The Fukuchan Diaries – Call of the wild

Hello again! As always, I tend to be too chatty, so I decided to publish the tale of our journey in Finland in smaller parts as planned. Here the continuation, enjoy!

07.04 – Bye bye civilization!

10:30 – everything is packed, it’s time to go! From today on, we’ll stay for 5 days at the cottage of our friends, about 200 km north of Helsinki, without electricity or tap water!
After saying goodbye to Susanne, Sauli & Anna-Leena are bringing us to Sixt. The Citroën Cactus we reserved is sadly not available but the substitute car is not bad either: an orange Mini One who looks like a big toy!

Mini One

Following our friends who are accompanying us to the cottage, we leave Helsinki behind under a slowly menacing sky. The Mini is very pleasant to drive and bigger than expected (5 doors version). I already like this car!
After about 2 hours of bleak landscapes (mainly due to the weather, it rained most of the time…), we leave the main road and follow a small dirt track with only a few houses around. After 1-2 km, we arrive at Anna-Leena’s birth house, where her brother now lives. There, between two big trees, we take the “road” to the cottage, an almost invisible and overgrown path. Without our friends, we really wouldn’t have find it! About 500 m later, shaken but glad, we arrive at destination!

The cottage

The cottage is splendid, a two-storey wooden house with a beautiful view on the lake nearby. On the ground floor, two bedrooms and a big cosy living room with a fire place, a stove and a kitchen corner. On the first floor, another bedroom and a nice balcony. The atmosphere fits, the “survival camp” can begin! But before that, we receive many indispensable tips from Sauli & Anna-Leena (how to make fire, to take water from the well, etc.).

After our friends left (they just come along to show us everything and drive now back to Helsinki), we settle down and then go to the next supermarket in Joutsa, the nearest town. Of course it’s not a metropolis, but we find everything we need! Back to the cottage, we then start making fire in the main fire place and in the sauna attached to the house and… it don’t work at all! The small wood begins to burn, gets dark and that’s it, we have to start over again… But it seemed so easy as Sauli showed us before!
After 3 tries, an argument, much sweat and smoke, we then finally succeed to light both fires. In the sauna, it’s not a real success, the water is only lukewarm, but in the living room, it’s getting really warm and cosy!


At about 10 o’clock, washed (with lukewarm water) and tired, we can at last enjoy a well-earned diner: Bean soup, meatballs, Finnish cheese with fresh vegetables and rye bread, accompanied by cold beer and berries liquor for dessert!