Travel

Nordkapp – The true hell of the north!

40km there and 40km back to town and in that little 40km I’ve used more power and grunt and pushed my body harder than I did doing the Fred. This is truly brutal!

The roads in the dry patches are really great condition, not like you find many bits that aren’t covered in snow and ice mind. Long alpine climbs with one averaging 10% and the other 9%, that’s before the turn off to the single lane (shared by buses, cars and minibuses) which takes you to the Nordkapp point. When the road disappeared under a couple of inches of snow and you can’t see 25m ahead of your, the snow hitting your riding glasses turning to ice limiting your visibility, even at times hikeabiking it as there simply wasn’t an option. Mudguards solid with ice, rear mech becoming an icicle and my SPD’s becoming flats as ice formed in them and ceased working as clips. This was pushing me and me bike to the limits and setting a bar on how difficult rides can be to something I don’t want to approach ever again.

Reaching Nordkapp was a nice beacon in the blizzard. I couldn’t see much but I had made it. I couldn’t get closer to the famous globe statue as the snow was over 3ft deep so I simply thought sod it and let’s make camp. Putting the tent up wasn’t going to work as the ground was solid, even after digging down through the snow to it. Looked at maybe using the emergency blanket and hiding in the door way but in hidesight glad I didn’t. In the end I discovered the staff had left a door ajar into a smoking room for staff. It was closed off from the main building and wasn’t the most pleasant of smells but it was dry and warmer than outside.

Throughout the night the wind stepped up to gales and I could hear my hiding place getting battered. I woke a few times to throw up, this started on the boat which I put down to seasickness due to the big hits it was taking but came back in the night. I blammed dehydration and maybe over exertion on the huge 40km ride! Whatever the cause it wasn’t helping me any.

By the morning the weather was intermittent between blizzards and minor breaks with ice storms every so often. I woke to find 2ft of snow at the door. While putting my things together my staff had Nordkapp had arrived at and find to their surprise a Brit putting his camping things back together. Thankfully they weren’t too bothered which was nice, just a little surprised. Chatted to one about the road and he said it was fine. So off I went!

A couple of km in a hit a solid ice patch and went down very hard. After inspection tonight I’ve bruised my left side and skinned my knee, my helmet took a major whollop also when my head clobbered the ground. I damaged my left shifter but it’s still working and will be a job for James when I get home.

The road was truly brutal again, and mother nature decided to throw this works at me. Huge side winds, massive gusts, ice showers, blizzards, slush storms. My mudguards were solid ice once more, my mechs solid with ice. I might as well of been riding a fixie! A bit more hikeabiking and after another incredibly slow hell of a ride I make it to Honnigsvag.

By now my body was aching, suffering and I frankly needed a proper bed, a shower and a decent meal. From here on out everywhere is South and getting warmer days by day. The -5/-7C at Nordkapp is up to a possitively pleasant -2C after only 40km, and the locals are saying the weather is warming up this next week yay!

Inspecting my kit I’ve put a hole in a pannier, nothing major though. Put a hole in the knee of my fantastic Bontrager OMW (Old Man Winter) pants which I’ve been wearing over a set of Endura FS260 biblongs, and my insulin pump has eaten it’s way through my Endura Pro SL PrimaLoft Jacket sadly which I’ve been wearing over a Gore Windstopper base layer.

Time to get some rest, utterly drained but the dinner was good and very need. Roll on tomorrow!

Written on May 5th, 2019 by Allan