Day 48. 95km. Berlevåg – Båtsfjord

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Cycling, Norway
Tags: ,

Overdose of tundra. Overdose of nothing. Need people. Staying in the only town – Båtsfjord.

Day 48. 95km. Berlevåg – Båtsfjord. Map and gpx.

It might be the weather. It is definitely the lack of concrete goal. But more than anything, it is the wild barren nature that is friendly in bright sunshine, and which looks menacing and strong when the clouds pull across, a chill comes into the sun, and a cold wind starts blowing.

This morning it was foggy and there was a chill in the air. I was in no hurry to leave. My boat from Syltefjord to Hamningberg is tomorrow at 1700. I ate a slow breakfast, did some minor shopping, and got some cash. Finally I had to leave and fought through the fog against the strong head wind.

At odd moments, the sun came out and it looked friendly.

And then the clouds descended, and I no longer felt welcome.


I had two main courses for lunch in Kongsfjord, waiting for the forecasted improvement in the weather.

As I left Kongsfjord, the fog lifted and the sun came out. The scenery looked nice, but, for me, today, it felt threatening.



It’s a mind set. I didn’t want to camp on the bald and barren fjells. The weather can turn in a blink of an eye.



Then I passed to a high point on the tundra plateau. I could see for miles over the vast expanse of fjell of the Varanger Peninsula.

It’s not really visible in the photo. The rolling fjell landscape was really just on the horizon. It looked amazing. Parts lit briefly as the sun moved between dark clouds. It looked barren. No grass. White or light coloured rock. I saw higher mountains in the distance. I was attracted to it, but I feared it at the same time.

Today the fear won over. I wanted 4 walls and a warm bed. I wanted a town. I’ve had an overdose of arctic landscape. Being out in at on the bike made me feel vulnerable, and tonight I wanted safety.

  1. AndrewGills says:

    That is a totally understandable feeling.

  2. Martin in Wales says:

    Hi Matthew – Just left a message on your 2012 Norway trip blog. Would like to know how you arranged the boat trip to Hamningberg, if you’re willing to share some info. I rode from Berlevag to Tana Bru back in 2011. The coastal section was very special, while the ride over the top was blowy, scary and magnificent on the descent. Am hoping to return to northern Norway during summer 2014, and like the look of that short cut (of sorts) between Hamningber and Batsfjord. By the way, did you see the WW2 German fortress and the abandoned tank near Kongsfjord? I have another question that I won’t ask here, so perhaps you could drop me a line at my email address. (I’ll also share some images with you, if you’re interested. Don’t have a blog of my own….) Happy planning for your big trip in 2014. Some years ago, while riding in British Columbia, I came across the inimitable Claude Marthaler – an inspiration to all long-distance cyclists! Check out

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