Day 55. 69km. Kirkenes – Grense Jakobselv

Posted: August 1, 2013 in Cycling, Norway
Tags: ,

Up and down under the warm sun through wooded steep terrain to a beach at the edge of Europe.

Day 55. 69km. Kirkenes – Grense Jakobselv. Map and gpx.

I’ve come so far. The last road beckons. A road to the top eastern corner of the map. It runs to the coast, the last stretch along the Russian border. It ends at a deserted town called Grense Jakobselv. There is a deserted chapel there, and a lot of Russian and norwegian surveillance.

Writing this, I am lying on the beach at the end of Europe. The waves are lapping against the white sand. The eternal sun is shining in the blue skies, and it is warm. I guess it was around 24C today, and is probably around 20 now.

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I wasn’t really in Kirkenes yesterday but at the camping ground about 7km from Kirkenes. I made a little detour into the town to say hi before starting on the final road.

It was very hot cycling in the bright sun, and the road was very up and down. The scenery is now very different to further north. I am no longer in the Arctic climate area like around Vardø. There are lots of trees, and only the tops of the highest peaks are bare. Also, the land is much hillier. Not just steep climbs to flat, rocky plateaus. It is much more up and down and up again, and there are a lot of steep hills around.
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And the lakes are not little flat pools in slight dips on the plateau. They are like fjords in the mountainous landscape.
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I reached the top and then it was down into the Jakobselv Valley.

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The valley surprised me. It was massive. Almost vertical cliffs on both sides. No worries about people sneaking across the border. It would take a superhuman effort to leave the valley. The river itself is pretty small. Easy to wade across (if one wanted a visit from a border military guard).

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At the end of the road is a church and little else. Just the way I like it.
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A few campervans were huddled looking over the beach. My neighbours for the night. A nice sandy beach and a prefect spot to pitch a tent.

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I had a long afternoon at the beach. I got out my book for the first time, went swimming several times in the Arctic Sea, and fell asleep in the sun.

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My stove decided not to work, so it was sandwiches for dinner.

It was a long evening as the sun arced to the horizon and back, to the sound of the waves lapping up on the shore, and the seagulls calling.

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