Day 13 – Saturday July 15
Weather conditions: 20degrees, blue skies
I always enjoy introducing others to the wonderful world of sound recording. It’s a pleasure to see their delight as they place headphones on and become aware of how wind or a human activity can impact a recording. I gave Ignacio his final lesson today. He heads off to Sweden tomorrow to spend a week with mining activists. After today’s lesson I feel confident that he will come back with some decent recordings. When the lesson was over he made a scrumptious lunch. It was extraordinary just as we were about to eat, Fabian Blotin the previous resident who had left for Helsinki the week before, shows up. After an extended lunch with much lively conversation Fabian parted and we hit the road on bicycles, making our way to an area known as the beach. As an Australian it’s strange to think of the shore of a fresh water lake as a beach. There was quite a bit of activity so I’ll return by myself another time to record the area. There is a pier for me to sit at. I am sure the hydrophone will pick up some lovely sounds of the people swimming. We cycled on into a forest area but eventually left the bikes on the track and continued by foot. Occasionally we would come to lookout points where one had a magnificent view of the lake. At these points you would always find a row boat or two lying upturned. We walked for hour or so without coming across anyone. The only life we saw was a couple of squirrels and small mouse like critter.
Day 14 – Sunday July 16
Weather conditions: 23degrees, blue skies
Weather conditions in Mänttä are continually fluctuating between warm sunny days with blue skies, and cool grey drizzly days. Apparently this summer is unseasonably cool. However, Sunday was not one of those days, so I grabbed my camera and tripod, hopped on my bike and hit the road. I wanted to revisit a section of logged forest that I had discovered the week before with Ignacio. The journey there was a leisurely one. I explored some of the side roads to see what treasures they would reveal. I came across a beautiful changing room nestled in the long grasses beside the lake. A charming farmhouse looking out to a field of what I assume to be flowering canola. I eventually made it to the quiet path that would lead me into the forest that I had come to visit. I left my bike and journeyed in by foot. The forest was incredibly quiet, the only noise that I was conscious of was the din of distant traffic. I spent about 4 hours exploring the wooded area, contemplating, listening, walking and filming. Then I slowly cycled back to the residency house feeling very satisfied and keen to see the footage I had gathered.
Day 16 – Tuesday July 19
Weather conditions: 18degrees, grey skies and rain
Tuesday was very much a business day. I started the day with two Skype calls to Australia, B–CSC and Bogong Village business. After that I headed over and meet Kati as there was logistical talk to be had. The Serlachius’ van needed to be booked for Thursday and Sunday plus a test drive was required before we parted ways. I was a little nervous about the test drive. The last van I drove was a Renault and I absolutely hated it. Driving the Renault was an alien experience, the van was unlike anything I had driven. Much to my relief the Serlachius’ van is a Mercedes. It’s automatic, the accelerator and brakes are situated as they would be in an Australian car. The only thing that is different is the location of the steering wheel and handbrake, the van is a delight to drive. The day wasn’t all business. In the late afternoon I went orienteering in Mäntänvuori with Marja. I meet Marja through a Facebook post I placed the week before. What an adventure that was. I wisely put my raincoat on as it had been raining on and off throughout the day. Marja told me she has been orienteering since she was 5 and is now an instructor. I enjoyed searching for markers in the forest, going off and on obscured tracks. As we were walking back to the car the skies opened up and the drizzle turned into a downpour. We headed back to the residency and she came in for a cup of tea. Before parting ways I pulled out the microphone and recorded some of her forest stories.