Tour of Scandinavia and the Baltic States

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by whereisgibson, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Joeman68

    Joeman68 Tanker

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Somewhere in Sweden
    I'm in!:lurk
    #41
  2. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 9.

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    We wanted to take our time to explore Lofoten. We started by seeing some of the beaches. An overcast day, as you can see.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We took a ferry to get to Andoy, to the northern town of Andenes. This is where the scenery changed from picturesque to rugged, and for the first time I felt the sensation of passing through a remote landscape.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Some gravel roads but the fun looking ones were blocked.
    [​IMG]

    We're stuck in town tonight as the last ferry was at 5pm. Early start tomorrow, hence the less-than-excellent hostel.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #42
  3. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 10.

    Here's the track log:
    [​IMG]

    We took the ferry out of Andanes to the mainland:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It was hard to believe the weather and landscape here could be so beautiful
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We're camped at Alta, just a few hundred km short of Nordkapp. We plan to spend the day there tomorrow.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #43
  4. Stretchah

    Stretchah Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    London
    Amaaazing scenery Martin glad you guys are enjoying it...really makes me want to go back to Norway and explore by bike this time :) Missing the video blogs though :)
    #44
  5. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 11.

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    So we aimed squarely at Nordkapp, though I wanted to try a little of the old postal road first. Starting at Alta:
    [​IMG]


    Then over some loose gravel:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Before getting a bit harder:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Great bike the 990. Straight back onto the twisties like the last 60 miles of offroad never happened. Next stop Nordkapp:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    By definition, we're now on the way back home.
    #45
  6. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 12.

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    We left Nordkapp and headed East towards the Russian border.


    [​IMG]

    Then the petrol station would only take local cards. With 178 miles already covered, and no chance of making the next one in 40 miles, I relied on the kindness of strangers!
    [​IMG]

    Then the roads started getting a little lumpy
    [​IMG]

    Then a puncture on the 1200GSA - easily fixed due to being tubeless
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Another night of camping, before trying for Russia tomorrow.
    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 13.

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    We headed straight to the Russian border.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    An hour later and we're on the E105!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And before we knew it, Murmansk!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Staying at a rather.. functional hotel for the evening.
    [​IMG]

    As the second and final destination of our trip, it's great to be here. If I were visiting or passing through, perhaps I'd be less excited...
    #47
  8. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,014
    Location:
    Hockley, Tx
    WOW.
    Thanks
    #48
  9. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,976
    Location:
    Dreary old Norway, dreaming of adventures past
    Lucked out with the weather on Nordkapp - nice :thumb
    Looks like everything is still dead around Nikel..... was huge in the 80's and early 90's how the pollution from Nikel was impacting the Norwegian side of the border as well
    #49
  10. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 14

    A day off in Murmansk, with a trip to see the world's first Nuclear Ice Breaker.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Despite the somewhat dreary landscape, lovers padlocks locked in place
    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    14 Day Summary.

    Stats:
    1635 miles this week.
    4086 miles so far.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Track log:
    [​IMG]

    What we've learnt:
    - Continental TrailAttack2 is not as long lasting as TrailAttack1... :(
    - Russian gravel roads and tubeless puncture repairs don't mix
    - North of Norway is less populated than the South, but still hard to wild camp
    - Still too many 'dishwasher' caravans in the North, but we get past them easily ;)
    - Mosquitos should be eradicated by humanity at the earliest opportunity
    #51
  12. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 15

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    After a day off in Murmansk we hit the road out of town. This one was a little more 'Russian'!


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The gravel roads ate the GSA's tubeless repair. Unfortunately it was a Russian border guard who noticed the hissing, just as we were passing through - no photos taken obviously. After a new plug but a bad inflation, we limped over to Finland and the nicest border official in the world let us use his workshop:
    [​IMG]

    Now we're back in the EU and camping just south of Sodankylä, no rain, 3 beers in, and with a lake view. All is well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #52
  13. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 16

    Track log:
    [​IMG]

    We headed down the 4 south, towards our destination of Helsinki. We wanted to arrive there tomorrow early to find a tyre and other bits, so today we needed to cover some distance. The motorway so far has been mostly single carriage-way, and lots of forward facing speed cameras. We don't have a plate on the front of the bike... so.... :)

    [​IMG]

    We left the Arctic circle, so we can finally have some real night time!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    No crossing of the Arctic circle would be complete without a giftshop full of crap:
    [​IMG]

    Back on the road, heading as south as we wanted to. There are lots of lakes in Finland and if we had more time I think wild camping would be very easy.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Staying in a rather lovely hostel tonight:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #53
  14. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 18.

    Track log:
    [​IMG]

    We left the hostel early, and were on a mission to find a new tyre before Helsinki. We were now very much in the land of the motorway :(
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Whilst I was in Murmansk I did some calling around of KTM dealers in Finland and Estonia, to try and find a solution to my fast-wearing rear tyre. From past experience with the TrailAttack1, once you have 1mm left there is maybe 1000 miles before metal - and I've 1700 miles to go. This would have been ok if our first ferry had taken us to Denmark, but instead we had to ride an extra 800 miles unplanned :(
    [​IMG]

    I called around 10 dealers, but none had a rear TrailAttack2 in stock, or could order one in time. With life still in the front it would be a shame to change brand/model.

    The plan was that if I could not find a TrailAttack2 to match the front, then I would either throw away both and get some new Scorpions if the price was ok in Finland/Estonia, or just continue on until the tyre got to the metal before putting whatever I could find on the rear.

    I put in the location of three KTM dealers to visit along the way to Helsinki to see what tyres they had - these pictures were from the first.

    Two things were very lucky for me.
    1. The new KTM 1190 Adventure comes with exactly the TrailAttack2 tyre I want (though dealers don't seem to carry it as a stock item yet)
    2. A customer of this dealership bought a new 1190 but immediately wanted offroad tyres for it, so they took off the tyres but forget they had them kicking around the workshop.

    We came to a deal that if I removed my wheel myself, they would fit the tyre and balance it without workshop costs, and for a fair second-hand price of the tyre.
    [​IMG]

    Wahey!
    [​IMG]

    Back on the road - then suddenly, Helsinki!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We got our ferry tickets for Estonia sorted out, before meeting up with some friends.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the drinking tonight, a day off tomorrow to be tourists was going to be needed...
    #54
  15. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 19.

    A day off in Helsinki.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #55
  16. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 20.

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    We made our way from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We didn't have time to spend a day in Tallinn, so we explored quickly by bike - but I think we missed some 'no traffic allowed' signs and ended up in the very centre...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then we took a cross country route to Parnu:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Before spending the night in Riga.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. sgk3

    sgk3 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Nice to run into you guys at the Hill of Crosses. Missing my bike and not knowing Lithuanian, It's a treat to be able to chat about bikes with some English blokes.

    Have a safe trip home.

    -Stephen
    #57
  18. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Hi Stephen, great to meet another ADVrider :D We look forward to hearing about your travels! Stace & Martin
    #58
  19. whereisgibson

    whereisgibson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    194
    Day 21.

    Trip log:
    [​IMG]

    We left Riga this morning, and headed South.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Lithuania, like Estonia and Latvia, has many smaller roads that are unsurfaced.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We went to see the Hill of Crosses

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We then headed towards Klaipėda
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We'll cross into Kaliningrad tomorrow and spend the day there. Another Russian border...
    #59
  20. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,454
    Really enjoying your report. The mix of stills, short video, and written words works well I think. Looks like a great trip. Jealousy abounds on this side of the pond! Thanks for sharing!
    #60