Hitchhiking Through Finnish Nightless Nights: Day Two

In case you didn’t realize, this is “Bum Voyage 2 – The Electric Boogaloo”. If you missed the first part, you may wanna start from over mjah.

DAY TWO – 330km From Muurame to Kajaani

We got a ride to neighboring city Jyväskylä From Joona’s girlfriend early in the morning. After a morning coffee and a quick shopping round (to get Joona a longer shirt for sun cover), we walked through the city to our first brewery restaurant of the trip. We were full of excitement when scratching the door while waiting for the place to open up. I guess the waitress wasn’t expecting to meet any clowns so early in the morning, since she didn’t seem just as excited to see our hairy faces behind the door.

HIISI Taproom & Bottleshop – Jyväskylä

We had quite a spicy start for the day as we went for the strongest beers right away. I took a rye double IPA with the most Finnish name ever: “Ruisperkele” or Rye Perkele, whereas Joona went for the even stronger Imperial Stout. Both were all alright, although we weren’t overly surprised nor blown away. Anyhow, we did buy a couple of take-away beers that we actually highly enjoyed later on the trip!

The pub was all cool with the personal, artsy vibes and some people did come for their food right after they opened up. We had a nice talk with the owner(?) who was excited about our trip and gave us fan stickers and such. I gotta say I do like their Finnish mythology themed branding.

Ruisperkele Extra IPA 8,5% – Choice of the day from the tap. Quite a Finnish take on IPAs with some rye and a lot of Perkele in the glass. Makes a nice morning rye porridge with a punch in this situation. Gives you what you expect.

Lempo White Grape Sour 3,5% – Light, tasty, refreshing and most of all – different. Tried it after a couple of days at a beach and it was spot on even at backpack warmth. Hoping to find this from my local store soon.

Gosebump Rasperry & Passionfruit Gose 5,5% – The profile of the beer was lost in the limbo of ultimate travel coma and light heatstroke of the time. My taste buds delivered information about a refreshing and tasty drink anyway. Try it out and tell me what I had.

Right after the opening.
Joona making a new sign for our next stop: Kuopio.
We had shared opinions about their branding. I believe it’s pure art.
Berlin vibes much?

After our healthy brunch we grabbed the new sign, said goodbye and rushed to a bus stop closeby. The spot was in the city center yet next to an access to bigger roads. We expected (onge again) to get a ride in a dozen of minutes like we often do, but this was just something else. We tried to maintain a smiley face in the burning direct sun in +30 degrees Celcius for some time. After a while, we grabbed our bags and walked a couple of kilometres in hope of a better spot.

When we were still smiling.

The new spot from the other side of the city turned out to be just as unpleasant – if not worse. In the end we were stuck for more than three hours in this Jyväskylä episode while trying to make our way forward. Maintaining a bright mind is crucial on a trip like ours, but the sun sure tried it’s best to melt our hype away. The heat was just infernal and there was no shade to hide in.

When we finally gave up and started walked in the side of the road, a young lady stopped her car next to us and asked if we needed a ride. She had already driven past us and gone through an intense discussion with herself some ten kilometres later. After refueling, she arranged some space in the car and came back to look for us.

Words can’t explain how relieved we were for the ride. At least I already felt like fainting from the heat. It was a nice trip with fun talks and we could see how excited she was about her move to pick up strangers. We got all the way to Kuopio and she was nice enough to drop us right at the planned brewery:

Iso-Kallan Panimo – Kuopio

There was no need to wonder if we found the right place. The big terrace area and the massive sign in the hall wall probably attracts thirsty wanderers from anywhere in miles radius. Inside they had a cozy kitchen table kind of a bar counter in one of the small rooms. We were greeted with a thick Eastern Finnish accent and given great service throughout the whole visit.

I can’t say I’ve been any familiar with Iso-Kallan Panimo except for their Turmion Kätilöt Imperial Stout that I’ve seen in a few Alko shops. Even if this amazing industrial metal band from Kuopio was my top artist of the decade in Spotify, I had not tried their band beer just yet.

Lakkaa Juomasta Cloudberry Saison 7,0% – I couldn’t avoid trying a strong, berry flavored saison on a day like that. Refreshing drink and alright overall. I would’ve enjoyed a stronger cloudberry flavor, though.

Irish Coffee Stout 5,3% – Being completely honest, as friend of thick, soupy and strong stouts, I was first disappointed in the mild texture of the beer. By the end of the glass, I had turned my mind over. The strong and sweet coffee sure is there. It was surprisingly tasty with the Lidl pastries we had, so I can only imagine it being a beautiful experience when paired with proper food. Totally enjoyable when you take it as it is – a market strength coffee stout.

