6th April 2011
Gavin Shaw achieved his goal of riding to North Cape on an MZ which cost less than £150 to purchase and prep for the trip. But now he has to get home again...
The first day of the return trip is Norway's National Day and it seems the whole of Norway is either at a party or wearing national dress. I leave Honigsvegen by the same route I took on the way in - there's no other - and have to pay again for the pleasure of using their tunnel. The joke of having to pay to get out falls on stony ground and even the explanation (about having to pay to get into Wales but being allowed out for free) does not produce a glimmer of a smile!
I see fish eagles by the dozen diving for their breakfast, seals, arctic tern and the ever-present reindeer. It is truly a wonderful day especially as the whole trip is devoid of traffic and I have the most delightful of rides. I even stop for a sleep on one of the roadside picnic tables at the very summit of the Skuogglesassa range - excellent.
The day ends at my campsite with confusion; when I booked the owner took cards but now he demands cash so I ride back into town for some money. The owner is gone when I return so I decide to hit the sleeping bag: I've just dozed off when there's a thump on the tent and it's his business associate demanding payment. He's the only person I encounter on the whole trip who doesn't display open friendliness or is a delight to meet.
Next morning I'm packed and having coffee and a doughnut at the Statoil station by 7am. The larger petrol stations are a life-saver in these parts as they sell everything a traveller could want to sustain the body and maintain the machine. Buy a special cup and cap for approximately £15 when you first enter Norway or Sweden and enjoy free coffee for the rest of the year at Statoil stations.
385 miles and some seven hours later I arrive in Kalix, Sweden. I treat myself to a pizza: Swedish waitresses are stunning!
From here I make the second change to my planned itinerary. I was going to head into the centre of the country but, like Norway, it's expensive so I take the more direct and main E4 towards Stockholm. The weather starts to worsen and before I reach Stockholm it's throwing it down. I've ridden over 500 miles today and the fatigue of the trip is really hitting home hard. Combined with coming down from the high of reaching Nord Kapp, I'm finding this leg of the trip difficult.
Next episode: will the MZ make it back to Blighty in one piece?...
|Like this page? Share it with these buttons:|
Like what you see here? Then help to make RealClassic.co.uk even betterBack to the Rides menu...
Bikes | Opinion | Events | News | Books | Tech | About | Messages | Classified | Directory
© 2002/2005 The Cosmic Motorcycle Co. Ltd / Redleg Interactive Media
You may download pages from this site for your private use. No other reproduction, re-publication, re-transmission or other re-distribution of any part of this site in any medium is permitted except with the written consent of the copyright owner or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.