Our group, The Speechless, consists of Laura Viktorija from Latvia, Dovile from Lithuania, Tom and Seline from the Netherlands, Barbara from Czech Republic and Živa from Slovenia, along with our leaders Vilma and Ligita and our Finnish assessor Timo. We were very excited about the expedition and were happy when the planning finally started.
Our starting point was Tievatupa, the camp site, and we decided to go eastward to Luirojarvi. At half past eight on the 4th of August we left, equipped with our 15 kg or more heavy backpacks. Our path first led us through forest to Niilanpaa, where we had our first break, from where on we continued uphill over a bare hill, where we encountered a herd of reindeer, including youg ones. As this was our first meeting with these animals, especially on such a small distance, we were really happy to see them. We carried on and at the next stop we met another group, which had almost the same route as us, so we were looking forward to seeing each other often many times. Also, Barbara and Tom were making marks on the path for the other group to know the path. Soon later, we had our first larger river crossing, where we had to take our shoes, which proved to be a lot of fun. We arrived to our sleeping place, where there was a small shelter and a fireplace, at around 5 pm. We cooked our dinner and put up the tents and spend the rest of the evening chatting, especially when the other group arrived to sleep at the same point.
Next day we continued our journey over some hills which gave us a nice view on the surrounding landscape. As the distance we had to walk was much shorter than the previous day, we had a lot of breaks, giving us the chance to sleep and enjoy the warm sun and nice weather. We reached Luirojarvi in the late afternoon, which was really beautiful and surrounded by hills. There we made use of an open hut where we also cooked our dinner. After the dinner, we enjoyed swimming in the lake, which was of a nice temperature. Some people also made use of the sauna, which was available close by.
Next morning we started our way back to Kiilopaa, which was our final point. That was the most tiring leg of our expedition, as we were first following a path that did not exist, then it was raining strongly for two hours and our paths turned into muddy streams and we were completely wet. At the end on the day we also had to cross another river, this time a really deep one with a strong current. Tired, we finally came to our campsite, where we were really grateful for a warm and dry hut,where we dried our clothes and ate dinner. The last day it was also raining in the morning, but later on the weather got better, even sunny, which made us more motivated for hiking. We were all also looking forward to getting back to Tievatupa, where a sauna, delicious dinner, soft beds and a shower awaited us. Therefore, we were walking quickly and at last arrived to Kiilopaa at half past four, all of us very happy that we succeeded at the expedition. The bus picked us up at five o’clock and a nice reception and a delightful dinner awaited us.