Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

To the end of the world

By Stuart Lowe on

The Hurtigruten arrived in Mehamn harbour a little late. There were three of us getting on. It was like a ghost ship but then it was 1am. I sat in a lovely comfy chair on the viewing deck and drifted between sleep and worrying that I'd missed my stop. At 5.30 we pulled into Honningsvåg and bus loads of tourists disembarked to visit Nordkapp. I was the only bike getting off but not the only bike visiting the Cape today.

I headed out of town and cooked myself two eggs and porridge (separately) by the side of a fjord. Then, about 8am, I headed up the road to Nordkapp. Up was the right word. There were a series of 200-300m climbs along the 25km road with snow and clagg above 200 or so metres again. This road was much busier than the past few days as camper vans, cars, and buses made their way to a point notable for being the northern-most point of Europe.

The final 1 km had a big drop down to the ocean on the side. The exposure made me stick to the middle of the road in case of a gust of wind. Riding up the final 500m took me to a ticket booth where I was waved through because I'd arrived by a sustainable means of transport (it is free for walkers too). I headed to the globe monument and got a picture of my bike. I've taken its picture next to quite a few landmarks now.

landscape
Nordkapp

I went into the visitor centre to warm up and dry off. Every layer of clothes was wet either from sweat or rain. I had an expensive cup of coffee and a plate-sized waffle. Then I visited the shop and panic bought a new waterproof jacket as mine is no longer doing the job (the past 24 hours have sure been expensive). I then went to watch the panoramic film about Nordkapp and visited the exhibition. Having somewhere to warm up at the end of the world was very welcome even if I didn't really dry out.

Eventually I had to venture back out into the cold but now with an extra jacket. On the way back I knew what to expect of the road so it felt easier. At the end of the tough section, a few km from Honningsvåg, I decided to stay in a campsite. It was expensive (210 NOK as it is in tourist land) but every piece of clothing I had seemed to be wet and I wanted the use of a dryer. I had really overspent today.

I dried my clothes (20 NOK) and made full use of the kitchen. I chatted with a couple from The Netherlands who had cycled all the way from home.

I may not have cycled far today but at least I was now warm, dry, and fed.