Nokia Maps Blog Posts

Ovi Blog has changed into Nokia Maps blog, so all my posts are available there. Even the post about California is ready to be commented on, as well as the very last (unseen) post summarizing my trip with Nokia (answering also some interesting questions in the “comments”). To make it easier here are the links for:

post from California

Lukas is Home -post

All posts written for Nokia Maps Blog (former Ovi Blog)

 

Thank you Nokia team, Ovi team… everbody who has helped me with the Safely Around the World project. It was a real pleasure, suurkiitos ūüôā

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Missing Ovi Blog Post from California (to you, Jukka and Allan)

Hi everyone. I wrote this post for Ovi Blog in August, but it wasn’t published. Ovi Blog is changing into Nokia Blog, and this blog has also some updates going on. That’s why I decided to¬† publish my second last Ovi post on my blog. Yes yes, it’s an act of a lazy person, because now I can win some time not making another post for a while, but I ensure you (me) that I’m slowly, step by step, going to update my blog in the near future.

But before I cut and paste this story about two travelers, I will tell you what I’ve been doing last month. Since i haven’t been updating my blog, I’ve done other things.¬† I have added captions to my two-thousand-pack pics, edited some video clips, planned my tiny exhibition about my trip, and also cleaned and maintained my Wooffie a bit. With her I did a short cycle tour 60km north from Turku for one interview but also got invited to experience flying on a glider (thanks Tommi). I’ve had two interviews for local newspapers and a short description about my trip on teletext (thank you Matti) I’ve also visited one Brazilian friend I met on Andes, but now studying in Finland, and a student medical center to check my hip/back, which has been mas o menos bothering me for the whole journey. The physiotherapist said I should stretch more ūüôā

Okay, but because I still have many things to do, here is the post about Jukka Salminen and Allan Karl (and here is a link of our stay at Allan’s – including a podcast!)

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My bicycle journey around the World is almost done. The last flight from San Diego to Dusseldorf was ten days ago, and since then (thanks to Nokia maps) I already halved my way back to Finland. But while I’m trying to keep my shoes dry in rainy Denmark, I would like to take you back to the sunny west coast of the US.

It was five days before my flight, when I bumped into another Finnish World tour cyclist Jukka Salminen and his American friend Allan Karl, who had traveled the World on a motorbike. Both guys were traveling for much longer time than I was, and also using Nokia phones during their travels. Jukka had cycled 60 000km in five years and Allan biked more than 60 000 miles in three years.

When you leave your home for such a long adventure, all the familiar surroundings, one would¬†think there must be some doubts in the beginning. But no, Jukka and Allan were ready to make the big step into unknown. Jukka said his start from Australia was smooth without bigger problems, and Allan after touring in Alaska continued for Mexico. Quoting Allan: ¬†“…when I crossed the border to Mexico… I had this anxiety that now I can’t really turn back, I’m officially committed”.

Quitting never occurred to Jukka nor Allan. Jukka had some back problems in Africa and Allan broke his leg in Bolivia, but that didn’t stop them. They cured their bodies so they could continue on their projects. For them the end of one road was just another beginning.

¬†So what kept and is still keeping these guys on the road from one day to another? What is the motivation? Jukka points out, that he just needs to take care of his body with healthy food and a good rest. ¬†“Naturally the energy comes up”- Jukka states. Allan’s motivation is people – understanding them by sharing their lifestyle. Also, what kept Allan moving was the fact that staying at one place for too long made him loose the stimulation and¬†inspiration.

We had a great time at Allan’s house in southern California, eating delicious food, sharing stories and having good laughs. This made me realize that it was moments like these that made me going. And yes, it still does.

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Interestingly, two weeks after I wrote this post, Jukka encountered heavy health issue and returned back to Finland

Etappe 9 (adventures in Sweden)

Final Etappe was 1570km long passing four countries which I already knew from before quite well; Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. It ¬†wasn’t exactly the most exciting etappe I had, but it had it’s moments.

I already wrote how I got to Denmark, so I will make a short summary of Sweden, one of my favorite countries in the World.

