I woke up refreshed and ready for breakfast at the hotel in Mokkjokk. I think there is about 60km of trail left. So I took it slow to pack, shower, load the bike and say goodbye to the rather lovely receptionist. I got my leg over and fired her up, the bike that is! One last check, oh that looks more than 60km.
I headed off along the crazy straight trails. In fairness there was 1km of single track to start with
I want to say I stuck to the 70kph limit but its just too much fun to fire it off down these tracks. Always aware this is a road used by car drivers and lorries which remain unseen until you crest the rise. The corners are to be taken stood up with light grip on the bars letting your weight dictate the direction. It’s biking heaven for me. The rear tyre may disagree, at 11 days old it looks very worn as it spends most of its time spinning faster than the bike is going. Riding at these speeds takes concentration and I can’t keep it going for long before I need to just sit on the bike and cruise. Luckily there are enough little communities that require you to drive slow.
Eventually I needed fuel just as the trail came to the E10 main road. 15km later a petrol station and cafe. Time for lunch. A chicken salad did the job and then I needed just one more thing…….
The OSMand app said I had 130km to go. It was 2pm so that would be easy. What I didnt realise was that distance is as the crow flies. I had a huge distance to go but what exceptional riding it was. Sec 5 may be the last section heading North but it has some of the best riding.
All of a sudden the track took a right turn towards the river and a ferry boat. I was effectively stuck in a small village, Lainio. You need to take the car ferry across the river. The ferry was there but no driver. I went to the office and read a sign on the door. Basically if there’s no driver, just take the ferry yourself. I read it again and again, yes it really says help yourself. It also says if the ferry is on the other bank then take the little outboard engined boat to go collect it to make your crossing. Luckily it was on my side. I rode on and waited for someone to come out shouting, but nothing. I worked out how to lift the ramp and without keys for the motor its a case of haul the steel cable yourself, suddenly I was at sea. I was videoing the whole thing and didn’t think to take photos. Maybe 15metres out and a quad bike turned up at the boarding point I had just left. I called out to the guy “Do you want me to come back?” I was waiting to be told I had stolen the towns ferry and would be charged with piracy, the reply “Oh yes please that would be very kind”. It took quite a bit off stopping but it did and soon I was back at the Quay, lowering the ramp like one of P&O’s finest. I mentioned to Mike that it would be easier with two, he said it would be much easier as he has a key for the engine!
Mike explained that the town were looking to secure funding from the EU for a bridge. It seems a shame that the ferry may come to an end but just imagine his journey, he was crossing the river to get paint brushes from his storage shed. If he had been any later he would have had to take the tender and collect the ferry, go back pick up his quad and cross again. I mean get some paint brushes delivered!
He said traffic had increased with the inclusion of Lianio on the TET route which would help with funding a bridge. He wished me luck as we disembarked. ‘I’m a ferry driver, me’.
I still had 60km as the crow flies and it was absolute heaven with a little bit of everything I’d experienced so far, bar the water crossing, thrown in. Sand, rocks, gravel, mud, fast straights and twisty twin track. Ending on a main road and ultimately the Finish at the Finnish border.
I was in Finland, the first new country on my trip, I have been to all the others before. I had seen a campsite just across the border and with time getting on I needed somewhere to sleep. The campsite was closed, as was the adjoining hotel. A notice suggested the Rajamaa Hotel in Sweden but honestly this place looked expensive so I didn’t fancy going back to the Swedish equivalent. Two more campsites failed to materialise so back to Sweden.
It was my lucky day the Rajamaa in Muonio is a small guest house with chalets, parking for motor homes and even plots for tents. The little twin bed chalet was such a good price I took it. I asked about food and they could fit me in.
I parked up the bike grabbed my washing bag and that was me set up. In the dining area the lady produced the food and it was a feast. Some kind of curried chicken breast with rice, salad and various breads. Honestly, as a fussy eater, I was amazed at how good this was. I ate until I could eat no more.
The guy who runs the place came to clear away and we got chatting. He showed me photos of other TET users including a couple of guys in a tuktuk. I explained how great the food was and he immediately went to the kitchen returning with freshly made blueberry pie and home made cream. He told me he had picked the berries that morning.
So that’s it, TET compete. Thank you Sweden for the best biking I’ve ever done, the nicest people you could wish to meet and stunning scenery. The site and smell of which will last a lifetime.