24/07/2017- 31/07/2017

We've had a bit of a crazy week, filled with ups and downs. We haven't been overly happy with our latest workaway and decided we would leave early (3 weeks early). We decided this within a couple of days and gave the host a decent amount of notice and thankfully they managed to find a willing replacement. Our decision was primarily based on the fact we didn't enjoy the type of work, weren't overly comfortable with the living situation.. feeling like the profile online wasn't completely honest. We also found out we can't stay in the schengen area for as long as we hoped with Grace's visa (that's a whole different story) and didn't want to spend/ waste any more travel time in lapland, Finland … as we had already been here for a month!

Kiera, the hosts cousin, who actually does the majority of the work it seems, was lovely and very welcoming.. we really enjoyed hearing her stories and getting to know her! The work we were doing was predominately housekeeping, laundry and doing dishes.. the location was incredibly remote and I think we unfortunately underestimated how little there was around!

However, despite the above negatives, we were able to try a number of local food dishes and also, there was the CUUUTEST little dog called eda (7months) who we spent a lot of our time taking on walks and cuddling with (honestly the highlight of the workaway).

We also were lucky enough to have some great weather throughout the week, resulting in some beaaautiful evenings and even a slight sunset with the slowly disappearing midnight sun!

The rest of our spare time was spent relaxing, watching movies, going in the sauna, in the lake and we even managed to go out on the lake with a pedal boat!

By the time Sunday came around we had finished working, packed up our bags and enjoyed watching harry p in front of the fire!

Overall, despite being very unhappy at the start and also having to deal with some intense visa situations, (thanks parents for helping 😘😇), we did really enjoy our 9days in kaamanen.. but we were very pleased to not be staying for the initially planned month!

On a very grim, wet Monday morning we hopped on the bus to Rovaniemi, which of course was late whilst we waited in the rain for 25 minutes! 😆😆

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19/07/2017 – 23/07/2017

Grace was back at the concrete allllll day on Wednesday withLuca and Kaarlo, whilst I continued to finish the windows! The weather was ridiculously miserable – very cold and wet! 😩

Thursday we actually finished the last of the windows in the house! They look great tbh! We also helped Leila with lunch and cleaned the house as there aren't too many jobs we can't start because Friday is our last working day here 😔😔

In the evening it was Anna and Lucas last night and our last evening as a big bunch! We said our goodbyes at night because they were leaving at 5am the next day.. and we would not be awake!

Friday – our last day working here!

I started off doing the final coat of paint on the exterior part of the house – it was a bit of a challenge as I had to climb up scaffolding and it wasn't oooverly stable! I survived, however!

After lunch – which was my faaaavourite (sausages) – i completed the painting whilst grace was cutting the grass (the old fashioned way) then we both helped Kaarlo make a work bench for him to use to cut logs for the winter!! It was made completely out of scrap wood and Kaarlo taught me to use a saw properley (lol he looks like a proud father in the photo) and even had my first go with a chainsaw.. a scary thought for anyone who knows me!

We then packed all our belongings and enjoyed a looovely family meal together in the evening – safe to say we are going to miss these guys! They've been incredible hosts!

Friday – Leaving day 😔😔
We set off around 11.30ish to Sariselka which is a small town south of Ivalo.. we had a look up the arctic hill which is used for skiing in the winter.

It was freezing and we had a little picnic at the top – coffee was essential to keep warm! I tried a cloudberry jam donut and it was sooooo good (cloudberries are only grown in lapland, apparently).

We then dropped Julie off in Ivalo and headed back up north to Kaamanen where we were heading to our new 'home' and workaway.

We arrived at the hostel / hotel and said a sad goodbye to Leila and Kaarlo.. we are planning to catch up with them when we head south!

We were greeted by kiera who showed us around and introduced us to Eva and Anna (two girls also volunteering here). Our 'romantic log cabin' isn't quite what we were expecting and we weren't 100% sure if they knew we were a couple, as our bed situation was a little strange.. one single bed and another bed which is actually a bench with a very thin mattress. But hey ho! We unpacked, made it a little homely and had some dinner.

