The final day began as grey as the previous days, but our journalists were on a good mood. They gathered up on the hotel lobby and were given Jopo-bikes, a Finnish one-size bike that fits everyone. A cycling tour around Oulu was about to start. Sightseeing by bike was a lot more convenient than by bus, because it’s easier to stop and look at things when you don’t have to get out of a bus and then rush back in dozens of times. The temperature was just above zero degrees, so the roads were a kind of mixture of slush and ice, but there weren’t any major fallings or accidents. The tour ended on Oulu marketplace, where our journalists left their Jopos and had a quick cup of coffee and a bun.
Lars Westerlund and John Pagni looking at things with the guidance of Minna Hukkanen. Photo: Olaf Schneider
Next stop was Hailuoto, the biggest island in the Bothnian Bay area. Usually people take the ferry to the island, but this time the 7 km journey was made with a hoverboat. It took about half an hour for the bus to reach Hailuoto with the ferry, but the hoverboat was a lot quicker and it went across the bay in 15 minutes.
The hoverboat took our journalists to Hailuoto a lot quicker than the ferry. Photo: Olaf Schneider
It was time to have lunch in a small cottage. Some fish soup and sandwiches. Coffee was served outside and it was made on a bonfire. When stomachs were filled with food, the journalists headed to the ice after their host Sampo, to do the fishing nets that lay under the ice. Sampo told them how they managed to put the fishing net under the ice and pulled up some fish caught on the net. Sampo was like a huge celebrity posing in front of the flashing cameras while our journalists did a bit of paparazzing.
Sampo Marjaniemi joking around and showing his love for fish. Photo: Olaf Schneider
The bus took off and the group was taken to Marjaniemi, a beautiful beach on the coast with a lighthouse and a fisherman village, where they could stroll around and take pictures. After that it was time to rush to the ferry. The journalists were given the option either to go with the bus in to the ferry, or take the smaller car with eight seats and drive the ice road to the other shore. Six of them decided to take the ice road. The ice road was a bit bumpy, slippery and wet, and a little bit frightening, because of the thought of having only a layer of ice between you and the raging sea. When the 6 journalists reached the other side, and started to wait for the ferry to reach the shore with the rest of the group, they got a phone call. The ferry didn’t operate as frequently as usual because the ice road was open, so the bus was stuck in Hailuoto for the next two hours since it was too heavy for the ice road. The problem was how to get 10 people on one drive from Hailuoto side to the other with a car which only has eight seats. And what to do with the ones already on the mainland, because the wind was freezing cold and there was no shelter. But with a bit of logistics and clever thinking and one extra car and one taxi, the problem was solved and all the journalists got to Liminka Bay Visitor Centre only about 40 minutes late.
The sun was shining through the clouds as the cars rushed on the ice road to pick up journalists stuck in Hailuoto. Photo: Olaf Schneider
The Liminka Bay Visitor Centre is located in Liminka, bout 20 kilometers south of Oulu, and it’s mainly concentrated in birds. There are tens of thousands migrant birds stopping in the Liminka Bay area yearly. Olli from the Liminka Bay told the group about the visitor centre over a cup of coffee and then the group explored the exhibition. The journalists were a bit tired because the last days had been long and full of things to do. And when the bus finally made it back from Hailuoto, they were taken to the hotel to get ready for the last dinner of the trip.
Olli Help (in the middle) guided our journalists around the Liminka Bay Visiting Centre. Photo: Olaf Schneider
The dinner was served in Sokeri-Jussi, Sugar John’s and it was hosted by Travel Marketing Oulu Ltd. The food was good and the atmosphere was warm. Laughter flowed and everybody was enjoying themselves. After dinner it was time to see some nightlife in Oulu. Since it was Monday night our journalists could wander the streets almost by themselves, but it didn’t matter. Some fire drinks were served in a bar called Kuluma and some of the journalists ended the night in 45Special, a famous rock club in Oulu.
Then it was time to say goodbye. All journalists headed home the next morning so the night and the morning were full of goodbyes and promises about keeping in touch with each other. Then there was only one thing left to do: write the stories about the fun, active and long days they spent around the Boundless Bothnian Bay.