1st day: I slept four hours at the “over night” ferry from Grenaa to Varberg. ¬†In my tiredness I still had to cycle 75km to Gothenburg that morning, because one couch surfer-cyclist had offered me a couch for the night. Or so I thought, because I was convinced it was Friday. Well, in Gothenburg I learned I was one day ahead, but fortunately this Swedish cyclist knew how to treat another cyclist. He¬†advised me how to sneak into a University sauna before we met at his flat to exchange our experiences over South America. Thanks Carl-David.

2nd day: I left Gothenburg early morning and headed towards Stockholm. I calculated 520km in four days is an easy job, so I cycled only 70km that day. I found a good place along a quiet dirt road to pitch a tent already at 6p.m., but was happy to get finally a good rest.

3rd day: Things didn’t start well in the morning. I hadn’t even cycled two kilometers from my camping spot when I heard a snap and my front pannier fell down. Closer observation showed that one of the clips was split in two and no longer good for attaching to the rack. That moment it also started to rain and I just couldn’t believe how unlucky I was on my last etappe. First the pole of my tent, then the crank ¬†and now this.

I cycled 15km to the nearest town, almost a village, and found a bike shop. The bike shop owner didn’t obviously have Ortlieb products but helped me out with few cable ties. ¬†I also found a perfect hose fastener in my tool bag and so I could continue to Stockholm with a relief.

After 60km I was caught by a very hard rain, but luckily I found a nice farmer who offered me a shelter. With all these incidents I wasn’t able to cycle that day more than 107km. Again I found good looking spot for camping, just next to a pasture.

4th day: Piece of an advice. Don’t pitch your tent next to a pasture inside the fence. Cows are stupid but very curious animals. Just before midnight I woke up in a herd of cows eating grass just next to my tent. Not that I’m afraid of cows, but the whole herd is not the safest thing to have next to your tent. I got out of my Hubba Hubba and chased the herd away. This procedure took place three times before they learned their lesson.

I had two days left to get to Stockholm and 340km to go. There was no way I could have afforded another lazy day so I woke up at 5.30 a.m to start the day. It was raining a bit, but I managed to pack my stuff quickly and hit the road. My focus was to do lots of kilometers that day, nothing else.

The rain stopped and actually I had some tailwind as well. Soon I found myself riding along lake V√§ttern towards √Ėrebr√∂. My condition was good and motivation high. Road signs passed one by one, by noon I had already more than 100km cycled. Then the crazy idea came to me; today I will break the 300km/day milestone. Now or never, I thought.

With one thing on my mind I pedaled like never before. It was just pure athletic performance, no sightseeing or long lunch breaks were allowed. With the optimal wind and temperature everything went as planned. Just before 6p.m I already broke 200km. At this pace I would’ve reached 300km not long after dark, around 10p.m.

At 10p.m. I was sleeping in my tent. No milestones were meant to be broken, or otherwise I wouldn’t have bumped into this perfect camping spot with a ¬†perfect lakeside and a sunset. It was when the road begun to be hilly and 240km was already cycled when I though that enough is enough. I didn’t break the great three hundred, but I did have a great swim in the lake and a good supper before falling asleep. Another time.

5th Day: The previous day I had made such a distance that no magic trick was need for the last push. With a nice back road I entered Södertälje and met this Belgian cyclist who was touring around Sweden. Together we had a lunch and cycled to the suburbs of Stockholm. My trip was about to end.

I met a Swedish cyclist Peder two years ago, when he was finishing his tour from Sweden to Beijing and back. I hosted him via hospitality club in Turku, his last stop before Stockholm. On 29th of August it was the other way around. I was finishing my trip and he was hosting me at my last stop. I had planned to meet some of my old friends who live here and there, but it was only the first day of my trip and the last one that I did so. In France I met this friend from America and now in Stockholm I met Peder. Somehow it was a perfect way to finish my journey. Thanks Peder.

