Norse By Norsewest: TET Finland, Norway, gravel riding and general purpose scenery porn

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by itinerant wool stash, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Back when I first started riding a motorcycle, a 10-day trip through Norway was one of my first 'big' tours. I've always liked mountainscapes, woodlands and nature in general, and if there is one thing Norway was it is those things in abundance and great beauty.

    Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with the country and ever since then wanted to go back (and since I'd be in the vicinity also visit Sweden and/or Finland for good measure) a longer trip: At least 3 weeks, more if possible.
    Last year it finally looked like the stars would align sufficiently to make it possible, but due to the urgent and unplanned need to fire my employer nothing came of that.

    Fast forward to this year, where early on it started to look like an all-systems go. First order of business: Take the old plan and bin it -- most of it was made when I did not have much interest in riding off pavement.

    Second order of business: Find fellow maniacs who'd be in.

    Two fellow maniacs were found, plans were made; due to being unable to take 4 weeks off, 'fellow maniacs, plural' became 'fellow maniac, singular'.

    The final pre-departure version of the plan:

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    Unfortunately, fairly late in the other fellow maniac got offered a job he could refuse, but would probably regret: It was not a once-a-lifetime opportunity, but something fairly close. While I absolutely understood him (and told him to take the job) by that time I was already committed with regards to vacation dates at work, meaning I had only two options:
    Postpone it another year, or ride it solo. Though to be honest, that is not really a choice at all -- riding it solo it is, then!

    --

    Enough text, lets have some teaser pics:

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    #1
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  2. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Prelude: Getting there

    We're starting on the Finnish side of the route, but of course to ride Finland you first have to get to Finland. Starting in Austria, this takes some doing.

    Obviously the best solution would be to ride the TET up through Poland and the Baltic States ... but unfortunately, I don't have the time for doing that as well. Or perhaps I want just a bit of a relaxation to go with the riding.
    Anyway, when traveling its always good to leave something undone. That way, you'll have motivation to come back one day. :)

    The second -- and arguably quickest option -- would be to hot-rod it up to Tallinn. Yeah, it'll suck a bit but no reason that can't be done in two days, right?

    Well, except I'm too lazy for that and instead took the Motorail from Vienna to Hamburg, rode over to Travemuende and hopped onto the Ferry to Helsinki. ETA until arrival: 29 hours, plus one hour of time shift.

    Time to catch up with the reading.
    #2
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  3. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Day 1: Escaping Helsinki

    As often, the first day turns out to be one of the longest. Disembarking the ferry there were a couple dozen KM of tarmac that needed riding, before you're dropped out onto some gravel tracks.

    Nearer to Helsinki the trail meanders significantly, hooking up small gravel sections (some only as short as a couple KM) and connecting them via tarmac.

    One or two hours later you're finally free of the slab curse, free to spend most of the time on gravel roads. Well, more like gravel highways. :)

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    All easy riding, with enough time to enjoy the scenery. Often, there are small things to discover right along the route, like this lake:

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    Good place for a drink and a short snack:

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    For the most parts the gravel roads in the south are wide and really easy to ride. With a few, short exceptions, you could probably do them on a Harley if you wanted. ;)

    But the further north you go, the more the track starts to throw more interesting sections at you, including overgrown tracks that don't look like they're used with any regularity. Unfortunately this also means every now and then you run into what used to be a track but now is a dead end.

    Trying to find a way around just such a dead end on a very faint track that turned into a single track further in:

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    Unfortunately that didn't quite work out, so I took one of the single tracks to get back to the road:
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    I kept riding until around 22:00, then went looking for a campsite on the lake shore. Turns out I had picked a bit of a bad spot for that, since most of the shore was either inaccessible or infested by weekend cabins; but with a bit of hunting I managed to score a truly dreadful place:

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    #3
  4. selkins

    selkins Gotta light?

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    Nice. This is a route I hope to take within the next several years. Bring it on!
    #4
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  5. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Day 2: Blasting up, blasting down

    After waking up and having a breakfast and a cup of coffee on that dreadful, dreadful pier I discovered why yesterday was so damn long:

    Yesterday already included half of what I had planned for today, meaning I'd have the choice between a leisurely day of riding, or I could try to get one day ahead of schedule by riding from a couple KM north of Leppävirta to somewhere between Hossa or Salla.

