July 13: FRIDAY!!!!
Not having the sun disappear day or night is amazing on one level but brings with it a few problems; not sleeping interestingly is not one of them. The first is you forget what time it is and end up staying up until 2 and 3 in the morning with Dubber and Sir O Morris dancing ( yes a few drinks had been had) or playing Skipbo.
The second is you take so many photos of trees because the light is so beautiful. It’s like having a continual sunset for hours.
Anyway Dubber wasn’t feeling too good this morning, all that late night Morris dancing or so we thought. Took some ibuprofen and seemed ok. We took a trip to Kemijaarvi to buy provisions and then came back to chill, because in such a beautiful setting and when it’s so hot (32 degrees, in the Arctic Circle remember) that’s all you feel like doing. Well no you take a sauna don’t you.
Now the Finns love their sauna and so Sir O was frantic for us to participate. I wasn’t too sure in this heat but the men went off for theirs.
The Finnish sauna is an important part of their culture being healthy and sociable. Usually involving little or no clothing it is a great way to relax – even in 32 degree heat. The boys were very brave and went in the lake a couple of times between saunas.
Followed by a beer…
Meanwhile us girls chill inside where there are no mosquitoes with our own beer.
Dinner followed, Sir O style, but during dinner Dubber wasn’t feeling well. Feeling unwell became struggling for breath and whilst trying to keep him calm, Sir O had already phoned for an ambulance. Twenty minutes later, bearing in mind we are in the middle of nowhere in the Arctic Circle in 32 degree heat, the paramedics arrived and very calmly dealt with Dubber. He had had an irritable cough for a few days, could he have cracked ribs.
Dubber ended up having a night in the local cottage hospital 25kms away with the very nice paramedic being on call through the night. It felt very strange leaving him there, particularly as very few staff had any English and were definitely of Russian descent, Russia being 30kms away.
July 14-16: new monia as opposed to old
The following morning we get to the hospital to be told he has pneumonia. Antibiotics administered we take him back to the cottage for rest and recuperation before we travel back to Oulu. It was worrying times.
I have to say Aviva, our travel insurers were very helpful from the word go. There was always someone on the end of the phone giving advice. The initial advice from doctors back in Oulu was that Dubber couldn’t travel and needed to rest and see how the antibiotics worked.
In the end we had an extra week with Ros and Oskari (see next post); Dubber made three visits to a clinic in town to get more antibiotics and blood tests or certificates for the insurers. Several phone calls and emails each day with the insurers and eventually we flew back on the day we planned to arrive home. Our car insurers brought Rosie back home, but only after Sir O moved her around on the drive. Oh he looks so pleased with himself. He finally got to drive Rosie.
Unfortunately we missed out on the return trip in Rosie. She did us proud doing 1500 miles and we would have enjoyed the car train to Helsinki and the Baltic Cruise but they will have to be done another day. We were duly recompensed by Aviva, who I would highly recommend and Rosie came back with Rick to be met by our visitors to England – you’ve guessed it, Ros and Sir Oskari (we were sunning it in Dorset).
And Dubber – he’s getting over the pneumonia and we’ve enjoyed a weekend away in Rosie since getting back. And we are already thinking of next year’s epic trip.