Pimeyden Morsian Imperial Stout 8,0% – As seen when scrolling down this post, Pimeyden Morsian (“The Bride of Darkness”) served us well by the end of the night. Hoppy, goody basic stout with a nice coffee and cocoa flavour. Named after a Turmion Kätilöt song.

I was convinced somewhere at this point.
You can take a sneak peek at the production hall through the (dirty) glass doors when heading for the toilets.

After we had recovered a little, we crossed the road and lifted up our thumbs and the brand new cardboard. It was already afternoon and we still had a long day ahead. We knew that hitchhiking from central area or anywhere further from the main roads, is a pain in the ass. A detour to city area can mean hours of waiting in the local traffic.

Luckily, we managed to get the next rides out of Kuopio area without waiting for more than half an hour at the time. All the drivers had some interesting and very different stories to tell. The unlucky part was that we only got a maximum dozen kilometres ahead each time.

First we had a young and friendly bloke take us to a better spot on the other side of the city. He had also done some hitchhiking in Europe so he knew the struggle and made this detour for us.

Take me out of Kuopio.

Then there were three girls on their way to horse stables. The driver was a one hell of an adventurer and hitchhiker herself, so she just pulled the car over without even consulting her friends. We had a good laugh during those few minutes and especially when she decided to dump us right in the middle of a roundabout. What a character!

Our next driver was a small, young girl who was driving home from work by herself. She actually picked us up twice since we had not got a rider before she was done with grocery shopping on the way. Even in such a short time, we had an open conversation about her mental disorders and difficult experiences in life. Interesting to see how fast it is possible to go through such deep and respectful conversations with strangers.

At this point we had a reusable sign that caught a lot of good feedback. Eteenpäin = “forward”
And the flip side (“backward”) that was probably found hilarious only by us.

The following wasn’t any less memorable. For the first time ever, a truck driver picked us up from the middle of nowhere. This Russian guy was a one hilariously crazy person. From his previous work experience, he was familiar with the Chinese language, which is why he was screaming Chinese communist anthems for an hour. He was joking around and laughing the whole trip just about anything and everything. In the end he dropped us in a crossroad and basically threw a jar of juice at my head as a farewell gift when I first refused to take it.

First time in a truck cockpit.

From the next bus stop, I was already gazing at the woods all disappointed. With absolutely no traffic at all at the time, I was wondering if we’d end up sleeping in such a boring spot. In this Eastern part of Finland, we had already passed several stunning lakeside camping spots that I’d much rather choose.

You’d think the night was already over – but no. From the middle of nowhere, a car emerged and shockingly pulled aside. Now it was a funny guy with both DJ and farmer backgrounds that took us about hundred kilometres further to Kajaani. He was now on his way home before hitting the road for more and more gigs.

We still wanted to to make it further since we had a tight schedule to make it home by the following weekend. I also knew there were other friends waiting for us to join their camp in the next big city down the road. It was already around 10:30pm in Kajaani but we knew we still had chances. At those latitudes, the sun barely sets down below the horizont in summer time, which is why it is relatively bright throughout the night.

The next THREE hours or so, we were waiting for the very few cars still on the move while walking several kilometres forward. My feet were hurting and so was my burned skin. There was even a guy who joined the hype train on his way home from pub when he noticed our cardboard. Eventually a quiet Estonian guy picked us up out of pity and took us 15 kilometres down the road.

Well hello, Finland.

Now we knew there was no going any further that day. It was already night time, so we sat down to a closed grill fast food restaurant. For a couple of hours we were mostly keeping up our spirits and goofing around to wait for these friends to drive South. They eventually made it and saved us from the cold night. Together we enjoyed the fun Summer holiday mood until we drove back to Kajaani. There we set our gypsy camp close to a beach at that beautiful lake seen in the last pictures.

The Bride of Darkness to the rescue.
The place to be – Jormuan Grilli
First night in a hammock.

Looks like I did get my magical lakeside camp in the end. By the time I got to lay down, It was already 3:30pm. The terrible Jyväskylä hours seemed like a distant dream after all the time spent socializing on the road. After such an insanely long and exhausting time, we were more than happy to call it a day.

Nevertheless, it was so cold that I barely slept that night. Those few hours of sleep would have been crucial for whatever we had up against the next day.

To see how disaster is turned into victory on day three, click here.


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