On Sunday I left Murjek and continued my journey. To be honest: I would have loved to be in the Swedish-Norwegian mountains in the storm, and even another storm and masses of snow where forecasted. But …
- … some roads were closed and other road were strongly discouraged to use
- … beside of some expensive hotels no rooms were available in Riksgränsen
- … and tenting would by suicidal (at least with my lack of experience)
- … the avalanche risk could be extremely high
- … I couldn’t make any photos in full snowstorm
- … I couldn’t make any tours neither
So I had reluctantly decided not to drive to the mountains.
I left Murjek and went on to Nattavaara, where I turned right to Purnu (where I made the deep snow images some days before). I realized that I had not so much petrol left. Should I be forced to drive to Gällivare only to refuel the car? No, I was lucky – there was a small petrol station in Hakkas.
I continued a small road heading to Satter and Ullatti, and it felt nice to visit new places. I haven’t even heard the names. Sky was blue, with temperatures round -10 °C it was not so cold and you could see, that there’s much snow. But you could see the impact of the storm and quite warm weather, too: Almost all trees where bare of snow. As a matter of fact it looked like it was end of March – a typical vårvinter (spring-winter) day. As a photographer I dislike this weather. The snowless trees look a bit boring and there’s a lot of needles, bark, twigs and other things on the snow which doesn’t look nice on photos. But some pics anyway …
I continued to Tärendö, that has a town sign in three languages: Swedish, Samian and Finish. This shows that there are more languages spoken than Swedish in this area of Lapland. I liked the small petrol station that looked a bit “Wild West” in some way beside perhaps of the two completely snowed in cars.
I turned left and took the way to Saittarova. I thought about sleeping in the tent and looked for a parking place where I could go into nature a bit. But instead of finding a good place I found a moose. A moose that didn’t ran away when I backed the car to take a photo. But seconds after the photo the moose and another one paced with big, large steps into the forest.
After this nice incident I continued to the crossing and turned right into the 395 to Pajala. Shortly before Mäntykero I hit my place: A parking place and a flat swamp area with some pine trees.
I parked the car and left the comfort zone …
Appendix: Some words about Ole:
The storm Ole, that hit Norway and Sweden yesterday has been one of the strongest in the last ten years and had wind gusts over 50 m/s (that’s 180 km/h). For comparison: Beaufort number 12, “Hurrican Force” (orkan in germanic languages) starts already with 32.6 m/s.