As I mentioned when I was writing about my first week back home, the plan was to make an over night kayaking trip to the archipelago of Rauma before the rainy, windy and cold autumn arrives. Even if this week has been nice and sunny, I’m afraid we need to postpone the trip until next summer. And that’s why I am now travelling back in time for one year – the views in Rauma archipelago have not changed in a year’s time anyway.
Together with my boyfriend, Daniel, we started our trip from Syvärauma, which is a marina for small private boats near my house. Our vehicles were my very own orange miracle, “Colonel Prasu” (yes, I have named my kayak) and my neighbour’s kayak, which she was kind enough to let us borrow. Actually, we have quite a nice deal with our neighbour: she can borrow my kayak when she is going kayaking with her friends and we can borrow hers whenever she doesn’t need it herself.
We packed a tent, sleeping bags, towels, warm clothes, some food and… some redwine. We also took a map, of course, camera and phones. It’s so amazing to live by the sea. It was a sunny August afternoon, the sea was calm, no wind at all – only singing birds and jumping and splashing fish around us… that’s where you can really rest your mind and soul. Greetings to a concrete jungle!
We were kayaking around the archipelago trying to find a small island without houses, summer cottages or a risk of other people coming to the same island during the evening. The ground needed to be appropriate for building a tent, but also for a campfire and swimming. It might sound like our requirements were quite high, but luckily our archipelago has lots to offer. To clarify for my foreign readers, we have a law in Finland called ‘Every Man’s Rights’. According to that law, you are allowed to camp anywhere you want, no matter who owns the land, as long as you follow certain rules, like cause no risk of spreading fire, don’t harm the nature and don’t leave any garbage behind. Pretty amazing, huh?
So, after kayaking for some time and checking a few options, we found a tiny island which was perfect for our purposes. Even if the island really was tiny, we found a small wooden shack between the trees. Curious as we are, we were peeking in through the windows and drew a conclusion that it was a sauna owned by the town or some organization that is not in regular use. A big plus was that we found an outdoor toilet next to the shack – perfect! We built our tent on a mossy rock, where we also found a suitable place for campfire. Then it was time for skinny dipping in warm sea water.
After getting out from the sea, we had luckily enough time to wrap ourselves into our towels before we noticed an older couple walking towards us from the opposite shore of the island. We were a bit surprised by the visitors, but we found out the reason for the unexpected visit quite quickly: the shack was their summer cottage. The couple had seen from security cameras someone walking around their cottage, which made them start their motor boat and drive to the island to check no one has broken in. Fortunately they didn’t have anything against us camping on their island so after a short discussion they took their boat and drove away. We continued our evening by starting the campfire for making our food, and ourselves, warm.
At dusk we were happy to realize that we had found the best possible camping place. Sitting on the rocks by the campfire, we had a chance to admire the most amazing sunset – top choice! With only the peace of nature surrounding us there was very little to worry about. Once again, praise for Finnish nature.
The next morning we had a little bit of a nasty wake-up, to be honest. The owners of the cottage arrived early for cutting trees. The quietness of nature fell apart by a howling chainsaw around 8-9 in the morning. Did they do it on purpose, we don’t know. But on the other hand, we were the ones camping on their land so what could we say or do but pack our stuff, clean our camping area, take our garbage and start kayaking back to Syvärauma.
Despite of the noisy wake-up, our trip was absolutely wonderful. Having my fingers crossed, I am checking the weather forecast for the upcoming weekend in case there would be even a slight chance to finally repeat our trip.