This was the sunset as I sailed on the ferry.

July 6, 92

Wow, it's nice here. It's beautiful too. And the people on the streets are happy. A different life.

At first I was really awed by the wealth - so many stores, so many goods, everyone is wearing such nice clothes. I'm truly awed and then I remember I come from a place like this! I've only been in Eastern Europe 1.5 months.

After talking with my uncle on Saturday (Alex had let me use the bank line, otherwise it is not possible) I had decided to go back to Germany. That was the practical thing to do. But today I have decided to cycle to Nordkapp. I need to go. Mom will freak.

But can I do it? I really should get front panniers, a cook stove, tent, new axel, tubes, new gears, brakes, gloves, cycling tights (with a leather seat), rain gear, better sleeping bag. I have already spent about $150 US on a new rear tire and rim. I really want to keep cycling. I'm driven now.

I know it is the mental challenge that I need to go. Of course there will be beautiful scenery, the midnight sun and reindeer as well. But it is the fact that I will be independent and self sufficient. I am going to do it. Something inside is really pushing me. I have to go.

I bought a tent ($500 on my MasterCard), did some bike repairs (another $100) and that pretty well finished any money. I still need a warm shirt. Maybe I can get a reindeer hide up there.

I have to wait here until I can get money from Canada. I am staying at a youth hostel and meeting lots of really neat people.
July 10, 98

Hopefully the last day here!!

I pray my money arrives today! If it doesn't then I am stuck here all weekend and wasting time and money. The youth hostel is letting me stay on credit now. One person gave me a banana for breakfast and another rice for dinner. A guy from New York is also in the same situation as I am and brought me to town and showed me where they dump the fruit from the market. It was good still!

This morning I met a man from Israel who lives on a kibbutz and is a goat herder. He is so neat. We had a great conversation and then when he left he put 100 Finnish Marks in my sleeping bag. Wow, am I ever lucky. he had offered me money and I had refused, but thinking more along the lines of 10 FM. Well, I will have to do the same whenever I see a traveler in need!!

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