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Clare
Clare

Day 8: More cross-country skiing in Äkäslompolo

For our final day we decided that we wanted to have another go at cross-country skiing :) But first of all we had to sort out the logistics of how we were going to get all the equipment we'd rented back to the sports shop by the end of the day. After a bit of deliberation, we decided to walk to the shop and hand back the snowshoes and poles first, then walk back to the apartment and collect our skis. Tim asked the people in the sports shop whether we could leave our normal boots with them while we went skiing, and happily they agreed. The advantage of this was that it meant once we'd finished skiing, we could just go back to the sports shop and hand in the skis, ski poles and ski boots, then put our normal boots on to walk back to the apartment. The alternative would have been to walk back to the apartment in the ski boots, change into our normal boots and then walk all the way back to the sports shop again carrying the skis. Skis are quite heavy to carry (and it's about 1km from the apartment to the sports shop) so it was a definite bonus to avoid an extra trip.

When we got down to the lake, we could immediately see that it was a lot cloudier than the previous day when we were skiing.

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It was still pretty though, even if we couldn't see any of the hills in the distance.

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We were soon clipped into our skis and ready to go.

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Tim was off...

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...and I wasn't too far behind.

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It felt a bit easier than it did the other day. Or at least, I felt more balanced and less like I was going to fall over :D

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We stuck to the same flat bit of track on the lake, which is perfect for beginners :)

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Tim was managing to go a bit faster than me!

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Skiing is hard work and after a while we felt like having a break. While we were catching our breath, we tried another selfie :) 

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Then we decided to do one more lap of the track before calling it a day.

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We went back to the ski shop, handed everything over and retrieved our normal boots. There was still some daylight left, so we went for a stroll around the village, past the supermarket in the direction we had explored the other night. As we were walking along, I suddenly caught sight of something moving in the trees on the opposite side of the road.

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It was a reindeer, just wandering around :o

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That's definitely a first for us! We continued along the path, to the point where the river flows into the lake.

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The water isn't completely frozen here.

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Tim went across to the other side of the road to look at the view in the opposite direction.

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It was really beautiful here too :)

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Before long we came to the end of the village and had to turn around and head back. It was starting to get dark now anyway and the street lights were coming on.

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We've had a really wonderful holiday in Lapland yet again, despite the fact that it didn't get off to the best start with the delay to Tim's suitcase last week :)  Tomorrow will be a big day of travelling, as we have an internal flight from Kittilä to Helsinki in the morning, followed by a flight from Helsinki back to Gatwick in the afternoon. It will be tiring, but this is a destination that is definitely worth the travelling, and I have a feeling that we may be coming back again...!

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