Our journey – Anka’s Angels

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The journey of our curious fellowship, Anka’s Angels, began at Tievatupa Youth Center, from where we had set off to the settlement of Kiilopää. We were granted a good weather, and well maintained roads nearby Kiilopää provided the best environment to get used to walking with our heavy backpacks and hiking shoes. On the hills above Kiilopää, herds of reindeers started to accompany us, and, sadly, mosquitoes joined them once we got down the hill to the valley. The character of the landscape changed – swamps and rocks appeared soon after we entered the deeps of the Urho Kekkonen National Park. We spent our first night nearby a hikers’ hut of Laavu, we prepared our meal on a proper bonfire, we washed our faces in ice-cold and ice-clear river. During this very pleasant evening, some of us had undertaken an epic flip-flop journey over misty bogland and sharp rocks, just to greet our friends in another camping spot across the hill.

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The next day started with a river crossing – done in all caution and safety. A romantic path through a river canyon unfortunately also caused a muscle injury of one of us: Ieva had no option but to leave us at another camping spot. We continued in four, map and compass in hand, raincoats always ready, songs on our lips. In the evening, after getting through another canyon, so silent that only our breath was being heard, we found a much-needed bridge over a large river of Suomujoki, and joined another group of travellers at camping spot of Kotaköngäs. What a pleasant evening – swimming in the river, a good meal, heath of bonfire and friends around.

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The good weather started to change the next day. After a little navigation problem in the forests near Kotaköngäs, heavy rain struck us on the road, and we were lucky to find shelter in Tuiskukuru, the eastest point of our expedition. Fortunatelly, the sun hurried to dry our things off soon after we came. Next, we climbed hills covered with young birch trees, and we headed to a beautiful lake area with some most romantic views and places. The sun shining through Anka’s hair confirmed that the name of our group, Anka’s Angels, was indeed chosen correctly. We left our leaders and assessors, who followed us in a distance, letters in every hut we passed by, and in the evening, we finally built our tents nearby another hikers’ shelter. Before we went to sleep, a national park ranger travelling aimlessly from hut to hut shared some good stories with us.

To our surprise, the last day of our expedition was filled with energy. Looking forward to the shower and proper food, we had set off earlier than ever before and in incredibly fast pace, we crossed the rest of the hills and swamps to reach Kiilopää and our beloved youth center, Tievatupa.

-Anka’s Angels: Greta, Katarina, Anouk, Vojtěch & Ieva

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