Siikaneva is one of our favorite places to go on one-day hikes. The only season we haven’t been there is winter because I’m not fond of skiing and don’t even have skis any more. The word ‘siika’ means a fish: a powan (Goregonus lavaretus) and ‘neva’ stands for a type of bog. The pronunciation of [i:] is important in the word ‘siika’; if you say [sika] instead of using a long vowel sound [si:ka] the name of the bog changes from powan bog into pig bog =).
H. had a couple of days off last week and Friday was supposed to be a relatively dry day with only occasional showers, so we decided to set off. It was about a-20-minute drive from H’s place to the small parking area next to the starting point. We had our traditional hiking lunch pack with us: a thermos filled with coffee, chocolate bars and sausages.
The hike itself to the ‘laavu’, our destination, is only 3-4 km from the starting point but it always takes us at least an hour to get there. We like to stop to look at the landscape, breathe in the sharp smell of ‘suopursu’, marsh tea (‘Ledum palustre’), and enjoy the sunshine if possible. We were in luck on Friday: it was sunny at times and there were places with no wind. The only thing we missed was birds; Siikaneva has plenty of them in the spring but it has been so cold lately that migrating birds haven’t arrived there yet. People into hiking and photography may spend a night in the ‘laavu’ to be able to get up as early as the birds – no, not to catch a worm but a good piccy =).
‘Laavus‘ are wonderful inventions: they give you shelter from the wind and rain and it’s possible to stay overnight there if you just carry your sleeping bag with you. There is an axe and a shed full of fire wood behind the ‘laavu’, and even a toilet. I remember learning a nice onomatopoeic German word for this particular kind of toilet: ‘ein Plumpsklo‘. We had one at our summer cottage, so I know…
Civilization is not far from Siikaneva; Google maps easily located us. And yet we were in the middle of forests and bogs. I actually disapprove of using smart technical devices when hiking, but curious as I am I couldn’t help taking out my iPad. Yes, I remember what happend to the cat… Modern technolgy helps you to find your way, though, if you get lost, so it can’t be that bad to have something smart with you apart from your partner, right?
In the ‘laavu’ there is a Visitors’ book where you can write a short note about your stay and read what others have written. Sometimes there are notes in a foreign language too. H. found our first note in the book. We hadn’t known each other for long at the time, only two months or so. It was also nice to read the next visitors’ thanks to us for having made a fire and not having put it out before they arrived.
Do let me know if you want a guided tour in Siikaneva. It’s also possible to walk a circular 10-km route there instead of going back the same way as we usually do: I prefer lots of bog and duckboards to woods. Just pack proper hiking boots and book a cheap flight and you’ll land in the country of wild adventures – the reliable me as your guide ;).
Originally posted on a private blog on 19th May, 2015