16/07/2017 – 18/07/2017

Decided to merge these days all together as we didn't get up to tooooo much!

Sunday was again a lazy morning. Grace and I cooked up a nice English breakfast for everyone and then we all spent the morning relaxing.

Leila then suggested to go to kariniemi to climb the arctic hill. However, only some of us could fit in the car so me and grace stayed behind with Kaarlo, as we knew we'd have an opportunity in the future to go (because we are still going to be in lapland for another workaway).

They head off and grace and I went for a canoe down the river. It was laaavely despite the strong current and crazy ass flies/ wasps that were chasing us (see pics we accidently took when putting our GoPro on the wrong setting 😂). The boat was rocking all over the place hahah. We stayed out for about 45mins.

Came back in from canoeing and made some lunch for us and kaarlo. I was feeling a little emotional and a tiny bit homesick today but eventually got over that!

Leila called and asked us to start dinner (we are the chefs for today!!). We cooked pork and veggies on the BBQ with salad and rice.. was v yummy and Kaarlo even complimented us on our cooking (rare)

I unfortunately wasn't feeling too well on Monday so struggled a little throughout the day. Work today included us finishing up the windows we started on Friday and then we had to sand and clean up the emergency exit ladder before coating it in some anti-rust paint.


Lunch was an extremely random soup made with 'sisters sausages' and is supposedly a Finnish meal – its appearance was interesting, but was actually pretty yummy!

We spent the evening planning our further travels (or trying to atleast). Making a few changes to our itinerary and then relaxed all night.

Woke up on Tuesday feeling aloooot better!! We worked on the windows in our room today – just sanding and topping up the paint.. I'm still not over just how many windows there are in this place! After a delicious soup for lunch, I head upstairs to finish the windows, whilst Grace and Luca helped Kaarlo with filling the new laundry room with cement and finalising the floor! I then did the final yellow coat of paint on the ladder and we were done for the day!

Spent the rest of the day sorting visas (Grace's is a little confusing and we may be changing our plans a little.. it's all a bit exciting though!)

We had an early dinner and all head into the sauna to end the evening.. pretty ideal really 😊

15/07/2017

We had a looovely lazy morning, had breakfast around 10ish and then everyone spent the morning dozing, reading and relaxing… we cracked on with our tiny house designs 😊

After lunch, which was a really good salmon salad, Kaarlo and Leila suggested we canoe/boat over the river to Norway and go on a hike! We all geared up for the mosquitos, grabbed some water and head to the river. Grace, Anna and Julie set off in the canoe, whilst Kaarlo added the motor to the other canoe boat in order to go back and forth to take me, Leila and Luca aswell. I was struggling with my back a little today so managed to cruise over on the motor boat 😎


We docked the boats on the river bank (breaking leilas walking poles in the process) and head off through the forest. The scenery was pretty incredible already and a very easy terrain, which suited a Sunday walk perfectly. 

We came to a crossroads which you could go right down and head back to Finland via a main road, but we continued straight to towards ‘gold camp’.


We then entered a campground (bassevuovdi helligskogen) where gold miners come to stay – it’s very competitive here and companies come to the area to search for gold. They had these ‘hobbit hole’ style houses and one was even a sauna, just tucked away in the Forrest! 


We continued walking and then we came across a few families panning for gold. They had a pretty intense set up going on and must be planning on being there for a good few weeks. Leila approached one of the men (Morten) and they very generously invited us all to head down to the water and try gold panning for ourselves! 


After around 30minutes and witnessing quite a slow and tiring process, when done by hand, we walked further through the forrest and started quite a climb. Once we reached the top the view was beaaautiful across the river!


Kaarlo navigated a shortcut back towards the boat and within about 45mins we were back at the waterfront. Luca and Julie hopped in one boat and Kaarlo took Leila and Anna back to Finland whilst we waited on the riverbank. Kaarlo picked us up and took us on a stunning little detour down the river to show us a little inlet in the river which is technically back in Norway. We then head back to the house for some coffee! After a shower I came back to find the others all playing cards… classic.


