After spending a quiet evening and morning at Hannukuru, and enjoying most wonderful weather in the following day, we spontaneously decided to prolong our stay for a second night, and to hang out at the delightful shore of the small lake there. In the end it turned out that we chose the right day for relaxation, as it turned out to be the only day on this short trip, without rain. Which meant on the other hand, that on the next day we once again had the incredible chance to test the watertightness of our hiking boots.
Leaving Hannukuru, the next autiotupa we came by is Pahakuru. What I didn’t realize the last time I have been there, is, that from this point the Northern boarder for spruce trees becomes visible! Looking down into the basin, you can still see a few spruce trees emerging from the forest, however, looking towards North (and also later on the way we watched out for it), you don’t find them anymore. From Pahakuru then it was an easy hike towards Siuskuru, which I so far only knew from the winter trail. Generally the hike between Pallas and Hetta is rather easy with not much elevation, but it seemed to get even easier the closer we came to Hetta. The whole day we were walking through more or less heavy rain, which (once again) took a lot out of the fun of making pictures as well as the hike itself, and I think we were all kind of happy to reach Siuskuru. At this wilderness hut I have been a few times already, in different season as well, but every time I had at least some precipitation there, so it was not really a surprise to arrive there in the rain. However, this eased the decision for me, to shorten the trip, and already continue to finish this trip by trying to reach Hetta the same day. While my friends wanted to spend another night in the Pyhäkero autiotupa (where I really have been very often already), I took the road down from Mustavaara, and arrived with the last light in the town.
Over all I have to say, that the trip was OK. I didn’t have high expectations before starting the hike, and I got neither disappointed nor positively surprised. I was a bit startled about discovering ski lifts in the national park, but otherwise it turned out pretty much as expected. The trail is really wide: You can see the trails from far away already, sometimes you have the impression they would be wide enough for regular cars. There is a lot of infrastructure, and especially with the size of the Hannukuru facilities it becomes most obvious, that this hiking route serves a lot of people. On the other hand the nature is beautiful, and the animals – apparently used to see many humans – are not very frightened by hikers, which allows to get a close look at wild living animals. In Nammalakuru for example, reindeer were even walking around between the huts, and coming as close to you as a meter. The hike is easy, not much elevation (which will hardly be found anywhere in Finland ..), and for people who don’t want to carry or sleep in a tent, the huge number of kotas and wilderness huts makes it easy to accomplish a few days hike.