I didn´t know much about I.K. Inha beforehand, but since I decided to start follow he´s footsteps around Virrat lakesites I definetly was interested to get to know this past great Finnish photographer, writer, translator, journalist and nature lover.
Distance 12 km
Early at tuesday morning I packed my bike and belongings into a steamship Tarjanne. I was about to start the trip from Tampere Mustalahti Harbour and I surely was not the only one. This was s/s Tarjanne´s first trip for the beginning of the summer and you could feel the ecxitement in the air. Finally we took off, ship whistled three times and we were on our way. It felt so festive!
It takes all together 8 hours from Tampere to Virrat so I had plenty of time to enter into I.K. Inha´s biography which I had packed with me just for this long ship route.
Lunchtime a had delicious salmon at second floor cabinet, red my book about Mr. Inha and followed when people got off at their harbours and new ones game in. In this kind of old ship there´s it´s totally own kind of magic – we always game and departed with whistling.
Finally we arrived to sunny Virrat harbour and we all got off. I steered my bike through the tiny city and headed towards Toriseva ravine lakes.
Near Toriseva parking spot I found I.K.Inha´s memorial. I left my bike there and walked down the wooden steps to the lake. The place was serene, surface of the lake was glittering from the sun and I just sat… and enjoyed. This was a place were I.K.Inha visited when he was young. This was actually a place for many famous finnish painters and artists when they seeked for inspiration.
Above this magical place is Toriva´s historical Cafe house. From up there the view to the lake is very different. Next to Cafe house started a nature path which I took. This was a shortcut to the cottage I had rented for the night at Lakari Camping place.
Distance 50 km
In the morning I came back to the Toriseva ravine lakes and photographed the scenery in very different light. From there I started my journey down towards Visuvesi. I made some loops at Valkeajärvi and Karasjärvi lake because right here young man Inha used to practise his biking skills with propably a first bike in Finland at 1885. Roads were sandy and curly, biking was fun!
I stoped many times just for photographing – it was all just too beautiful.
I stoped at Lunchcafe Kantatie 66 and had some meatballs and mash, yam! Continueing down to south I paste some spots were Mr. Inha had had his cottage, but now it was all torn down.
Then I turned away from the road 66 and started biking curly and sandy roads to west – I was heading at Helvetinjärvi National park´s direction.
I made a short stop at Helvetinjärvi ravine lake. This was also a place where young Inha used to come with his friends.
On a way back to the road I spotted two cranes on the field. Later I saw heards of cows, so many beautiful fields of flowers.. There was no hurry, so it was a great pleasure just enjoy and stop when ever I wanted to take photos.
After some time I came to road 65 and found Restaurant Rasin Tupa where I had a really good local meal. With my full stomach I continued 8 km to Levonniemi cottages where I stayed over the night. I had a sauna, swam and fell asleep. This was a great day!
Distance 60 km
Luckily I got invitation to the owners morning table for a breakfast, because I had forgot to visit at the shop. I payed and jumped on my loyal bike again. Today I was heading back to north (my route made a full loop) and highway 65 was very fast to drive. Soon I arrived to a Liedenpohja village, shopped some chokolate and saw a tiny Local history museum with windmill. So pretty little village – flower meadows and cows on the fields, tiny lakes and sandy roads.
Turning towards east I finally arrived to Killinkoski museum. This museum had a whole section about I.K.Inha. But before diving into that field I filled my tammy in the museum Cafe with some delicious herring sandwiches!
After I finnished my visit at the museum very first rain on my trip reached me. I put all my rain gear on and started the last 23 km in a pouring rain. Well, it was oxygen rich weather for sure!
Now I didnt stop for photos but in a way I enjoyd the last bits of my 3 day journey memorising all the wonderfull places I had visited following Inha´s footsteps around this just amazingly beautiful countryside.
Finally I arrived to Virrat Heritage Village, my last stop of the whole trip. Museum yard with shops, cafeteria, Restaurants and old fashion athmosphere was everywhere.
In here I could have had also stayed over the night if I had wanted.. anyway it felt good to end my journey here with my “companion” I.K.Inha whom also was a great nature lover and romantic fool. Somewhere around here more than 100 years ago he would had propably also stoped and just admired how beautiful this landscape is.
So, now I could jump back in to the steamship Tarjanne. Or stay overnight and continue down to south throught charming Teisko and towards Tampere.