Cycle trip 2013. Norway

Norway. The far north of Europe. The trees become more sparse and then disappear. Barren tundra plains and rocky fjord coastlines. My favourite kind of landscape. And the beauty and peace of the midnight sun. Part of my cycle trip from Eindhoven to the North Cape.

Previous country: Sweden
Next country: Home

Day 38. 205km. Leppäjärvi – Alta: What an awesome day. Night cycling alone in the sun on the Finnmarksvidda and following the Alta River down to the final big plunge to the coast. Arctic-cycler is happy cycling in the Arctic.
Day 39. 100km. Alta Canyon: Today was meant to be a rest day. Well, it wasn’t too restful, but possibly one of the most spectacular. A heavenly road through the high tundra plains to the Alta Canyon – the largest canyon in Europe.
Day 40. 103km. Alta – Olderfjord: Today was cold and bleek. It was a slog up to and across the tundra plateau with grey skies and varying winds and some rain. Sun is predicted for the night. Matthew is going night cycling again.
Day 41. 149km. Olderfjord – Nordkapp: 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 42. 22km. Nordkapp – Honningsvåg: 4 minutes with a Maserati to climb what took me an hour on the bike. The start of the walk to Knivsjelodden – the real northern most point of Europe. A walk through wind and fog to nice views of the North Cape.
Day 43. 90km. Havøysund – Olderfjord:Wind. Freezing. Grey. Tired.
Day 44. 66km. Olderfjord – Lakselv: Rain. Cold (not freezing like yesterday). Little wind, and what the was was a tailwind. With better weather forecasted from midnight onwards, I’ve stopped in Lakselv – the largest town for 100s of km, to sleep and have another midnight start.
Day 45. 133km. Lakselv – Bekkarfjord: Today I cycled towards the Sværholt peninsula to Veidnes. A 75km dead end road up a remote northern peninsula. Lovely views across the fjord. Coffee and cake with a friendly lady. Lunch with a breathtaking view over a tundra plateau. Organising a boat in the Veidnes community house. Crabbing in the fjord and camping in the 3rd most northern dairy in the world.
Day 46. 70km. Bekkarfjord – Mehamn: Last year when I was in Mehamn, I said I wanted to see this wonderful barren landscape with nice weather. Well, the Gods provided me with perfect weather. Man, it was spectacular.
Day 47. 27km hike. Kinnerodden: The northern most point of mainland Europe. In the sun and clear blue skies. Even warm enough for some tundra lake swims. A wonderful day.
Day 48. 95km. Berlevåg – Båtsfjord: Overdose of tundra. Overdose of nothing. Need people. Staying in the only town – Båtsfjord.
Day 49. 54km. Båtsfjord – Syltevikmyra: Cycle, boat and cycle – to the end of the earth. And it is beautiful.
Day 50. 12km hike and 50km cycle. Syltevikmyra – Vardø: A hike in paradise. My private valley. My private fjord. Sun. Warm. A smile in my heart. The smell of cloudberries on my fingers.
Day 51. 113km. Vardø – Vestre Jakobselv: I could have been cycling in Australia. Desolate plains – the mid north in South Australia. Then with trees – somewhere in New South Wales.
What was a sunny and warm day became exciting as the black clouds drew in.
Day 52. 78km. Vestre Jakobselv – Nuorgam: A cloudy, slow day, ending at the most northern point in the EU. Hello Finland!
Day 53. 96km. Nuorgam – Bugøynes: Today was wet, and warm. Grey and uninspiring until the weather really got erratic. On the back road to Bugøynes, I had a downpour and a beautiful rainbow.
Day 54. 96km. Bugøynes – Kirkenes: Vast open spaces. Sun. Heat. Flying salmon. Cheap groceries. Military zone. A lovely day’s cycling.
Day 55. 69km. Kirkenes – Grense Jakobselv: Up and down under the warm sun through wooded steep terrain to a beach at the edge of Europe.
Day 56. 130km. Grense Jakobselv – Holmfoss: My bike trip started with heat, and now, in the Arctic, it is ending with heat. Cycling and swimming in the bright sun, exploring the Russian border. Cycling along Pasvikdaken.
Day 57. 36km. Holmfoss – Kirkenes: Today was my last day cycling. A small stint in the sun to Kirkenes – where they are partying in the warm sun. It’s the city festival – to say goodbye to a tired and contented cycler.
Day 58. Eindhoven: I cried. Cycling leaving Kirkenes. It’s over. And the next adventure is in the planning.
Greeted at the airport by my wonderful friends. Welcome home to real summer. It’s hot here. Now night has fallen, and it’s dark!

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