    Nothing short of Hossa it is then, and off I went to a blazing start ... well, not quite. The attempt early on to try and "take a shortcut through the woods via a faint track" led to nowhere exactly except getting stuck somewhere in the woods on narrow, deeply rutted terrain. I believe its called "being a bit of an overoptimistic idiot". :amazon

    Getting the bike turned around involved making a 90 degree turn under power and over some obstacles, laying the bike on the side and adding the missing 90 degrees by pushing and dragging the bike. (terrain indicated going deeper into the woods to be a bad idea, and no possibility to push backwards due to ruts will have you do that).

    Fun times.

    Needless to say, second breakfast came early that day in form of a K-Market raid.

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    After a bit of slab the route followed a bit of easy, fast gravel or hard pack through gorgeous scenery:

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    There's a Tiger hidden somewhere in that picture :)

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    The fast gravel is interspersed with more narrow and slightly more technical sections to keep up the variety, and all of it an absolute blast to ride.

    Some of the smaller tracks lead to somewhat dodgy bridges:

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    Evidence that small tracks also come in the 'relaxing' variety (though once you enter Lapland you should be mindful of the Lap's habit of delegating gravel-road speed enforcement to reindeer)

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    The weather got worse during the day. Here it is still holding up ...

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    ... but half a hour later it suddenly started not simply to rain but to pour. And pour. And pour.
    Frankly by the time I reached Hossa it was a bit of a miserable experience and I neither felt motivated to press on nor fancied pitching a tent in the rain. There is a large camping areal in Hossa, but the only cabins they still had free were the posh, expensive ones; too expensive (about 100 bucks/day) for my likes at that point.

    Luckily the Finnish have quite the taste for wood cabins: If a Finn owns a house with an adjacent plot of woodland or seafront chances are there's a cabin hidden somewhere in there, often available for rent.
    Some of them are advertised with street signs, or you can ask a local if they know of anyone with a Mökki to rent. I went with the later option, and while I didn't get my own cabin but what was an old farm building remodeled to provide a number of flats the price was quite right with 30 bucks.

    The day ended with grabbing two cans of beer from the local gas station.
    #5
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  6. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Day 3: Wussing it

    Today was supposed to be a big day, featuring one of the main attractions of the Finish section of the trip: Tuntsan erämaa, the Tuntsa wilderness area.

    Except the weather wasn't cooperating: It already looked decidedly 'meh' in the morning with a clear outlook to turn worse: Rain, wind, forecast day high of 8C north of Salla. The day after tomorrow looked better: At least no rain, mostly cloudy, perhaps a slight chance of sun.
    Given that I was running a day ahead of schedule I decided to roll the weather dice: I would only go till Salla today, and just hope for that slight chance of sun tomorrow.

    This left me only about 280km for today, and I left the cabin late, around noon.

    More leisure gravel:

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    This stretch of the TET brings you the closest you get to the Russo-Finnish border: There's one point where the road is about 500m away from the border, and for several KM the road you're on is directly on the boundary of the up to three KM wide Border Exclusion Zone.

    Entering the Border Zone requires a special permit, and its rather heavily marked on the Finnish side:

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    There was an amusing incident this year of four Britons sneaking through the border zone and into Russia to drink a couple cans of beer earlier this year, only to get busted by the Finns and being shipped back to the UK.

    I guess it beats getting busted by the Russians.

    ---

    I don't know what's exactly going on there, but usually the Finnish woodland is quite free of waste. This makes it even more jarring when you run across something like this:

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    I mean I get the wooden planks, especially since this is just across from a fireplace at a lake shore, but what the fuck is that washbasin doing there?!

    Aforementioned fireplace:

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    Parking spot for the ascent to Kuntivaara, somewhere in the Kuusamo district:

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    The Kuntivaara summit is supposed to give you a quite good vantage point across the Lake District ... but unfortunately that also means that given the current conditions there'd not be much point to the hike.

    Small fireplace directly next to the parking lot, including a sign with a map and some elementary wilderness self-preservation measures, like not accepting candy from strangers:

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    The further I got to Salla the worse everything became: Not only was it raining more and more, it evidently also had been raining enthusiastically the last days as well, with mud everywhere and a front wheel with a new-found predilection for going sideways instead of forward.

    By the time I actually reached Salla temps were down to 2-3C (so much for a 8C low ...) and I was exceedingly happy with my earlier decision to stop here for the night.

    Salla is not only home to bar with the longest name in Finland (Ateritsiputeritsipuolilautatsibaari. Gesundheit) but also to the Salla Ski Resort, which advertises itself as "in the middle of nowhere". Not going to disagree with that. ;)

    As far as ski resorts go it was a bit on the small side even (at least from an Austrian perspective) for something in the middle of nowhere, but one of the big advantages is that you can get very nice cabins for quite low prices there in summer.

