak and put it on my MasterCard. Maybe I'll even have 2!

5:15 pm July 16, 92

It's been pouring rain all day. I've asked a man if I can sleep in his barn. unfortunately I'm surrounded by machinery instead of horses and hay but it's warm and dry! I thought I'd better stop and be assured of something - I was already soaking and cold - so only 150 km today.

I got my bicycle fixed in Sodankyl√° (again!), this time with shimano components, yea!

I have about 555 km to go to Nordkapp.

So I'm drying off and so is my stuff. Please Lord, let tomorrow be sunny! Even the reindeer aren't out in this weather!

7:30 pm July 17, 92

Well, I did just over 200 km today through the pouring rain and freezing cold. I can't believe how cold it is!! Like a bad January in Vancouver. My hands are totally numb all the time now. It poured all day. My feet are thawing out now - they're almost dry for the first time in 13 hours. My hands are swollen.

My high point today was when I saw two beautiful reindeer. One white and the other brown, and they were best friends. I got pictures, I hope they work. I could barely touch the button to take the shot.

So I just kept cycling all day, didn't dare stop or I'd get cold fast. At least my shirt stayed warm even though it was wet. If I stopped I knew that would be the end, especially with the wind.

My bike is still ok (I think!). Myself, well, my knee is bad and even my left one is a bit sore and I pulled my left gastroc a bit I think. I hope it's all fine tomorrow as I still would like to do another 200 km. That would mean I will be in Nordkapp on Sunday night, stay in a hostel and eat a really good meal (though there is certainly nothing wrong with this bread, especially when there is honey to go with it!). I will be in Norway for sure tomorrow any ways as it's 98 km to the border.

Tonight I am staying in an old abandoned shack just right outside Inari. I hope no one comes here tonight. I put the tent up inside to keep the mosquitoes out. I don't like staying in view of the road but the dry factor won over my fear. My sleeping bag is good to 7C, I think it may have reached that for a high today.

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