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Näytä tavallinen näkymä : A route through northern Scandinavia



Pau-i-amor
12.12.2013, 22.33
First at all, sorry I do not speak Finnish.

I introduce myself. My name is Pau Valls, I'm 50 years old and I'm an active member in Warmshower list and Rodadas.net 's Forum (user Pau-i-amor). I would ride in northen Scandinavia the second half of june (2014). I would spend 15 days -completely daylight- riding upper the polar circus, an amazing sensation for a mediterranean guy as I :cool:. My first idea: I could begin at Nordkapp and ends at Rovaniemi (FI), but is not definitive.


I don't know what are the nicest routes in this area. And I'll be pleased to ride with other cycletourist if someone takes a similar route.

I would be very grateful if you can provide me some information on the area. Otherwise, I'll be very happy to give you all the information you need about my country, Catalonia, on the north-est of Spain. I use to ride on the Pyrenees mountains, Costa Brava, Barcelona surrounds, Camino de Santiago's route, Pirinexus's route, etc...

Thanks in advance!

Regards.

Pau

JackOja
13.12.2013, 08.57
Have you already noticed this nice blog from Arctic Cycler: http://arctic-cycler.com/

arctic-cycler
13.12.2013, 22.31
Hi there Pau.
You have chosen a great place to cycle. I love the arctic - the amazing raw, barren landscape, and the eternal sun. I cycled from Holland to the North Cape (http://arctic-cycler.com/biking/eindhoven-nordkapp-kirkenes-2013/) this year, and then meandered around the northern peninsulas for two weeks. Last year I cycled from the Lofoten Islands in Norway up to the North Cape (http://arctic-cycler.com/biking/bodo-nordkapp-norway-2012/), along the Norwegian coast.

I guess the best route depends on what you are looking for. Heading directly south from the North Cape you reach Alta, and then pass into the Finnmarkse Vidda (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/15/day-38-205km-leppajarvi-alta/). That is an amazing place to cycle at night. A wide, open landscape with hills on the horizon, and lots of little lakes. In northern Sweden and Finland (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/13/day-36-189km-anttis-karesuando/), there are vast expanses of forests. Cycling at night is so peaceful. You are alone on the road with nature, cycling through an eternal sunset. Once you leave the coast, once the wind stops, you are at the mercy of the mosquitos. Bring head to toe covering, and a full body net for when you need to go to the toilet! :-)

Cycling along the Norwegian coast is an absolute must. The fjords are beautiful with amazing steep cliff faces falling into the sea. My favourite part of the norwegian coastline is between Moskenes on the Lofoten Islands and Tromsø. The Lofoten Islands themselves (http://arctic-cycler.com/2012/07/10/day-2-orsnesvika-stokmarknes-100km/), Andøya island (http://arctic-cycler.com/2012/07/12/day-4-froskeland-andernes-127-km/), and Senja island (http://arctic-cycler.com/2012/07/13/day-5-andernes-ersfjord-80-km/) are a amazing. On the other side of the North Cape (to the east), I love the Nordkyn peninsula (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/23/day-46-70km-bekkarfjord-mehamn/) (with Mehamn a nice place to stop), and the Varanger Peninsula (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/27/day-50-12km-hike-50km-cycle-syltevikmyra-vardo/).

If your endpoint is to be Roveniemi, then I would recommend cycling south from the North Cape to Olderfjord and then Lakselv, north up the Nordkyn peninsula to Mehamn, catch the Hurtigruten to Berlevåg, and follow the route I took to Vardø. I would then catch the Hurtigruten to Kirkenes and then head south through Finland. That way you see some of the nicer fjords, and cycle through some nice forest in Finland.

I wish you all the best! The planning is a lot of the fun, and cycling there is a dream.

I am about to make the plunge to leave my job and cycle from Holland to Australia (where I am from). A 2 year trip. I must admit that I am scared - and excited at the same time.

All the best!

Matthew (arctic-cycler)

Pau-i-amor
14.12.2013, 15.20
Thanks JackOja and thanks Matthew for your soon anwer!

Matthew, I just read the plan route you suggest me. I think it's a good idea to begin at Alta, continuous to Lakselv, Mehamm, Berkevag and finisth at Rovanieni. I see mix ride-a-bike and ship it will be a good plan. I have some questions:

1.- Could you tell me what's the prevailing wind in this area on summer?
2.- Then, is better to ride east-to-west or west-to-east?
3.- May I keep any caution about the wildness animals? Except mosquitos ;-) My wife is afraid I'll became a bear lunch. ;)
4.- What you think about visit NordKapp? It's a fake place, full of buses and tourist on the season?

