Day 41. 149km. Olderfjord – Nordkapp

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Cycling, Norway
Tags: , ,

Amazing light cycling at night up the Porsangen fjord, 5000km from Holland in the North Cape tunnel. And the North Cape where I was interviewed for norwegian TV. A fantastic day.

Day 41. 149km. Olderfjord – Nordkapp. Map and gpx.

I am infinitely more happy cycling at night away from the pilgrim trail feeling. I went to bed at 20:00. At 22:45 the ice cream van drove past playing its summery melody. Buses of tourists rolled in from everywhere. All going to the North Cape. At night they sleep. Except arctic-cycler.

I left at 1:30 at night. The sun was low in the sky, lighting up the roof of clouds with a beautiful glow.
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The wind was still, and the water was like a mirror. When I stopped, silence fell. Then I noticed the lapping of the waves and the distant calls of the seagulls. Birds would flap away, the wings slapping repeatedly on the water surface as they disappear into the distance. On the horizon, on the other side of the fjord, was a rugged silhouette, a darker orange than the sky in this morning light.

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The road passed through 2 tunnels where cyclists are kindly provided with fluorescent vests.

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All this drinking in nature’s beauty made me hungry. This must have been the most awesome view I had with a snack.

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As my goal got nearer, I realized that there was a chance that I would pass the 5000km mark inside the North Cape tunnel.
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I laughed with joy. The Gods are giving me today everything I could have ever wished for. Could it really happen? As the kilometres passed I realised it was more and more likely.

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And then the tunnel was in front of me. 4996km from Eindhoven, and the tunnel is 7km long. WOW! This is really happening!
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I passed 5000km at exactly the bottom of the tunnel. Exactly in the middle. As if I had calculated every last centimetre from Eindhoven so I would be here now.
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Oh no! My Web cam crashed. Here. At the one moment I really wanted it to film. Oh well. Nothing can dampen my euphoria.
5003km from Eindhoven I appeared out of the tunnel on Magerøya Island.
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And reindeers were everywhere.
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The 30km from Honningsvåg to Nordkapp are steep. And I mean steep. And long. And just when you reach the top, you go right down to the bottom again.
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The most northern point in Europe should be cold. It should be wet. And it should be a struggle to get there. You have to deserve it. Just for the North Cape, just for me, the sun left, the temperature dropped, and it started to rain. And the last climb was a killer. Metre by metre I crawled up the hill. The drizzle blew into my face as I panted and panted, traveling at 6km/h.

I flopped off my bike in front of the North Cape centre. A man came up to me and congratulated me. He pulled out a little hip flask and gave me a nip of vodka. I’ve deserved it.
And then, at the globe monument, there was a filming crew from norwegian television. Before I knew it, I was being interviewed in norwegian. (I used my broken Swedish.)

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Where had I come from? How far had I come? And why? I hadn’t expected to be on television. What a lovely surprise! The Gods really do like me.
It will be transmitted in http://www.nrk.no tonight at 22:30.
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I spent hours in the North Cape complex. I was over the moon.

I am staying in a little hut 13km from the North Cape. I’m really tired. It’s been a long and fantastic day.

Comments
  1. Thomas says:

    Congrats on reaching your goal! Great timing to get the 5kkm mark in the tunnel. It’s been a huge pleasure to follow you journey and to know I got to be an (at least a small) part of it.

    • Hey Thomas. Thanks! It was great meeting you and cycling with you. You really helped me a lot in the Finnish part of my trip. All the great tips and advice. 🙂
      Hope to see you in Holland sometime!

  2. Hasse#7 (happymtb) says:

    Congratulations! A stunning effort which many people would regard as impressive even reached by a car. You did it alone and by a heavily loaded bicycle. Respect! Goed gedaan!

  3. Peter says:

    Hi Matthew, I just returned from holidays, and was reading through your blogs: congratulations, a very impressive achievement!

  4. Sam says:

    Funny, I accidentally run into your blog while looking for a blog of a french guy who reached the Nordkapp that day. We actually must have met, both cycling in different directions. I reached the Nordkapp one day before you and left early the next morning from Honnigsvag in order to avoid too much traffic in the tunnels. I started my trip in Denmark and went up through Norway and back again through Sweden. I also remember these last 30 kilometers to be no giveaway whatsoever, but in the end it only added to the satisfaction of reaching the Cape. I had the luck to see the place on a pretty sunny day however (one of the few I had in Norway 🙂 ).

    • Hi Sam. Great to hear from you. Indeed, it was lovely weather until the afternoon when I arrived at the North Cape. I was really lucky most of the trip with amazing weather. On the Nordkyn peninsula and Varanger peninsula it was amazing.

      Keep on cycling! Enjoy!

      Matthew

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