From Savona to Nordkapp
2 weeks of sleeping in a tent to conquer the north, all for a coffee at North Cape!
I set out from Savona on Saturday 07 May 2022, heading for the far north, on my Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport 2022, fully kitted out with GIVI’s Alaska set as well as a tent for camping at night and studded tyres, a must for tackling the Norwegian snows.
The first stop on my itinerary is Warsaw, one of Poland’s most beautiful cities.Naturally, I must cross Austria and Germany to get there, with incessant rainfall that leaves me with no choice but to set up my camp for the night as soon as I cross the German border. Better wet than out on the road in conditions like these!
Despite the adverse weather conditions (my boots are completely soaked!), I wake up at 6.30 a.m. and resume travel, reaching Wrocław at 7:50 p.m. Here I decide to keep going, beyond even Warsaw, to avoid Monday morning traffic. The dark, the ice and the fatigue of covering 1,300 km in a single day all made me stop for the night in a camp close to the border with Lithuania.
The aim of this first part of my Kap2Cap adventure was to sleep in the tent every night. Despite the inhospitable location, I pass a restful night and find myself back in the saddle early the next morning to continue my journey to the far north.Lithuania’s picturesque countryside and the gentle warmth of the sun allow me to concentrate on enjoying my motorcycle, which turns out to be incredibly agile and stable despite its significant load. I quickly reach Latvia, heading towards Riga.
The signposts for Moscow, 300 km away, remind me of my journey across that immense country in 2021.
I decide to stop early today, while there’s still light, and set up a wild camp in a splendid wood in the heart of Latvia, where I spend the night. Next stop: Tallinn, Estonia.The next morning, 10 May, I wake up to the warmth of the sunshine giving me the energy I need to make my way to the border with Estonia, and then to the city of Tallinn.
In the afternoon, I finally reach and cross the Norwegian border. I’m about 20 km from Alta, the largest settlement in Norway’s northernmost county, also known as the “city of the Northern Lights”. After a hearty meal, I’m back on the road. Then, with around 169 km left to Nordkapp, it starts snowing!
At midnight I reach the famous North Cape tunnel, 6,870 m long and at a depth of 212 m below sea level. On the other side of the tunnel, the landscape grows even whiter and more surreal. There are just 20 km separating me from my destination now, and there are more and more reindeer on the roadside (and on the road itself): they are the true masters of this land.After travelling 4,428 km from Savona, at 2 in the morning I reach the finish line: the monument dedicated to Europe’s northernmost point stands in front of me, shrouded in a sea of fog… After a brief pause to savour the moment, I immediately begin setting up my camp right in front of the observatory.
The next morning, everything is blanketed in snow… including my Africa Twin, which miraculously starts despite this.At 11:00 a.m. the observatory’s café finally opens, and I am able to get warm and enjoy my North Cape coffee before beginning the journey home.
I stop at the port here to purchase a ticket for myself and my motorcycle for Helsinki, in Finland.After struggling through the slow city traffic, never a favourite of mine, I make it out of the Finnish capital around 4:50 p.m. and, after a few hours immersed in Finland’s unspoiled nature, I stop in a forest for the night.I’m back in the saddle around 8:00 a.m. and, just a few hours later, I finally reach an important milestone on my journey: the Arctic Circle! There’s no mistaking where I am: the temperature drops relentlessly, but the landscape becomes more and more spectacular to make up for it. The rain finally gives way to a stunning sunset, which washes the roofs of the Finnish villages and the ice covering the river in hues of yellow and orange. The display lasts into late evening: I’m getting close now to my destination.
On Thursday 12 May, I wake up surrounded by snow in an idyllic scene. Next stop: a tyre shop.
As I watch the studded tyres go on, I wonder what it will be like to drive on the roads not yet covered with snow – it’s my first experience of this.
I’m now almost 4,000 km from home, and beginning to meet my first reindeer along the sides of the road: a very common sight here in the far north.
The time I have to spend in North Cape is already up: it’s been exactly one week since I set out, and my return journey begins by crossing the Lofoten islands and Sweden.
A few stretches of snowy road give me some concern, but fortunately snow and rain fade away after a few kilometres in a ray of light from the sky. The road is finally clear and dry, leading me to my next stop: Narvik, a charming town facing out on Ofotfjord, the starting point that will bring me to the Lofoten islands and the village of Å Lofoten.
Around midnight on Sunday 15 May, I stop for the night just outside Narvik.The next evening, in the village of Å Lofoten, I set up my tent and sleep: in the morning, I will take an early ferry to the town of Bodø, on a peninsula that juts out into the Saltfjorden, just north of the Arctic Circle. After 3 hours, I disembark in Bodø and set off for my next destination: Sweden!