I woke up early and in good mood after a great night sleep. I started to leave milk out of my breakfast for practical reasons. You can only buy fresh milk here. Instead, I am making some sort of porridge and drink black coffee. Works good so far.
Today I would leave the coast and the E4 and head towards the highlands of Lappland.
I took a swim in the lake, did some gymnastics and completed my regular morning routine. By 8:15am I was en route.
I spend only a short while on the E4 and was reminded again that it was the right decision to leave. The first 25km were gravel and sand through a beautiful forest – but still so much better than the highway.
Only a few km into the inner part of the land and you are completely alone. I did not see a car in hours. Most of the “roads” are gravel or sand pistes.
Before noon I came through a little village and a man was asking about my tour and my project. We started chatting. When I asked him what he was doing he told me that 3 years ago God wanted him and his wife to change their life and to build up a Christian Community – and we were standing right in front of it. Michael was almost preaching to me about God and Jesus which I did not mind since I could embrace most of it.
Then he asked “do you have some pain somewhere in your body?”. I said “Well, my right Achilles heel is feeling sort of funny”. So he laid is hand on my leg and prayed for the pain to disappear. He repeated it until I reported that the feeling was better. It was a special encounter. Even if I did not particularly believe in the effectivity of what he was doing, I fully believed his good intentions and that made all the difference for me. After 45min we parted ways. I think they would have wanted me to stay but that was no option unfortunately. I asked him to pray for me however, that never hurts.
What a stark contrast: Swen two days ago and then Michael. Both committed Christians, yet fully different in their ways.
The rest of the day was uphill cycling. Over the entire distance of 120km, there was a steady slope that wanted to be climbed. The nature here is breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful (other than the mosquitoes). I must have passed around 50 lakes today (no bragging).
Around 6pm I crossed the border to Swedish Lappland. A little later, I arrived at a beautiful and super small camp site directly at a lake (what else?). The owner is from Austria. she is here since 2005 (because of love reasons as she told me).
If all goes well, I should be at the Arctic Circle in 3-4 days.