Sunday, December 6, 2015

Traditional Finnish boat houses in Hyppeis on Houtskär

The red boat bouses at Hyppeis on the island of Houtskär, Turku Archipelago Trail
For most part of our summer bike trip on the Turku Archipelago Trail in Finland we were blessed with good weather. Only twice did it rain. First time was during the night as we slept inside at Martha's Inn in Nagu while the second time came on day four on Houtskär. Now most of you will probably agree that rain rarely comes at an appropiate time. Well the timing on Houtskär was just that: Incredibly terrible and incredibly inconvient.

That morning we left Nagu early with the aim of reaching the campsite in Houtskär before noon. Small 3 hours, 30 km and two ferry rides later we made it and got ourselves settled in at Kittuis Camping & Caravan right next to the ferry harbor. Having the entire day a head of us we sat new goals: To see the traditional Finnish red boat houses in Hyppeis nothing more than 15 km away and to explore a little more of the island. Off we went on our two-wheelers completely oblivious about the rain shower that would accompany us five minutes later and throughout the entire trip to and from Hyppeis. Seriously, what the .... ! Rather quickly the let's seize the day-attitude got whiped off our faces as the road to Hyppeis turned out to be a struggle with the wind and rain working against us.
After an hour of fighting our way through the first 10km, we took cover under the Borgberg Look Out-Tower at Järvis. At this point we had no idea if we were even close to Hyppeis or if the rain would ever stop. In an effort to keep the spirit high, we comforted ourselves with the best licorice and wine gum candy out there while patiently waiting for the weather to calm down. It did not. Eventually, we only stayed for a short time. The rain just would not stop and we started to get cold. Only thing to do was to throw ourselves into the rain once again! Thankfully as we reached Hyppeis a little while later some luck shined upon us and the sky cleared. We parked our bikes up the wall of Hyppeis Värdshus and walked through the small village to find the red boat houses. They looked as were they abandoned and we imagined that they stored hidden treasures, family secrets, boats of all sizes or just plain old storage junk. We did feel a slight temptation to have a closer look, but held on to our civilised manners and had our imaginary thoughts spin off stories in all directions instead.
The sky pulled down the curtains once again and it was time to head back the same dreary way. When we reached camp we were soaking wet, cold and tired. After a quick wash we gobbled down a bowl of oat meal and jumped straight into our sleeping bags. It wasn't even 7 PM but after a day like that all we wanted to do was sleep. Rain was still falling from the sky and continued on the whole night. This was one of those days that is absolute no fun as you experience it - but as soon as you find yourself being comfortable once again, then you reflect and re-experience all of the small good moments that was initially masked away. It was a shit day, but an ohh so fun one looking back in hindsight.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4