north from Lahti

4:30 pm July 11, 92

Well! I'm finally on my way!!

My money didn't come in yesterday but I can now pick it up at any KOP bank on Monday morning. I used the money the Israeli guy gave me to pay off my bill at the hostel. So I was free to start my trip!

By 5:30 pm yesterday I was on my way!! I went just past Lahti last night (about 115 km). It was the best. Freedom. An amazing high.

I've just had dinner and so far today I've cycled 130 km, There were some hills but not too bad. I hope to still go at least another 40 km tonight (another 2 hours at this pace).

I know I made the right choice for myself. Unfortunately my mother won't see it that way. She will be furious. I feel bad that I worry her so much.

But I am so excited. It's like having been freed from a cage. I really hate being in the city. I feel so confident. My knee is still bothering me but I'm sure that by tomorrow it will be fine.

7:30 pm July 14, 92

I hate mosquitoes.

Well, I'm almost half way up. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever and sometimes it goes so fast. It's more like being outside of time really.

So, going back, Day 2, I ended up cycling about 170 km. I felt really good after that. Then the next day I cycled over 200kms. I was tired. But my tour was going great!

Well, Day 4 started out well. I did 90 km by noon, got money from the KOP bank, bought some food. Yea! (I had only had bread till now.) But $25 for just bread, cheese and honey! I only have $300 so I am going to have to be careful. Food is so expensive here! I sat down inside and ate while it rained. it broke and I hopped on my bike totally dreading the next 100 km that I had decided to do. The weather was bad and I was still tired from yesterday. So, after a major fight with myself I decided that this was a holiday and so I didn't have to kill myself and that I could do as I liked.

I decided what I liked was to set up my tent and read. It only took about an hour to decide that, and so I only ended up doing 120 km yesterday. As soon as the tent was up it just started pouring. I was glad.

Today my legs feel refreshed and I did a nice 165 km. I saw my first reindeer today too! They are bigger than I thought they would be. They ran in front of my bike for a while. I hope I see some more. This is perfect.

It was funny today. I felt like a recluse - I didn't talk with anyone and I didn't want anyone to bother me. I must look pretty wild too! I have been washing in gas stations and the day before yesterday I had a swim. But my shirt is really dirty and my hair is wild. It looks like there is a good place to stop and swim just north of Kuusamo. I hope the weather is good tomorrow - the water is so cold!

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