It's become obvious that people are worried about the current situation with Covid-19. But it's even more obvious that people recognize the importance of their own behavior in the face of adversity. No person in transit through these airports is making a scene of obstacles on the way. There are hundreds of people working around us just to make sure we get home as fast as possible. Yes, Europe has fallen into confusion but people are keeping their calm. I don't know what happens behind closed doors but in the airports there is a sense of community. I feel like all the bullshit is removed from everyones action. No screaming or sour faces behind or in front of the check-in desks. Customs works faster than ever even though they did make me unpack everything, again. But I'm used to it. When you pack 3 cameras, 4 lenses, and 5kgs' of random electronics in your bag it's bound to look confusing through an x-ray machine.
Last night I slept less than an hour while trying to sort out my flights. I made a backup plan and was ready to put it in action. But good fortune keeps following me. I got again inside the duty free zone and now I'm waiting for the departure to Amsterdam with a confident feeling of reaching Finland by the end of the day. Let's see.
20 minutes later.
This story is starting have more twists than your favorite soap opera.
Netherlands closed their borders to foreigners. KLM put me in the hands of Air France. From Paris I should get to Helsinki by the end of the night. Perhaps.
4th day of the hike started slow. The rocky bay next to my campsite had a cave for some exploring and a pool protected from the swell of the ocean. The cave was spooky. There were some furniture inside and a small entrance in the ceiling to another space. Didn't feel like poking my head inside there so I went for a swim. I could have stayed for a long time in a protected pool with sea urchins and algae that grew from the rocks but time kept running and I wasn't moving.
After an hour or so I was in Ajuy. I realized I had been there before. Hundreds of tourists were queuing to see the cliffs and enjoy the small village. It is a nice place and worth visiting. I had a huge mixed plate of oily meat and bought what small things they had on their shelves. Some tuna, chips, cookies and other sugary things and 8 liters of water. After short digestion and a long black coffee I was ready to continue south. It was going to be another long day.
After 20 kilometers I had found a military zone that a local man in Ajuy had told me about. The barbwire looked old but I couldn't forget the military helicopters I had seen before. I didn't want to walk through 'Do Not Enter' signs. Last time I wondered to a military zone I ended up being interrogated by a cuban officer in Havanna. That time it was an accident. The man from Ajuy had told me I could not go through and that even if I did continue the terrain would be impassable. Somehow I interpreted that as a challenge and kept walking. The direction of the fence where I was standing was parallel to the coastline. But I could also see the fence climbing inland towards east. That gave me a 500 meter wide stretch of land towards south that was still open for public. I kept walking and after about 5 km I could see another corner from where the fence just went straight to the ocean. It was a dead end. While I was about to turn back I saw an odd shape where the fence was. The cameras zoom revealed an opening with two guard posts. I had to go and see for myself. What's another kilometer at this stage. At the guard post with no gate I chickened out, took some photos and turned back.
Once again it was getting dark too soon and I didn't have a good camping place in sight.
I can't even remember the spot where I slept.
It was in the middle of nowhere. I was getting used to the cold.
I already disliked Paris.
Electricity plugs didn't work and after 2 days of light fasting I could only find a plastic
wrapped sandwich and icky coffee from a machine.
Pigeons walked inside the terminal and locals were rude. Half of it was my fault.
I was getting tired and hungry.
Blue and white wings above Stockholm and the northern star looked bright. If we were to land an hour earlier I'd be able to catch the last bus out of Helsinki. If I had not gone to the end of the military zone the hike would have been a day shorter. I would be sitting somewhere else. The speculation is not because there is something wrong being in this place and time. I'm just curious. I wonder where I'd be. Well, if I had to guess using my imagination... I would have had hard time reaching the end of the island. The corner where the lighthouse stands was a protected nature area. I would have had to walk another 5 km back from the end destination if no one else was there to give me a ride. I would have slept on the beach between bays and buildings. It didn't sound like a nice ending for the hike.
The story never ends. I haven't slept well in 3 days.
Tonight I'll spend one more night in the Airport. This time in Helsinki.
My luggage got stuck in Barcelona so all my warm clothes are there.
The airport is not particularly warm and I only had my hoodie. The supermarket at least was open.
My belly is jnow full of Finnish pastry and snacks.
Laptop is plugged into electricity once again. The struggle continues.
It makes life interesting. I'm just not sure how close to breaking point I am.
I haven't really moved physically since the end of the hike and now after all the flying my body might be infected by COVID-19.
Catching a little cold is not optimal but neither is lack of sleep several nights in a row.
It's hard to ask any friends to accommodate me or give a ride out of Helsinki. I could get someone else infected. It's time to finish this constant movement but before that I need few hours of sleep.
Next days of the hike:
Day 5 – Hike over the mountains to La Pared and a bus ride home