Kalajoki summer nights played an important role on my recent road trip through Finland and back. But why didn’t the famous Kalajoki Sand Dunes get their 15 minutes of fame in this performance?
The reason for that is very simple: I wanted to keep my relationship with Kalajoki as intimate as possible, and crowded sand dunes didn’t fit into my plan. Instead of touristy beaches I spent my both nights in Kalajoki on fairly private and peaceful—but utterly beautiful—camping spots on the coast. And now, my friends, now it’s finally time to tell where exactly!
Kalajoki summer nights is the perfect theme for today’s Instagram Travel Thursday, as I most probably wouldn’t have ended up camping in Kalajoki during my road trip—twice—if Instagram didn’t exist. It was my Instagram acquaintance Minna who gave me these incredible tips for lovely and free camping spots in Kalajoki (please check her Instagram, her photos are stunning).
To tie Instagram even more around this blog post decorated with my Instagram shots, the absolute highlight of my return journey was a camping date with beloved Rachel and Chris. As the Finland-loving writer of Vagabond Baker blog, Rachel spotted me on Instagram for about a year ago. And guess what? She’s visited me here in Rauma twice since! Our latest date, however, took place in Kalajoki at the start of August. You can find Rachel on Instagram here and here.
It’s true—Instagram and travelling bring people together. Although besides Instagram, there was another good reason to camp in Kalajoki on both ways during my road trip; It’s practically located half way between Rauma and Muonio of Finnish Lapland.
I started my road trip by driving along the west coast of Finland up north. The camping site for my first night was found, thanks to Minna, some 10 km before the centre of Kalajoki.
The theme of the night was to detach myself from the never-ending hustle and bustle, and I couldn’t have been more successful; This small coastal spot near the Rahja harbour was completely deserted on a rainy summer evening. During the whole night only one car came by, but the driver apparently got very scared of me as he disappeared just as fast as he had arrived.
The later it got, the further away the stormy clouds floated, and eventually the sky got clear. Just before closing the trunk of my car I managed to take a few shots of the very last rays of the evening sun and post them on Instagram for others to admire. Then it was time to close my eyes—I had a long drive ahead of me.
Besides sleeping in my car, I didn’t have to live as a caveman (even if I’m very aware that cavemen didn’t have cars). The ABC gas station nearby provided very nice facilities for my morning activities, like cleaning my teeth and so on. I grabbed a coffee to go and started driving all the way to Lapland.
A few days later, when I was driving back South, Kalajoki managed to surprise me again! Minna had given me another tip for a great camping spot in Kalajoki, and I decided to go and check it out before confirming Rachel and Chris where to meet up and camp overnight.
Arriving from North, right after passing by the centre of Kalajoki I turned towards the coast following the sign saying ‘Holma’. Driving along the road felt like a small eternity, but eventually I saw the end of the road—It was an wide open, stunning area next to a river with sand beaches, a beautiful bridge leading to an island and the sea view towards the sunset. And look who were waiting for me there?
Rachel and Chris were chilling out in front of their camper truck enjoying the August evening sun, eating pancakes and watching birds. One might say the world is small, and on the same scale Kalajoki is microscopic. But at the same time it’s pretty as a picture and so receptive!
During the light hours many people were passing by—one went for a swim, some were just jogging or enjoying the warm evening. Even Minna told me afterwards on Instagram that she had been there during that evening, and yet, we haven’t met face to face.
I guess this August evening in Kalajoki was my very last swim for this summer. Even if it’s October, and I’m having extremely hard time admitting that the Finnish summer is over.
There’s no doubt I wouldn’t park my car on the beaches of Kalajoki in the future as well. Next summer I will take along my kayak, as the Rahja Archipelago is slowly rising from the sea pushing the shore further away each year and calling for me to admire it’s unique features from the seaside.
What the heck is Instagram Travel Thursday?
Instagram Travel Thursday is organized in Finland by travel blogs RIMMA+LAURA, Travellover and Muru Mou. Instagram Travel Thursday is a global event taking place on every first Thursday of each month. Anyone can participate by sharing the best travel memories by using hashtag #igtravelthursday or #igtt.
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