Sweden to Finland second attempt. Day 6 15 of July. “Tour de Kökar”

Our campsite

Quote of the day: “you can’t change, but you can always improve” (Knut Arne)

Since Saturday does not look very inviting for paddling and today (Friday) was marginal, we have decided to stay two days here at Sandvik Gästhamn och Camping. It is a nice and peaceful place and we can do some maintenance and resupply.

Mikko visted 28 years ago and it is much the same.

Tour de Kökar underway

To get lunch and resupplies we rented bikes to take us the 3-4 km to “Kökar centre” if it is possible to have a centre on a patchily inhabited small archipelago with 251 permanent inhabitants during winter.

Lunchtime at the quay of Kökar hotel

But Summer is a different story and the summer activity supports a hotel with an quality restaurant.

While we sat there a huge “cabin cruiser” arrived with a young family from Helsinki. It took some careful manuevering to get it moored on the quay. An alternative as luxurious as the kayak life is free. We wouldn’t swap. (Just as well since we definitely couldn’t afford to;-) )

A 54 feet long boat from Mikko’s boat club back in Helsinki came and after an our and a half succeeded in mooring on the quay.
One finds most of what we need in the “Skärgårds emporium”. So far we have managed to resolve discussion without one of these so we put it back in the shelf.

And then there is the “Skärgårdsbutik” or “Archipelago emporium and groceries “ where we loaded up with familiar and not so familiar supplies.

Kökar pancakes

Upon return it was time for some “Kökar pancakes”; thick pancakes with cardamom, apple jam and whipped cream.

Then it was time to order the sauna, we got a slot from 2100 to 2200.

Dinner at the camping. We occupied half the dining room
Perch, lots of bones and lots of taste

But first dinner. Fish and chips for some, smoked perch for others.

And then saunatime. Mikko have a lecture on the difference between “sauna” and “bastu”. Short summary it is about temperature (higher in sauna), and not least about how much water you pour on the hot stones. There must be enough vapour in the air so that the skin burns and it becomes difficult to breathe. And then a dip in the Baltic Sea. Repeat for one hour and the one feels like a different cleaner and lighter person

Time for Mammi!

It had been a super super busy day, and such a day deserves an appropriate rounding off. Time for the strangest of the supplies we bought “in town”: Mammi.

Mammi is a cake the Finns eat for Easter. It looks exactly like chocolate cake, but it is something different altogether: it is made of rye flour, rye malt and bitter orange peel. After sixty something years on this planet a completely new taste! To soften the shock the Mammi was seasoned with sugar and cream and chased by a “Jallo” or “Ädelbrennvin”.

This program kept us busy till midnight. Tomorrow will be a windy and rainy day. A good day to make a forward plan since our plan A of going a southerly route looks less attractive with a weather forecast of northerlies of about 10 m/s for at least Wednesday.

Or we could just go with Karianne’s suggestion: “We’ll just go with the wind and find a ferry“. Navigation made simple 🙂

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