"PhilinCon is a non-profit nong-governmental organization dedicated to help protect and preserve the remaining forests and endangered species of the Philippines, particularly those located in Panay Island, home to many of the world’s highly endangered plants and wildlife."

PhilinCon on FundRazr

Samstag, 14. Juli 2012

NORTH CAPE - Friday 13th of July 2012

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 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.

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!


Donnerstag, 12. Juli 2012

8th - 12th of July 2012

The Final Road

Day 38 - Tromsö - Spakenes (101 km)
Day 39 - Spakenes - Langfjorden (134 km)
Day 40 - Langfjorden - Skaidi (165 km)
Day 41 - Skaidi - Skipsfjord (130 km)

The closer you get to the North Cape the more eager you are to reach it. I knew the last 3 days I had to travel on the busy E6 on which all the tourists (a caravan of busses, campervans & motorbikes) would go, so I decided to take another two night rides, with facing hardly any traffic and again amazing light sceneries, reindeer herds crossing the roads, the Sea Eagles flying above your head and the Arctic Fox hiding from you.
But still I had to get on the Island Mageroya, where the North Cape is situated. Connected by a tunnel of 7 km length which is going down to 212 m it is an intense experience. I was already warned by other cyclists that one should better take the bus during the daytime, but since it was 03:15 in the night I just tried my luck.
In fact I tried to reach the Cape today, but after doing 130 km with a lot of headwinds, rain and hilly terrain, it was getting difficult not to fall asleep.
Now only 26 km remain to complete the tour through this "Mordor"-like landscape, with no trees in this unfriendly environment. Tomorrow I will give it a try to reach what you thought & dreamed so many times of, the North Cape. And of course on a lucky date! Friday the 13th ;-)
Yet I don't know what to expect, except for a 300 m tall mountain plateau with strong winds and probably a bunch of tourists. Cycling today to the supermarket did cost a lot of strength, even though it was only 4 km, it seems the night rides & the last weeks are virtually in your bones and your body seem to know that it more or less can relax from tomorrow onwards...

Day 38 - Tromsö - Spakenes (101 km)

Oystercatcher eggs well camouflaged.

Waiting for the last ferry. On the background the highest mountains in Northern Norway.

Actually I wanted to camp between some bunkers...but the way up there was to steep, but this was a quite nice alternative as well.

Day 39 - Spakenes - Langfjorden (134 km)

As it was getting late this day and I still wanted to go on I decided to cook on one of the few wind sheltered spots, in this case a bus stop. And I found myself lucky to share a soup and some stories...

with Christian from Neu-Münster heading to Murmansk! Great meeting you. Have a good ride and good fun in Russia!

Great campsite you might think...after having put up my tent, being very tired, I noticed something must have died from the direction where the wind was coming from...did you ever smelled a roadkill? This was about the same sensation ;-) Anyways I was too tired to move everything again.

Day 40 - Langfjorden - Skaidi (165 km)

Interesting transport means. I thought this caterpillar was already awesome! But then I saw the sleigh! SO COOL!

This was during the 2nd night ride. I wanted to cross the high Fjell-plateau (60 km length) during the night, when winds are less strong. Up there, you can not run for cover.

Fog lights switched on? Check!

For the rest it was an awesome ride, with the setting/rising sun. Bad idea - make too many stops for taking photographs. Good idea: Bring two pair of gloves & lots of hot coffee ;-)

After riding through a night without sleep I feel heavily deformed in the morning.

 Day 41 - Skaidi - Skipsfjord (130 km)
WOW! Some people just go on a tractor pulling their little house to the Cape at about the same speed as the average cyclist ;-)

Oh yeah thanks for reminding that the windy parts just start from here for the next odd 73 km...before of course there was hardly any wind...yeah right!

One of the things that I still can't get into my mind...rainbows at 01:00 am, this time actually they were due to rain, which got me about 5 min later.

The tunnel under the Sea my worst nightmare took about 40 min. Getting down to the bottom with 9% went fast the climb up I had to get off the bike & walk. The bad air inside the tunnel, even though it was 03:15 during the early morning & there were only 2 cars and the idea of having 200 m of Arctic Ocean above your head are kind of creepy. Back I will definitely go hitch-hiking.

Having reached the island Mageroya, the landscape changed dramatically to no trees and grassy harsh mountains. Hard to imagine living here some months without having any light at all. The so far most hostile and unfriendly place I have ever seen. Some 26 km more & I will have reached the destination. If you look on the map you can see there is one point that is even further north and can only be reached by walking. 

I will write one more time after I have reached the North Cape. I appreciate very much all the nice things, words, messages & support for the fundraising from everyone.
Cu all soon!


Sonntag, 8. Juli 2012

1st - 7th of June 2012

After 540 km the last days it is still 620 km through the arctic desert.

Going through the Lofotes, Vesterolen & Senja, I avoided the busy main land but added some more kilometres.

Instead of following my guidebook I took the route that Norwegian cyclists recommended me, which probably added some more kilometres to the total picture, but were totally worth doing considering the landscape, calm roads and not knowing what you would discover.

