DAY FOUR – 380km from Kalajoki to Pori
That morning I woke up after at least a few hours of decent sleep. With the warmth of thicker clothes and a beanie jammed all the way to my eye level, I had eventually managed to fall asleep in the chill night. It was the heat of the morning sun that woke me up again, though. Not long after having the first sun rays touch my toes, the light had soon climbed all the way to my face and turned my sleeping bag into a boiling bag.
Once evacuating myself from the hammock before barely opening my eyes, I could feel the morning nausea hit me again. The last couple of days we had stood extremely long hours outdoors without an escape from the direct sun. There was no need telling us that both of us had already been suffering from an upcoming heatstroke.
If there was anything else to make me feel like throwing up, it was the unimaginable stink of a man who had gone through those days without an access to a shower. We packed our hippie camp and headed for the saunas in the Kalajoki beach without a second thought.
It was an amusing feeling walking down the power lines in wilderness. After jumping over the highway, we were soon back in the civilized world where civilized human beings slept in their fancy, civilized cottages and vans.
That six-euro entrance fee for sauna was probably the best use for money we had on the trip. It seemed to take forever to stand in the showers before I felt clean enough to hit the sauna benches. The water running down the sewers was as black as my soul in Paltamo the earlier day.
Next we got some breakfast in Hesburger and had our new friends pick us up. We were probably the worst roadtrip company ever as we were mostly unconscious in the backseat. Even after the amazing refreshment by the beach, we felt the heatstroke test our physical extremities. No words can describe how fortunate we were to have them take us ~200 kilometres to Vaasa. They even took us directly to a perfect spot out of the city area despite having to do several extra kilometres themselves.
And perfect it was, indeed. The next rescue emerged in approximately seven minutes. Seven minutes. Those seven (7) minutes of waiting were all the work we had to do that day, because she took us right to our destination, Pori. I couldn’t have honestly taken another extreme day boiling internally by the road.
The driver was a sweet and open-minded lady somewhere in her 30’s or 40’s. We had woken up enough from our coma to have a long, nice an open conversation with her. Together we discussed about the art of hitchhiking, balance in life and work and our life values in general. She told us about about her family life, business as a midwife helping in home births and dreams of moving abroad in years to come. She was now on her way to Natural High Healing Festival in Uusikaupunki. Later we heard she had picked up two other hitchhikers on the very same trip, who named her “The Hitchhiking Goddess”. Fair enough.
For once we made our goal easily and way ahead of schedule. It was sometime in the afternoon when we arrived, so finally we could properly enjoy the city life and services. And even better, I had lived four years doing my Tourism studies in the city, so I knew where to go. There were no other options but to experience my holy trinity of Pori:
You can find some delicious kebab restaurants in Finland but there’s nothing better than good old Turo’s. The place is ran by a Finnish guy who does the food with an exceptional touch. Great food and value for money so no wonder the restaurant has a cult status in Pori. Also serves several option for vegetotalitarians.
This ice cream bar has been up and running for ten years. It already has a good reputation but I think they would deserve the same cult status as Turo’s. Their handmade, organic ice creams are some of the very best I’ve had here in Finland. This time their cashew, salmiakki (salty liquorice), mango and buckthorn flavours absolutely blew my mind to bits.
Finally it was time for a local pint.
Beer Hunter’s or “Hunu” is known for their Mufloni beers that have gained several awards in the brewery’s 20+ years of history. They call themselves the paradise of a beer hunter, which the pub truly is. Alongside with their own produce they have around 15 other taps ranging from Thornbridge, Ballast Point and Evil Twin to To Øl and Põhjala specialties. Not to mention their gems in the fridge and the decent selection of whiskies, which are all often served with high level of expertise.
I had already tried several of their products in my life. Mufloni CCCCC IPA is certainly one of my favourites with the hops pretty much bitch slapping you right in your ugly face. I’ve also been happily surprised with their crazy sounding specialty products like tomato saison and such. This time I celebrated summer with their raspberry sour.
Vadelma Berliner Weisse 5,0% – A sour wheat beer brewed with hundred kilos of raspberries per thousand liters of beer. Nice and sour taste and a color so fresh and pink that it almost made my pinkie rise. Honestly speaking, I’ve had several raspberry Berliner Weisses in my life so I was aware what I’m up against. Thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. Should’ve been named Porliner Weisse, though.
Talon Siideri Cider 5,9% – You heard me right – house cider. I had heard so many praises of it throughout my years in Pori that I told Joona to give it a try. I also had a sip for the first time ever, and was more than convinced. Normally I hate sweet drinks but this one was quite a stunner. Talk about balance!
We spent hours in the pub both inside and at the terrace once we got a table in the shade. We had a few old friend’s to join us, which made me feel even more like at home. For a while at Hunu’s terrace and in the highly underrated city of Pori, I felt like I wasn’t even in the middle of such a hardcore hitchhiking trip.
That night we also got to stay over at the very same friend’s place we met on the road couple of days earlier in Kajaani. Taking a the second shower of the day almost made me feel like a respectable human being again. A mattress and having a roof over a head was also nothing but sheer luxury.
It seemed like everything had really worked out just as well as you might hope. We made our way and enjoyed the coma day with such ease that we barely remembered to snap any pictures. As probably seen from the poor amount and quality of those in the post.
That day kinda made me wonder, is this what this hitchhiking challenge should’ve been all about?
On our fifth and last day was another success and a great ending to our trip. More can be seen over here.