We have continued along the narrow road to the deep north. Leaving Sweden we stayed one night in Levi and have now arrived on the banks of the Juutuanjoki as it flows into Lake Inari. This is the cultural centre of the Sámi in Finland.
After a morning in the Siida, heads echoing to the drone of Sámi music, we float across the lake to Ukonsaari and Hautuumaasaari, old man and graveyard islands. In winter we could make the same journey on foot. The skies threaten as we return; nevertheless it is hard to imagine this vast lake frozen for seven months of the year and harder still to imagine tribes of people surviving in such an empty harsh land for thousands of years:
(Click on the images to enlarge – the penultimate photograph is a detail from a wall-hanging in the Siida Museum and therefore not mine – photography is allowed but not flash)