The next day I cycled to the port and took a ferry to Turku. Check out rest of my pics.

country roads mentality costs mark
GER Very good, but often you have to keep on the poorer bike paths. This reduces the freedom and bike paths are always longer. Lots of cars! Wild camping is not permitted, but there are places to do it. ¬†Bike shops everywhere. Germany is safe and easy to bike. I got one hotel for 27e. Camping ~15e, Hostel~20e, Food is cheap from Lidl’s and Aldi’s. At least candies, chocolates, chips etc. 4
NED Mostly perfectly organized separate bike paths. Sometimes even better bike paths than roads for cars. This is the Mecca of cycling. Everybody is doing it, everyone is supporting it. The weather is the only minus. A bit more expensive than Germany. You have to camp/couch surf to keep your budget. 4,5
DK Very good. Bike paths and roads are fun to ride on. Denmark is surprisingly hilly, the weather isn’t the best, but you have the freedom. It’s hard to find a wild camping spot. Quite expensive. 10e per day goes mostly in the food. This means hostels (20-25e) are very luxury. 4,5
SWE Even less cars than in Denmark. Good quality. The bike path goes zig zag, so it’s better to follow the map or GPS. Wild camping easy and allowed. Lakes, forests and fields all around. If it wasn’t so rainy, it would be perfect. Cheapest Scandinavian country. Even so you have to reserve 7e for food each day. 4,5
FIN On this trip I cycled in Finland only 5km. I know everything is comparable to Sweden. Same as above. Weather maybe slightly worse. More expensive than Sweden, still affordable. 10e per day is possible. 4

(Legend: 1-Try to avoid biking in this country 2- Bike in this country for transit 3-Biking is even fun here 4-Nice landscape with good roads for biking 5-Beautiful landscape with nice people and good roads, you should definitely come here)

Feelings

Some people have asked me how do I feel after traveling fourteen months around the World. Actually many use the sentence “cycled around the World”, but I must point out that cycling around the World has special rules. Potato potato, I decided to write some of the main thoughts I have after arriving back home.

First of all, even though I did travel (cycle) fourteen months abroad without “working” , I feel like I need some vacation. I long for laying on a sofa and watching comedy series from the telly. I long for playing on my acoustic guitar the whole day without feeling lazy. I long for those days, in which I can cook some food, go to sauna, visit the library and read a good book. I long for some free time, where I don’t need to think about proceeding anywhere.

I would also like to just sit down with  my laptop and arrange all the pics and videos I managed to capture. I would like to update my blog without any rush, write some stories and prepare few presentations. I want to relive my trip from my new home, and realize what I had actually done. I want to have some time to write to the people I met on the road and thank them for helping me out. I want to invite them to my house.

When I look around me, I feel like I traveled with a time machine. Nothing seems to have changed while I was gone. Of course there are changes in somebody’s hair cut and some buildings has been renovated, but everything is running the same speed as before. Right now though, I’m not able to keep up with the pace of the society. ¬†I’m used to cycle, eat and sleep, but now there are infinite options to choose from. I can’t believe I managed to live in this hassle before.

I’m happy to be back in Finland, but I’m not happy to stop living the fulfilled life I had on the road. I wan’t to enjoy all the simple moments I experience here too, but it’s hard when people around me are so used to them. I sometimes feel a bit alone.

Despite all the loneliness, I really enjoy the things that were sometimes difficult to get like: rye bread, sauna,  beer, movie night, fresh air, fast internet, soft toilet paper, warm shower, volleyball,  electricity, salmiakki, tap water, kitchen, bed, jogging shoes and mosquito-free area.

People also ask me what was the best thing I saw or experienced. I will later on make a FAQ-post, but to this question I can answer right now. There wasn’t one single thing which I rank higher than the others. I like to think that the best moments were many, and together they make the whole trip the best thing.

I feel like I did an awesome trip and I don’t think it was the last one.

Back Home… in Turku

21 121. This is the amount of kilometers my¬†speedometer displayed after I finished my journey. It is not the total amount of kilometers I cycled during the last fourteen months (yes, today it is exactly 14 months), so before I’ll count the exact sum, I can say I pedaled ~21 500km.

On the day I arrived to Turku, on 31st of August, I attended some classes in the University. In between those classes I had some interviews in the local media (here and here and here). Then the next days we had a student party, I moved into a new flat and before I realized it, I was back in the life I left more than a year ago.

Last night something felt wrong. I had traveled in four different continents and met hundreds of people. Shouldn’t I digest this whole experience somehow before continuing with the every day routine? ¬†I thought I should. ¬†I should first close one chapter before rushing into another one. Breathe.

Today, a week after my arrival, I stopped stressing. I skipped some classes, had late morning and begun to unwind my Around the World trip bit by bit. Which means, I will update my blog very soon.