Reader Ride-Nordkapp, Norway: An Irishman at the Top of Europe

Text: Gerry Casey • Photography: Gerry Casey

Nordkapp (North Cape) has been a mystical place for me since I was a boy. I remember 
reading a book about a car journey from North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. It was probably written in the early ‘50s. I never dreamed then that I would travel there myself by motorcycle just weeks away from my 70th birthday.

Dublin – Oslo – Köping, Sweden

Saturday, July 17, is “D” day. Having checked in online, I derive great pleasure passing the queue. My luggage is packed on the bike, so I’m only carrying a small haversack. I join Peter, a fellow biker on the same trip, and while chatting, we arrive at Rygge Airport in no time. There, we share a taxi with Walter, another biker, to meet up with Derek at the shipping truck. In little more than an hour after arriving in Oslo we are heading east toward Sweden. Unfortunately, after traveling 250 miles, and with darkness falling, the campsite we try is fully booked. We ride on to Köping and get a room at the Best Western. Luckily, we just check in and the heavens open.

Köping – Umea, Sweden

The sun wakes us early, and we pack the bikes around 6 a.m. Breakfast isn’t until 8, so we make our way down to a petrol station nearby to fill up the bikes first. The plan is to head north along the Swedish coast, taking our time and enjoying the spectacular scenery. We travel up the E4 and pass through Sundsvall, and we wait for Derek to catch up before moving on to Umea. We get a cabin at a campsite there for approximately each. The food is good, and there are great facilities for children.

Umea – Vittangi, Sweden

Leaving Umea at 8 a.m., we are back on the E4 until we arrive in Tore where we hit E10 to Vittangi. Well into our journey, we have passed the 1,000-mile mark and reach the Arctic Circle. We take it as a good omen when we sight our first reindeer along the roadside. We stay in a comfortable cabin again, and the farther north we go, the cheaper they become. The Midnight Sun is becoming obvious.

Vittangi – Honningsvag, Norway

Every day on this trip is special, but the ride today on deserted roads from Kautokeino to Alta is out of this world. Lots of twisties keep me on my toes, and riding behind Walter is truly an exhilarating experience. To the Deauville’s credit, it keeps pace with the other bikes without complaint. The stretch from Alta to Honningsvag is slow with intermittent rain. The weather isn’t ideal for camping, and since we are only a short distance from Nordkapp, we opt to spend the night at a hotel.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the May/June 2014 back issue.