Before we knew it, we were standing on the side of the road in the snow trying to catch another lift, this time back south to a small ski resort Pyha. To our pleasure, the snow had stayed around longer this time and instead of slush we were standing on fluffy fresh white snow. It was still cold but we had high hopes it would be easier to catch a lift south rather than north, we were wrong…
The Czech couple we were couch surfing with were also trying to hitch their way south, so the pressure was on to get a car before them. This was some amazing race type shit. And we failed. By failed, I mean failed terribly. Within fifteen minuets of standing on the side of the road, a car zoomed passed with our rival hikers in the back seat, smiling and waving as they passed us. We have never gotten a lift somewhere that quickly.
But still, maybe that meant we would have a lift in no time too, right? Wrong. We stood on the side of the road, watching car after car pass us for three long hours. Even once we had moved spots and I took up dancing for the cars, no one was stopping. Three hours into dancing and smiling, a friendly man and his adorable enthusiastic puppy pulled over for us. He wasn’t to clear with his instructions however, and he dropped us at a servo 30 km down the road. We were happy to be in another spot, but this place was a ski resort with only a highway to stand on and no where to pull over. My spirits were low at this point, we had been trying for hours, my back hurt from my ridiculously heavy bag, my feet were frozen through, I was tired and I was hungry, possibly the worst mixture of emotions for me. We had to walk about a kilometre to a turn off where we could stand and hopefully cars would pull into to pick us up. Tyral is much better and experienced with his even larger and much heavier bag, and zoomed on in front of me. I was over walking, over my bag and over hitch hiking. I was stuck, we had nowhere to sleep, we couldn’t even give up. Giving up was even harder and more work than not giving up.
Tyral finally came back to me, a sooky and tired girl who needed a hug, which he gave me.
‘I need this off my back’, I said like a moody child, and unclipped the back and flung it on the ground. ‘I’ll drag it’.
And dragged it I did, for about a meter with Tyral laughing at me with his gopro in hand filming. With another hug, and the reminder that if we gave up we had nowhere to stay, I put my bag on and we made it to the highway.
Dancing and jumping around like an idiot we finally caught the attention of a guy on his way to Rovaniemi, who dropped us off at a turn off point.
But this is when we really felt stuck. It was pitch black, and the town we were trying to get to was a small ski resort, who would be driving there at this hour? Sitting in a roadhouse, we looked up couch surfing, hostels, hotels, airports and bus stations we could sleep in if it came to it. Nothing. We even messaged people back in Rovaniemi in case we had to hitch hike the rest of the way there that night. Basically, we were screwed.
While Tyral tried his luck searching for couch surfers, I tried my luck trying to get us a lift. No one was giving us anything, it was dark, cold and everyone wanted to get home to his or her families, until, finally someone pulled over. It was our extreme shear luck that he was heading past Pyha, and was willing to take us. The father of two saved us from a cold and lonely night on the side of the road. And Tyral from more of my tantrums.
Finally, we had made it to Pyha. Our couch surfing host was surprised to see us, after we had informed him it was really unlikely we would even made it there at all.
I can’t express how thankful I was for a hot shower and warm bed that night. Pure bliss.