Dinner was a chicken risotto at around 10pm.. but time I guess is a little irrelevant here with the 24hr sun! We settled into bed around midnight for a well-earned rest! 

14/07/2017

Its Friday – woooo! Our first job of the day was the clean the sauna. As this is a tradition finish sauna, it uses a fire to burn and then by throwing water onto boiling hot rocks, this causing steam. The sauna room becomes covered in a layer of coal and our task was the scrub this off! We put our music on a spent around 1.5hrs doing this, making it pretty enoyable! 

We then went back to the windows we sanded yesterday and prepped them and applied the base coat.. we’re pretty much experts at this now!! 😆🤗


We finished around 4.30pm and played cards almost the entiiiire evening! Was great chat and I’m pretty sure we were all delirious due to being stuck inside because of the awful weather – it was very cold and wet this evening!! 

Dinner wasn’t till late as Leila had to drive to the supermarket and didn’t get back till 8.30pm-ish. 

13/07/2016

Overslept a tiiiiiny bit this morning, however we made breakfast for 8.30 and joined everyone downstairs. Work started indoors for us today! We were sanding down the brand new oak benches, chairs and table.. which are going to be placed in the fireplace room outside their sauna.. we very lightly sanded the furniture, cleaned it and then applied a lot of oil. This didn’t take toooo long as we were done by 11.  


We then offered to cook lunch, as Lelia was working and we had finished our job for the morning. We decided on a Mexican meal- chicken fajitas! We regularly have these at home, so it was all easy to cook! It was v yummy and everyone seemed to enjoy it. 

After our obligatory coffee break we then head outside to sand the exterior layer of windows from Kaarlo and Leilas room. They were in pretty bad nick so this took us a good couple hours. We were pleased to be working outside, as we were beginning to get a bit of cabin fever.. which we reckon was the reason for us feeling a little stir crazy yesterday! And a bonus was that the Mosquitos were pretty tame today!! 


We finished work a little later than normal, just because we wanted to finish them.. ready for the next step tomorrow.

The evening went by fast with a lovely Thai green curry for dinner (I swear we will be the size of a house in no time). We were replying to our other workaway hosts and planning the next part of our trip before settling down and relaxing to the end of Harry Potter. Again, not a wild evening, but we were pretty content. As much as we enjoy the very secluded, quiet lifestyle.. we are really looking forward to heading out of Angeli and being around a bit more ‘life’.

12/07/2017

Woke up feeling a little grouchy this morning as we haven’t been sleeping too well the last couple nights and we are struggling with these Mosquitos.. not to be tooooo much of a downer. But anyway, we got up, dressed, stopped feeling sorry for ourselves and had some breakfast. Feeling a little better after some coffee we started work! 
Sooooo, apparently we hadn’t finished the windows! We needed to scrape the excess paint off the glass before they were complete.. its crazy how many steps there are to achieving the perfectly finished window – I have a new-found respect for anyone who does this for a living?! Even if it is a little repetitive, I do find it pretty therapeutic to do. By the time lunch rolled around we had ACTUALLY FINISHED THE WINDOWS 😱😊


Lunch was really enjoyable, but bizarrely it was a soup that included mince meat, which is a new concept to us. everyone was chatty and we were discussing alllll sorts for around an hour and a half. We then all went back to work.. but not for long! We hung up the completed windows, on the completed frames and it was all starting to come together! 😆


After, Leila “asked” us if they could remove the windows in our room, so we could refurbish them. This didn’t please us toooo much as we KNEW the Mosquitos would swarm into our room, making it even harder to get a good nights sleep! However, we eventually agreed (not that we could really refuse lol) and managed to take them off the hinges reaaally quickly preventing any Mosquitos entering our room – SUCCESS! 

Not an overly excitable afternoon, with very little worth writing about.. but we were all really keen for a chilled afternoon doing our own thing. Had a great chat with Ana, who is currently studying in Finland – her English is amazing, she is very sweet and seems very self-motivated .. even studying online whilst here! We all came together for a game of cards and a team cooked dinner, which again, was loooovely.