11-7-16 Trip to the Nordkapp and back by Triumph Explorer, day 4

July 27, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
Day 4

Finland and the arctic circle

350 miles

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An early start to the day in bright sunshine with 17c at 6am.  




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I was still pretty tired after 3 night of broken sleep.  After packing up the tent and my gear I moved the bike a fee feet forward to get it a bit more level and easier to get onto but in doing so I lost my footing on the wet gravel at the same time as the stand caught on the ground and folded back up.  

The fully loaded bike began to fall towards me and I could feel the weight build as it moved away from vertical. I managed to jam my knee under the fuel tank and stop it dropping any further, then muscled it back upright.
I'm  not a small bloke but it took a lot of effort to do. The fully loaded bike probably weighs somewhere over 300kg.    

The road to the border was a mix of single and dual with barriers to stop the traffic colliding. Frustrating when you want to overtake the car in front.



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Once over the border I headed north on some lovely sweeping bends. Twice I've come across sections of the road that can be used as runways in emergencies, huge long straight parts that are at least 6 lanes wide, these areas were just on normal 2 lane roads so came as a bit of a surprise. on the first section I started to wonder if I was supposed to be there as it felt like I'd ridden onto an airfield. 


Lots of reindeer today. They're properly stupid, one crossed the road in front of me three times before deciding it was happy with that side.  

On the plus side the number of biting insects had dropped to a more survivable level. A lot of people had told me that Finland would be the worst for insects but the forests of Sweden had proved to be even more populated by the little buggers.


Weather was good until the last hour or so, it kept getting warmer as I went north. 22 at the Arctic circle tourist rip off centre!  

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I met a bloke in a triumph tiger 800 there. As I pulled in he asked me if I was British (he'd seen the numberplate) it turned out that he's from Edinburgh,  about an hour and a half from my home in Aberdeen and is taking a similar route through norway. We might meet up again later in the trip.  


After leaving the centre i could see the dark clouds building but it was still 22c and sunny, I stopped at a place advertising very good food on a big sign, then after looking inside had a Pepsi and filled the bike up instead.  

The roads up here are great, wide with big areas either side of them so you can see the reindeer. I took a detour after looking for places to eat on the nav and ended up having a lovely reindeer stew for lunch. That'll teach them!  Eventually I caught up with the weather and rode on wet roads in brilliant sunshine for about 50 miles before rain for the last hour or so.   

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During the heavy rain I had a near miss with a reindeer running across the road, it was moving far faster than any I had seen so far. I saw it run out of the trees to my right and I hit the brakes, then had to get off the brakes and swerve hard onto the other side of the road. I missed it by a couple of feet at most while still doing around 50mph.
I had a quiet moment to myself afterwards. Karma for lunch?  

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350 miles for the day and I decided to stay in a hotel to escape the rain. I picked one I with lots of bikes outside, this turned out to be a fairly poor way of picking hotels.   The room is decorated like it was done in the 70s.  In Russia. 
The shower was one of the random hot/cold type, almost like trying to crack a safe.

  I went for a wander around Saariselka in the evening to see all the santa crap.  

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