12-7-16 Trip to the Nordkapp and back by Triumph Explorer, day 5

July 27, 2016  •  Leave a Comment
Day 5

Finland to the Nordkapp

290 miles


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After a nice nights sleep in the hotel and a relatively late start I wandered down for breakfast only to be told it was shut, turns out Finland is on a different time zone from Norway and Sweden.  
This was the first time it mattered.  When I went out to the car park there was only my bike and two cars left! Even the bus tours had gone before me.

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Hit the road about 10.30  I stopped in some random place for lunch, reindeer again. I'd decided I don't like them after my near miss yesterday so was trying to eat as many as possible.  

I worked my way north through Finland then cut East to the Norway border, there were a couple of sections of roadworks on the E6. The first one was ok, just a rough surface with a bit of gravel.  The second section was deep gravel that hadn't been compacted, the triumph was all over the place and I came close to dropping it a few times, eventually I had to put my feet down and walk it through the deepest parts.


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   As I rode north the views got better all the time, northern Norway is spectacular.   

The weather stayed dry and warm but was looking increasingly like rain so I made a booking for a hut on my phone near the Nordkapp. Judging by the booking websites I'd got the last one.


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I'd stopped for fuel (160 a litre, robbing bastards) and an ice cream to calm me down after the gravel when a familiar looking BMW k75 pulled in, I'd been talking to a member of the BMW forum online a few days earlier and had bumped into them at a random petrol station in northern Norway!   
One of the lads in their group had a Ducati with a very sorry looking numberplate and soft panniers. The pannier had shifted, rubbed against the wheel and caught fire! I found out later that the same bike needed tyres in Finland before having to be abandoned in Germany due to electrical issues.


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Nordkapp tunnel



I continued to head north stopping more and more frequently to take pictures of the spectacular views, then re overtaking the same busses each time.  

The weather stayed dry and the sun came back out so the afternoon was lovely and 16 degrees. I was kind of thinking that it might be nice to camp, but I had a hut booked.
I finally got to the campsite to find they'd double booked the hut, so I got to put up the tent instead. It wasn't a particularly nice campsite but I was there already and there was a restaurant. 
The "camping area" was just a slightly flatter area of long grass and gravel, I bent two pegs hammering them in.  

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Midnight! 

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I went the last 8 miles to the nordkap through amazing twisty roads that snake up the hills to the coast.  Then paid 30 quid to get in and five quid for a sticker. 
Got my photo with the monument in the sunshine by swapping cameras with a Swedish couple that were taking it in turns to get pictures of each other then headed back to camp to investigate dinner.   

It turned out the restaurant didn't actually sell food so it was looking like emergency noodle time when a nice Swedish couple asked me if I fancied some chicken.  
They were traveling by car but have bikes at home, we had a tasty meal and some of the havana club rum I brought, I ended up chatting with them for a couple of hours.  Then a crap shower and off to my chilly tent, that miraculously turned into a searingly bright oven by morning as the sun came round. 

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This was taken at 2.30am


I really struggled to sleep with 24 hour sunlight, I thought that working shifts for my entire working life would help but found that I just didn't feel tired at midnight when it was still sunny then kept waking up.

 

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