Friday 13th of July 2012 - NORTH CAPE
Day 42 - Skipsfjord - North Cape (26 km)
26 km were left on the very last day. Still 2 climbs of above 300 m had to be done.
My frst attempt failed to reach the Cape one day earlier and I was happy to reach the North Cape Camping at 06:30 am. After riding through the night, I pitched the tent, put the laundry in the washing machine, had breakfast, waited until 9am to register and went straight to bed...man what a day! The photo is from next morning. Instead of drizzle it was probably the warmest day I had so far! Waking up at 02:45am in the night with Sauna like temperature in the tent I had to get out for a short cooling down. But as compensation I could wear short trouwsers and a light shirt, it was meant to be a perfect finish.
The winding road to the Cape. Luckily not very busy in the morning & clear views on the island.
Peter Jackson could have easily taken his shots for Mordor here on this barren land.
The last few hundred metres straight to where the land ends. Cyclists do not have to pay entrance fee in recognition of their efforts. So I was going for a sprint at last.
WHAT A RELIEVE!!!
Being nearly the only one at this time up here at 300 m height I reached the end of the tour. After arriving at the place that was so often in your mind, that seemed sometimes too far too reach, too unreal to accomplish after I got problems with my knee in the beginning, it felt too good to be true.
To be honest there were some tears of joy, sadness and the relieve of a heavy burden lifted from my shoulders. Staring at this vast ocean with nothing than the horizon at its farthest ends I shouted as hard as I could into the wind (scaring some tourists ;-)) to the North Pole (btw still 2100 km from here). After all I had to take the picture with my Kona(n) (the bike) that did its best to bring me here! In fact, the bottom bracket was getting worse day by day nowand I was feeling it cracking when going up-hill like moling on broken bones and it is now up for getting replaced back home.
Some people were asking me how I looked like without the hat, helmet & scarf after 6 weeks of cycling. My hair grew quite a bit & not shaving the last few days resulted in a nice orange moustache ;-) By the way this is the only beer (about 4€ in the supermarket!) I bought in this time & was my celebration drink!
Coordinates of the North Cape. To be fair, there is another rock next to it that is some hundred metres further North and can only be reached by hiking.
Since it was perfect midnight-sun weather I stayed until 1:30 at the Cape to watch this strange phenomenon. I put my bike next to the most touristic spot in Norway to finish my fundraising-tour, hoping on the willingness of some of the tourists.
There were quite a few people interested and impressed & some of them even donating to the conservation project in the Philippines. In the end of the day I counted 185 €!!! What a great contribution! Thanks a lot North Cape tourists!
At 01:00 am just after the lowest position of the Midnight Sun. Most people left after 12pm, leaving the place to small number of Midnight-Sun enthousiasts. There were a bunch of other cyclists from Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic who offered some of their self-made Slibovice ;-) Thanks guys!
Stonehenge-like Camping site at the Cape. Not very soft and not easy to get the herrings into the ground...after 4 hours, it was getting really windy up here & so I decided to call it a night and prepare for departure.
2 hours later a rather normal day at the Cape. Gusty winds, low visibility and pretty cold. Luckily I loaded all the gear before.
It is now here at the Visitor Centre where I look back at a fantastic trip, this beautiful-awe-inspiring landscape, meeting so many nice & inspiring people on the road and getting so much support from back home & of course supporting the fundraising for the invaluable work in the Philippines, I feel very much grateful for every moment in the last 43 days & 4074 km on the road.
I hope I could give something back by writing this Blog and who knows support one of you guys in the near future!
Some special thanks in the end to all the nice warmshowers hosts. First of all Stan in Gol who kept me riding by donating the new crank to the project which was working perfectly fine until the end! Mihai & Anna in Trondhjem helping me finding the ways through the concrete jungle, all the best for your big dream cycling around the world! And of course Vincent in Tromsö, where I stayed 2 nights and felt very much at home.
Thanks also to Ronald & Klaas who were so kind to allow me to take a 2 month lasting vacation for doing this trip!
And last but not least, thank you to everybody who supported the fundraising financially! You all contributed to make a positive change for conserving our earth's natural heritage, our only insurance for our own survival on this fragile planet earth.
All the best!