Raid Laponie Map
THE ROUTE PLAN OF 10th RAID LAPONIE 28.11.03
Most teams arrive in the morning in Helsinki, some earlier. It is also possible to start from Vaasa, if you have winter tyres arranged. The whole group should be together Thursday evening in Soini.
We will gather at Sompasaari ferry port in the morning
(you will get a map later). If needed additional meeting points can be
arraged according to your ferry selections. Please remember to inform
us about your arrival. Those needing tyre change will continue to a garage
for this. You can leave your summer tyres in storage there. The others
should start driving towards Soini following the instructions supplied
at start. In good weather driving takes about 5 hours. We could have a
good common meal at a nice restaurant in
We drive Helsinki-Tampere-Orivesi-Keuruu and finally to VEHU, which is a very very small village 28 km before Soini, really in the middle of nowhere. Our base is the ex-school of the village which has been nicely renovated for accommodation. Unfortunately the building is far too small for our big group so a few heated tents will be built up in the neighbourhood. Some people also should sleep on the floors. It is an unique experience and usually it is not that cold here in the "South".
In the evening we will hold ajajakokous and a get-together
party in the biggest classroom of the school in a very close atmosphere.
A meal with elk meat, coffee and tea will be available for us, you do
not need to cook in Vehu. No shops or gas stations here, but a lot of
darkness and quietness outside. We are also planning to arrange an icetrack
for drive training on one of the local (frozen) lakes in the
The serious driving starts. Moving on North: Vehu-Soini-Vimpeli-Kaustinen-Oulainen-Liminka-Oulu-Kemi-Tornio-Haaparanta
trough almost uninhabited countryside. On the way you visit Oulu which
is a bigger city, one of one of the high tech centers in Finland. Kemi
is well known for the ice castle. From Tornio we cross the river to Sweden
to the neighbouring town of Haparanda where most
Early start, it is a long day ahead with lots of program. The reindeer area is starting now, so keep your eyes open for them.
Crossing the Arctic Circle, about 250 km from Haparanda, along route 383 meas something interesting for the novices. It is important to be there at the same time, more about this later.
In Jokkmokk, we will visit the famous Winter Market "Jokkmokksmarknad", it's the 399th time it is arranged. Have a look at http://www.jokkmokksmarknad.com/ . It was still about this years event, but will probably be updated soon. The market is very interesting and also a good place to make some really unique Lapp shopping.
Always when it is dark and clear skies, look for the polar lights (Aurelia Borealis), they have been very active this year.
In Kiruna we stay at "Radhusbyn Ripan", a place tested by Raid Laponie before and we will stay in good quality cottages where you can cook, but we can also have a meal at the camp.
Now heading towards Norway along E 10. It is a good idea to fill up and do the shopping in Sweden, it will be much more expensive on the other side of the border. We cross the mountains in an area well known of huge amounts of snow. If the weather is windy it can be very difficult to see the road. Keep you car between the fluorecent sticks. Look out for heavy lorries and the snowclouds they produce. This also an avalanche area.
Near Narvik, we will see the Atlantic ocean and the temperature will probably rise rapidly. If it has been snowing, the roads can be extremely icy and slippery.
Overnight at "Tromsø Camping" in Tromsdalen - nice cottages, also tested a couple of times before. You can cook in the cottage or have a meal in the restaurant, maybe also a breakfast (we need to make a reservation).
Finally some rest without driving. Tromsø is a interesting Northern city (only 1,5 km from our camp) with some long bridges that give nice view over the fjords. We have some time to look around and maybe have ONE beer at a local bar. At home you can tell stories about the most expensive beer you ever drank. And remember the Norwegian traffic rules, maximum of 0.1 promille of alcohol in the blood of the driver.
Before this, locate the harbour from where our Hurtigrutten ferry will leave for Honningvåg (near Nordkapp) at 6 in the afternoon, we should be at the waiting lane one hour in advance. "Hurtigrutten" means Fast Route as it only takes 10 days on a ferry from Bergen to Kirkenes. By the way ,the distance from Oslo to Kirkenes by car would make a total of 2300 km of highways including some toll tunnels and ferries.
After spending the night on the ferry, we will approach in the island of Magerøya. About 4000 people live in the only town Honnigsvåg where we land about 2 pm. Better do all needed shopping here, because probably no shops or petrol stations further North. We spend two nights in the fishing village of Skarsvåg at "Nordkapp Turisthotell". Price 85 e for two nights/person including two breakfasts.
There is also another car group staying elsewhere in Skarsvåg exactly the same time. VW Beetle drivers have copied our idea, but they have some other cars too including a few 2CVs. The group is much smaller than ours, but we are thinking of some sort of cooperation. They will also put up a heated tent where some of our group may stay if needed. Anyway, it will be very crowded at our hostel.
Wednesday 11.2. Skarsvåg - Nordkapp - Skarsvåg 30 km
Anyway, the road is narrow and difficult to drive if it is windy as it normally is. There are no protecting trees or buildings around. The road follows the edge of the cliff with no fences.
Anyway, when we are back at the hostel, have a party together, although the raid is not done yet.
We have to use the 6.8 km long (212 m beneath sea level) tunnel to mainland.
Back to the routine of long-distance driving. This route
is very demanding and changing from curvy and icy coastal roads to straight
Lappish desert roads when nearing Finland. Then also temperatures may
drop radically again. Anyway, driving in the Lapp roads is pretty fast
because you will not see much traffic, just the reindeer. Also you do
not feel like stopping all the time, because of the low
On the way, you can see the silver smiths' workshops "Silversmids
Juhls" in Kautokeino. It is worth a visit and located near the ski-jump
place. Do not get confused with names when you arrive in Hetta or Enontekiö
or Eanodat or Heahtta (Lapp language names). We stay at out traditinal
base "Hetan Majatalo. There will be a heavy supper in the evening.
Very nice saunas in the inn (included in the fee). If you have not tried
it out before, you should do it latest
A big breakfast in the morning, fill up for a day outdoors. We will make a skiing trip into the wilderness. The equipment can be rented from the inn, but it is also a good idea to bring you own cross-country skis.
A few snowscooters will be rented for the group so everyone can try this fun. They are quite expensive, normally about 120 e/day including insurance, but not the 2-stroke petrol which they consume a lot. In 2000 we made a guided trip with the scooters, but most of the time was spent digging the scooters out from the snow as some people did not want to stay on the marked paths. The snow depth here is about 1 m this time of the year.
If you want to rent a scooter for yourself it must be reserved in advance. We are not arranging a guided snowscootering tour and if you want to drive on your own in the woods you need some experience.
In Hetta you can also visit the Nature Center with nice exhibitions and the local small ice castle.
Saturday 14.2. Hetta - Kemi / Oulunsalo 370 km/470 km
After a great breakfast again, we will hit the snowy roads. Rovaniemi and the Arctic Circle Center offers lots of possibilities for tourist, like the old fellow called Santa Claus or Joulupukki. The big ice castle at Kemi is there, worth a visit too. http://www.snowcastle.net/
We haver not yet decided if we stay overnight in Kemi (Hotel Yöpuu) or Oulunsalo (Hotel Vihiluoto), it is possible we have to choose the bigger one in Oulunsalo.
The Raid Laponie Organisation
Looking forward to seeing you in the 10th Raid Laponie,
The raid organisation: Jukka & Henkka & Veikko