If you make the plunge and will ride from Holland to Australia, please, visit me at Catalonia (Spain) I'll be pleased to show you the desert areas in Spain as Monegros, Teruel Mountains, Bierzo, etc... I just sent you a PT.

At last, are anybody planing to visit this area next summer?

perttime
14.12.2013, 15.44
As for the wildlife... lots of people go backpacking up there, spending their nights in tents. Nobody ever seems to get eaten by bears or wolves. If you are very lucky, you might see one. Most likely you won't. Many take the precaution of leaving their foodstuffs outside the tent or cabin, so a bear doesn't have to come inside, looking for your steak or sausages. The mosquitoes are not dangerous but they can make life pretty uncomfortable.

For driving, reindeer - and in Norway, sheep - are something to look out for. On a bike you are slow enough not to hit those.

Halloo halloo
14.12.2013, 16.54
Friends who have visited Lapland often say that this stuff, Off Punkki- ja märäkäkarkote, is best for insects:
http://www.scandinavianoutdoorstore.com/muut-retkeilytarvikkeet/sekalaiset-retkeilytarvikkeet/punkki-ja-makarakarkote-suihke/

Matti Heikkinen
14.12.2013, 18.56
Nordkap is big bluff for fool turists,Northernmost point of Europ is in Svalbad and continents nothernmost point Kinnarodden between Kjöllefjord and Mehamn,not possible go by bicycle.I have been walking and cycling in Lappland 40 years sleeping in tent,never seen bear,they are very shy.

arctic biker
14.12.2013, 19.23
Many take the precaution of leaving their foodstuffs outside the tent or cabin, so a bear doesn't have to come inside, looking for your steak or sausages.
In my 26 years trekking in Lappland; Norway, Sweden and Finland, I have never seen bear and never ever heard that somebody takes his food inside or hanging from wood. Total bullshit!

All local shops carry insect repellants, my favourite is normal Off, both Roll-on and Spray.

arctic-cycler
14.12.2013, 20.32
Hi Pau,
In general the wind is from the north. Last year cycling from the Lofoten to the North Cape, it was very strong and always a head wind (strongest on the Lofoten Islands). This year it was more variable, but was more often from the north. As far as the wind goes, you can go from east to west or west to east - it shouldn't make much of a difference. The winds on Magerøya (where the North Cape is) can be brutal, and it is very steep. Still, it is well worth cycling to the North Cape, even though it is a tourist trap. It was the destination of my trips, and I always felt a great sense of achievement getting there. Cyclists get in for free, too..

The northernmost point on Magerøya (which is an island) is not the North Cape but Knivskjellodden (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/19/day-42-22km-nordkapp-honningsvag/) (near the North Cape). It is a 9km one-way walk from the carpark near the North Cape to this point. It has a lovely view out over the North Cape. The most northern point on mainland Europe (not on an island) is Kinnerodden (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/24/day-47-24km-hike-kinnerodden/) which is 23km one-way walk from Mehamn. It is rough but beautiful terrain. I was lucky enough to see it in amazing weather. You should be an experienced hiker to do this, or go with a tour. There is one public tour each year which happens when the Mehamn town festival is on. I was lucky enough to be in Mehamn on this day. For more information on this, I recommend contacting Expedition Earth (http://www.expedition-earth.com/en/)in Mehamn. They are very helpful, and lovely people there. Svalbard (http://arctic-cycler.com/hiking/svalbard-norway-2012/) is indeed the northernmost point in Europe, part of it crossing 80 degrees North.

I don't think you need worry about bears or other wild animals. Just the mosquitos once you leave the coast. But, we've talked about that before.. :-)

One other point, the route I took on the Varanger Peninsula involved a private boat trip (http://www.arctictourist.no/) from Syltefjord to Hamningberg. It was a cool ride (but expensive), and the road from Hamningberg to Vardø is very beautiful - well worth doing. Also, I recommend the walk I did in Syltevikmyra. (http://arctic-cycler.com/2013/07/27/day-50-12km-hike-50km-cycle-syltevikmyra-vardo/) That may have been the highlight of my whole trip.

All the best planning!! :-)

Matthew

Pau-i-amor
11.10.2014, 22.40
Hello folks!

Excuse me: I forgot to say thanks to everybody who helped me to planing this trip!

I would like to share this experience with you. It's wrote in Spanish.

http://www.rodadas.net/foro/topic/laponia-en-solitario-hace-muchos-anos-que-esperaba-esto

If anybody wants to ride on the north-east of Spain, please, contact with me, and I try to help you.

valls dot pau (a) gmail dot com

Halloo halloo
11.10.2014, 23.46
^ Jolly good.

perttime
12.10.2014, 11.43
Looks like you had a good adventure!