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Thursday 5.2.2004 Helsinki - Soini 350 km

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

Friday 6.2.Vehu - Haparanda 470 km

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
of the group will stay at "Vandrarhemmet Mathjärta". We have to accommodate about 20 people in another house about 6 km away.

Saturday 7.2. Haparanda - Jokkmokk - Kiruna 490 km

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 . 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.

Sunday 8.2. Kiruna - Tromsø 390 km

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).

Monday 9.2. Tromsø - Honningsvåg 1,5 km + ferry

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.

Tuesday 10.2. Honningsvåg - Skarsvåg 25 km

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

After the breakfas we try to take our cars up to Nordkapp. Use the warmest clothing you have reserved for you. Nowadays they clear the road also sometimes in wintertime, but this can become very expensive to us and maybe some cooperation is needed here with the VW people. Snowstorms are usual and it may happen that the clearing of the road becomes totally impossible. We are trying to get information about the options.

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.

Thursday 12.2. Skarsvåg - Hetta 380 km

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
temperatures or darkness. It is easy to keep an average of 70 km/h or even more, but do not exceed your (or the grip of your wheels) limits. Quite a few people have done that during the previous raids and we have seen too many crashed 2CVs. Luckily there has been no personal damages. Be careful!

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

Friday 13.2. at Hetta

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.

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.

Sunday 15.2. Kemi / Oulunsalo - home, for example Helsinki 600 / 700 km, a piece of cake!

The Raid Laponie Organisation

Looking forward to seeing you in the 10th Raid Laponie,

The raid organisation: Jukka & Henkka & Veikko

Info address:
Jukka Isomäki
Mäntymäentie 7
FIN 65200 VAASA, Finland
Tel/fax, home +358-6-3123971
GSM +358-40 7200 211

Veikko: veikko@neuro.hut fi

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