2013/07/29: Boat and 3 km to Hostel
2013/07/30: Bike Maintenance and Rest
2013/07/31: 66 km cycle to NordKapp plus 18 km hike to Knivskelodden
We disembarked in Honningsvåg at 6:00 a.m. feeling a need for indoor accommodation with laundry and internet. We’d camped for eight nights since Inari, and spent the last night on the mats in the ship’s exercise room. There is a Hostelling International hostel here, where we were allowed to sit comfortably till check in time when we wasted no time in starting a load of laundry.
Honningsvåg is the town nearest Nordkapp (North Cape), a dramatic rocky headland and the northernmost point that can be reached by road in continental Europe. It has a certain mythic status amongst cyclists and other travellers. If you meet touring cyclists hereabouts, they will most likely state that “Nordkapp” was either the start or the end of their journey — the travellers’ holy grail.
We had to go there, of course, but as purists we also had to make our way to the true northernmost point of land, which is actually Knivskelodden just to the west of Nordkapp. No road reaches Knivskelodden, and it is an 18 km round trip hike across moorland. This meant a day out and back with unloaded bikes which we left locked at the trailhead. Knivskelodden is a less dramatic headland than Nordkapp, but the weather cooperated to afford us great views across to the sheer cliffs of Nordkapp.
Returning from the hike, we also pedalled out to Nordkapp. With its parking lot full of tour buses and its $8 soft drinks, we didn’t stay long and we started on the windward battle back to Honningsvåg. At the hostel, Bulgarian Stanislav (who lives in Finland) had returned from free-diving with the promised freshly speared pollock. We made a quick trip to the grocery shop for accompaniments, and ate an excellent sociable meal with Stanislav.