Day 31 - Moskenes - Unstad (95 km)
Day 32 - Unstad Beach - Resting Day
Day 33 - Unstad - Fiskebol (105 km)
Day 34 - Fiskebol Andenes (180 km)
Day 35 - Andenes - Gryllefjord (13 km)
Day 36 - Gryllefjord - Tromsö (134 km)
Day 37 - Tromsö - Resting Day

Day 31 - Moskenes - Unstad (95 km)

Arriving in Moskenes. Misty mountains in a land far away. The next morning the island was still veiled in clouds putting these sky rocketing mountains into a mystic atmosphere.

Actually it should have been my resting day, but knowing that tomorrow would be rainy I decided to continue for one more day. Still I found time to explore Mr. Larson's, who was a big trader in dried fish, to visit his neat little museum surrounded in a fish-smelling environment.

This is the basis for the existence of early settlements and still is a big income factor, dried cod fish. You find it in many places on the Lofotes and the smell of drying fish is all around you. Even for me sometimes a little bit too much, esspecially if you are looking forward having something sweet for a change. The heads are actually exported to Nigeria for a national dish, served with pumpkinseeds & cassave mash. 

The weather changes so quickly here, that an islander said: "You know at the end of the day what kind of weather you have ...very much true. It felt like the Roman proverb, that the sky would fall on your head.

Due to the museum visit I was late on the road so I decided at 10pm to give it a try to watch the midnight sun, heading for the beach at Unstad.

I have never seen a rainbow at 00:30 in the night and in fact there was no rain at all that day. It probably is the angle of the sun on the horizon or if anybody has any other reasonable explanation please email me!

Arriving at Unstad beach I found the midnight sun just being behind these cliffs & clouds...1st try failed, but still a fantastic view.

Day 32 - Unstad Beach - Resting Day

The whole day it was pouring down, so it was the perfect day to sleep, make some buckwheat pancakes and  above all don't use your legs...

Day 33 - Unstad - Fiskebol (105 km)

Today I was looking forward to visit the Viking Museum at Borge on the Lofoten Islands (, one of the best museum I ever visited! Here they found the largest Viking house in Norway & Europe which was reconstructed together with a Viking ship.

There was an open fire with soup boiling in the main hall. The detailed reconstruction & the staff in Viking garments were completing a perfect illusion.

A Viking boat which could transport 100 men. You could even row the boat on the lake....

but instead I chose for testing my viking skills, throwing metal axes ;-)

So far north and still orchids along the road. Any orchid expert here? ;-)

 Day 34 - Fiskebol Andenes (180 km)

 One of the so many Curlews (Großer Brachvogel) staring down at me. Funny looking birds.

After taking the ferry to Melbu, I had a wonderful morning trip on a totally deserted road with great views.

Due to the perfect weather I wanted to make another try to see the midnight sun, actually the 3rd try...I would travel for some hours along the West-Coast of the island Andoy with potentially ideal views to the setting sun. After 12 hours on the road I stumbled on this out for elephants! It really made me doubt for a second if my eye-sight-brain connection was still functional ;-)

Around 8pm'ish. Still 5 hours for the lowest position of the sun.

So this night I decided not to sleep at all but instead cycle through the night taking photos of the midnight sun.  And indeed this is an intense experience, pure beauty!

It seems you can get a sunburn too from it ;-)

This was at 01:00 am the lowest position reached. It does get quiet cold then, but on the other hand there is also less wind...after having headwinds most of the day I was glad to cycle in this calm conditions during the night. 

Day 35 - Andenes - Gryllefjord (13 km)

Arriving at 3:30 am in Andenes I had to wait 5 hours for the ferry leaving to Gryllefjord where I would take the first suitable camp spot and sleep for the rest of the day.... On the ferry I met these 2 guys from Serbia also travelling to the North Cape (have a look on their blog: They are now in front of me, I hope I will meet them at the Cape! 

Gryllefjord & the Island Senia, a very beautiful part of Norway and less touristic than the Lofoten. The ferry was an old style boat riding the waves & jumping up and down.... a bit too much for having after breakfast.

Arriving totally exhausted after riding 193 km without sleeping, I put up the tent on this nice ridge & as I did some hours later it started to rain throughout the night...just on time...I slept 16 hours....

Day 36 - Gryllefjord - Tromsö (134 km)

And suddenly the road ended in the sky! :-) Nice artwork & viewing platform on Senia. Amazing view!

What a good & simple solution for bike safety. Before going into a tunnel you push the button & the lamp will flash warning drivers!

Day 37 - Tromsö - Resting Day

One of the greatest outdoorsmen and Norwegian national hero Roald Amundson.

In Tromsö I took a ride around the city, beautifully set on an island and surrounded by snow covered mountains, it is one of the most impressive locations for a town. For a half year you can go skiing here, where everything is covered in snow. I visited the Polar Museum, a great museum esspecially if you are interested in the polar explorations of Nansen & Amundsen with many original artefacts.

My warmshowers' host Vincent having breakfast together. Even though he had to work as a doctor in the ER-department of the hospital, the last evening we had a great BBQ with friends of him, with chocolate bananas & pineapple. Yummy!