Day 57: Bears, Rapids, Lakes and a significant walk

57:  A wildlife kind’a day

J ran in the am early-ish and then we visited the bear et al establishment at Euro10 each – well worth it as it happened.  We saw the brown bears at 1 metre distance (behind fences) – the big ones weigh 500 kgs!  7 times as much as your average adults… they can run at 60 km per hour over short distances – James can only dream of 15 km per hour – but he weighs 70 kgs and is not very brown…yet.  Or hairy, thankfully!  We also saw wolves, red rox, lynxes and – guess what?  Rheindeer with babies…   K had already seen three yesterday grazing along the road.  The owner of the rescue centre had been involved in some kind of research and then when it ended kept the orphan bears and raised them.  They see him as ‘Father’ and he takes them for walks in the woods. And one, apparently, goes with him in his fishing boat.  I asked the tour guide – you don’t wander round on your own (a guide bribes the animals to come close with fruit and honey) about going in the pen with the wolves. Oh no!  Unless , you are the owner – he can.  He really must be some animal magician / whisperer.  This was really special.  It is not a zoo, wedded to scientific inter-zoo breeding programs and conservation.  This is a small holding where the rescue animals are cared for and loved.  The centre is not glossy or gimmicky – it is just about the animals.

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Wolf

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 As well as fruit, they love ice cream. Well who wouldn’t! I asked about dental hygiene … apparently the frozen reindeer meat on the bone takes care of it.

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Coming on for a kiss

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Red fox:  apparently loads in the wild, so the centre refuse to take more

Red fox: apparently loads in the wild, so the centre refuse to take more

Lynx

Lynx

About 30% wolf and 70% dog (not sure if wild dog).  I asked if they were able to be trained, but got a definitely NO reply

About 30% wolf and 70% dog (not sure if wild dog). I asked if they were able to be trained, but got a definitely NO reply

Reindeer.  They loose their antler at the end of winter

Reindeer. They loose their antler at the end of winter

Aah ... little baby with an itch!

Aah … little baby with an itch!

Thence to the Oulanka National Park, specifically Juuma, for a truly memorable hike over 12 km known as the Little Bear Ring, via rope bridges, rapids and gorges.  Indiana Jones and Mrs Jones.  But no swinging … on ropes of otherwise!  Guide book described it as one of the most scenic Finnish walks.  Both of us agreed that this is one of, if not THE, most interesting and scenic walks we have ever done.  Pix can speak for themselves – sorry there are so many, but it was truly lovely.  Had taken only the little Canon instamatic, but still pleased with the quality.  Do check out the water reflections – superb.

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Most of Scandinavia encourages ‘get back to nature’ with well supplied campsites in National Parks. J rekindled one of last night’s fires. I think he hoped the smoke would deter the mossies!

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Using Maddy’s instant pic camera, we explored the settings and found Fish Eye!

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Another Fish Eye setting

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At one point we tromped up 256 steps. The sign told us that this was the equivalent to a 13 story building and we did it in one go!

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9 metre drop. You can boat hire and ride the rapids here

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And Maddy sent me pix of our pottery painting efforts that have now been glazed and fired – look surprisingly OK for a couple of non arty types.

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What a fabulous couple of days!  And the sun came out for us whenever we stopped to look at anything!

 

7 thoughts on “Day 57: Bears, Rapids, Lakes and a significant walk

  1. Se on kaunis!! (It is beautiful)

    There is something quite magical about this place and you captured it beautifully – wonderful photos and descriptions – so glad you are having such a good time xx

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    • Hi Beth
      We spent a lot longer in Finland than planned … we really enjoyed it. How much time have you spent here? I forget how old you were when you came to the UK. We have appreciated the difficult Finnish history and that despite occupation for 700 years, the Finns have a strong sense of identity and ‘quirkiness’. Kx

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      • Terve!

        I was 4 when we moved to the uk and didn’t go back till I was an au pair aged 19 as it was too expensive for us to travel as a family. The special quality Finns have is “sisu” roughly translated as guts…enjoy the rest of your Finnish idyll….am enjoying your posts and fabulous photos – Bx

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