They’re warning me from bears, overpopulated in these forests. It is not safe to sleep outside anymore. This is their forest, their taiga. And so I walk every evening many miles through the forests to seek shelter in log cabins. There I can tease the bears safely with my opened cans of tuna. Even today I walked across deep forest when suddenly a person appeared in front of me. He was wearing wide hat and was very sweaty, tired and surrounded by massing mosquitos. He asked how far it was to the road. “Only one hour.” he could hardly believe and showed me the map of his trip, 6 days walk across the forests from the russian side, where no roads go…

" />

(49) At the end of forest

They’re warning me from bears, overpopulated in these forests. It is not safe to sleep outside anymore. This is their forest, their taiga. And so I walk every evening many miles through the forests to seek shelter in log cabins. There I can tease the bears safely with my opened cans of tuna. Even today I walked across deep forest when suddenly a person appeared in front of me. He was wearing wide hat and was very sweaty, tired and surrounded by massing mosquitos. He asked how far it was to the road. “Only one hour.” he could hardly believe and showed me the map of his trip, 6 days walk across the forests from the russian side, where no roads go…

.

This is how I lived…

 

.

…long miles of wooden paths across the swamps were my only connection to the outside world…

 

.

…and every day I moved a bit further south, dirt roads were bad, another puncture, another bit of endless forest…

 

.

…there on the other side of the shallow valley lays Russia…

 

.

…too much death and fear passed through the Raate road…

 

.

…so many dead as many there are stones in this field they say. It was long time ago, their pictures are black and white. But wouldn’t we find much of that old senselessness in today’s world mr Mannerheim? You know, heroes will be on your side, but your defences will fall anyway. And people will build a large stone field in their honour. We know it today. You couldn’t know it in your time. But we don’t know what will be built for us.

 

.

…how are the trees able to grow from the rock. So many, so magnificent. I didn’t know wood can smell so strong in the air, so naturally, without sawing it…

.

…with every meal I pick handful of wild strawberries. They grow in the grass on the banks of lakes…

 

.

…so many lakes we passed…

.

…this is the last one…

 

.

…this is where the forest ends. This boat isn’t chained. In the north, things don’t tend to be chained, locked, fenced, or in any other way protected from human greed. There’s no need. But tomorrow, the world will be so different. After two months, I will enter a city, rush, metro, maybe they even have trams. I shall see Helsinki tomorrow.

One Comment on “(49) At the end of forest

  1. Funny how things are in rural areas, also in Canada there are still places where you don’t lock up when you leave your house or park your car. So sad that things have to be so different in big cities.
    When I return from traveling the back country the worst thing of the city is the noise and the rush, and the recklessness and ignorance. I wish I could stay out of cities altogether, it is the money making thing that keeps pulling me in.
    Wonderfully written, and nicely photographed. Thanks again for letting me tag along on your journey.

Leave a Reply