The course started in Tenala on a Thursday and my plan was get there by bike on Wednesday evening, starting after a full work day. The 95 km was to take around four hours. I started a little later than planned and it become dark after a little more than one hour of riding.
I again had the silly idea to ride without sufficient energy and started to feel the effect after a little over two hours. A flapjack helped for a while, but my speed was slower than anticipated and it took me almost 4.5 hours to arrive at the shelter. Simo had already arrived, though, so at least there was a fire going.
Being rather cold and low on energy, a bath in the now rather cold lake wasn't very inviting, but since I didn't want to go to sleep all sweaty I took a short swim anyway. A cup of hot chocolate and a few sandwhiches tasted great after this.
The next morning was really nice.
Simo slept very well in his tarp and by the time he got up I had since long started a fire.
Poor Simo had his porridge while I had nice grilled sandwhiches and coffee.
We went to the meeting place in good time, but it seemed almost everyone else was late. Eventually people started to arrive and Henrik started to transport the good selection of food ingredients to the shelter.
Henrik from Vigu office and Peter, our instructor.
After a short presentation and some theory, we started making food in groups of two. With ten students this meant a number of five course meals during the course.
Lots of fire wood was needed, preferrably chopped into smallish sticks, to make it easier to control the heat of the fire.
Reindeer carpaccio. Delicious.
Salmon carpaccio, also very tasty.
As was the game stew...
... and apple dessert.
Cardamom buns in the making.
Meanwhile, a small staff of others tested other stuff for the Saturday anniversary party, e.g. the 200 meter long rope course.
After the first five course meal, it was immediately time to prepare the next one. I picked some mushrooms for the mushroom soup appetizer.
Another five course meal finished. For some reason, nobody looks hungry anymore.
After a break of ten minutes or so, it is time to prepare the third meal.
Melting chocolate in a water bath...
... for dessert cookies.
Yet another excellent apple dessert.
We started a fire in the sauna at the other lake when it got dark.
The rest of the evening was spent in the sauna, interrupted by some swimming, and finally at the shelter before it was time to sleep.
The next morning was cloudy, but quite warm. For this night I had erected my tent.
Waiting for the morning coffee.
Making a cooking pit for the "robber's roast".
Our instructor, Peter from CS Deli Finland, goes through some stuff before the cooking starts,
And so it begins.
The char was to be baked on ember.
Bondost ("farmer's cheese).
Meanwhile the other preparations continued.
Baking bread in a reflector oven.
The char was excellent...
... as was the tomato soup.
The skewers were excellent with hollandaise sauce.
Freshly baked bread and bondost.
Yet another dessert.
Planning the dinner for 150 persons...
... that were expected to the Vigu 20 year anniversary party.
The cooking pit had been heated for four hours, time to put in the robber's roast.
Even more food.
Testing out the bread for the big dinner on Saturday.
Pancakes, the most noble outdoor food.
Paddling to Dan's car on the other side of the lake to help get another car back on the road.
When we got back it was dark and time to check the robber's toast after four hours.
Sauna and swimming followed and then some chilling by the fire before going to sleep.
Breakfast and planning of the day. Making food for 150 persons takes some planning and coordination of activities.
Five (dry) kg of quinoa being cooked.
Simo and Patricia had time to test the rope course.
Soon the guests started to show up.
Fred abandoned our merry gang for full-time studies at the Outdoor Academy, but turned up at the party.
He also plans to achieve guru status by standing on his head, but he still needs to support from his hands.
A simple but tasty lunch.
More people arriving.
Warming baby food.
The weather was ok.
Dessert in the making.
Checking the meat stew.
The roof of the shelter was popular among the kids.
My tent wasn't the only one in the forest.
Dinner at 18:30.
The bread is ready, but the stew needs some final adjustments.
Starting with a quinoa salad, which was really excellent.
Ingvar Krancher, who has held the survival courses for twenty years, came from Sweden for the occasion.
And then the dinner starts.
The dinner went smoothly, but the coffee took its time.
Ingvar held the speech.
Danni said some words and we had a silent minute for course mate Toni, who tragically died in a motorcycle accident a month earlier.
Eventually it was time for the anniversary movie. Twenty years of friendship, joy and adventure compressed into thirty minutes of excellent video.
A small firework show, succeeded by an excellent concert from a rowing boat.
Thus the evening went with socializing, sauna and so on.
Sunday morning was again sunny.
Breakfast for those who stayed overnight.
After having done my part with the dishes I started riding home. The 95 km back home went in just under four hours, probably because I this time had enough to eat during the ride.
This was another excellent course and it was fun all the time. The three-course dinner for 150 persons on Saturday was a good culmination of the cooking and it was nice to see that everything went well. I was quite inspired by this and currently I'm looking for a Muurikka type pan, the biggest one I can fit in the kayak. A reflector oven is also on my wishlist now.