    Those cabins come with a sauna directly en suite, which got some rather enthusiastic use.
    #6
  7. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Day 4: Tuntsan erämaa

    I slept exceedingly well after a couple Sauna sits and a couple beers, and after waking up and having breakfast I was certain that today was gonna be a great day.

    But first things first: Today would see me riding the Tuntsa Wilderness area, one of the most remote parts of the Finnish TET, and the one requiring the longest "leg" fuel-wise:

    The next stop with guaranteed access to fuel would be a place called Tanhua -- not much more than a fuel station, a market and a bunch of houses -- about 300km away from Salla. I also had promised @Revontulet (the linesman for Finland) that I would check out a key route detail, potentially adding a detour to the distance.

    I also made sure to stock up on water. Since I was also starting to run a bit low on oil I also purchased a bottle of oil from the local gas station: A liter of Motul 5100, at a (for gas stations) surprising good price of 11 Euro.
    Not that I had a choice, given that it was the only suitable oil available ...

    About 20km after Salla the asphalt ends and the gravel begins -- and so does the sunshine! :clap

    This is more like it: :freaky

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    The wilderness area is full with little paths, tracks and roads to explore. Straying off the route and simply seeing where that little road over there gets you is definitely recommended, and is one of the reasons why you should make sure to have more fuel than simply to get you to Tanhua.

    Do I go left, right ... or first left, then back and right? :wings

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    Reindeer gate.

    If you managed to go until here without seeing Reindeer, don't worry: You'll see enough of the dumb animals in Tuntsa. Ride carefully.

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    At various points in the area you will find cabins or camping areas with fire places:

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    Those places often also include both an overview map of the entire area as well a more detailed map of the surrounding dozen or so sqm. Why, some of them even have an outhouse: :lol3

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    Another track to explore :ricky

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    I can do this all day. I want to do this all day!

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    After about 200km (without detours. with detours ... its however more you want to make it :johntm) you reach the first major rod coming in from Sodankylä. Its still dirt, but from maintenance and width kinda more a highway they simply forgot to pave instead of a proper dirt road.
    The TET follows it westwards for about 15-20 km before heading up back north towards the Lokka Reservoir, but before I went that direction I wanted to head east for a bit:

    About 5km down the road there's a small place called Tulppio, which had for whatever reason tickled my fancy while planning the trip. Also, I've got quite a bit of the day left and they might have fuel there. More fuel = more exploring. :deal

    A couple minutes later I rolled into the camp areal.

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    This is when disaster struck.
    #7
  8. Revontulet

    Revontulet Been here awhile

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    Brilliant writing! Keep it coming! :nod
    #8
  9. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    Day 4, continued: Disaster on the trail

    I had stopped at Tulppio, had a decent lunch (reindeer burger) and inquired for fuel.

    For prospective riders off the trail, here's the information on the fuel situation there (as well as most OSM fuel POIs in the area that aren't gas stations):
    Usually you can get fuel at those places, at least in the quantities required for motorcycles.
    But they are no gas stations and there's no guarantee: Depending on the season some of them might have severely curtailed opening hours, or they might be open but there's currently no one there with the key for the fuel pump, or they might simply be out.

    The best approach probably would be to either not rely on them for fuel -- meaning you can at least get out and to the next proper gas station with what's in the tank, even if that means you may need to reroute on a shorter alternative -- or to have enough mental and schedule flexibility to not mind waiting half a day there.

    In any case, they had (hand-pumped!) 98 octane available. I fueled up and prepared to leave, only to discover I couldn't.

    It was just too fucking pretty a spot to stay for only an hour or two, and before long the following, errr, emergency occurred: :muutt

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    Its a hard life, riding on the TET. :jkam

    After some relaxation it was time to head off and explore the surroundings. First order of business was checking out whether the missing bridge that got Revontulet into trouble a year earlier had been rebuilt or not. Looks like that one is down for good:

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    Its a pretty place to be, bridge or no bridge:

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    Riding around some more I ran across this:
    A large gaggle of Finns in the middle of nowhere that had built a veritable tent/truck city and spent their days riding around on ATVs.

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    After a bit more of riding around randomly I headed back to Tulppio ...

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    ... and spent some time wandering around the local area:

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    In the 1910's Tulppio was the place of the first large-scale mechanized logging operation in Finnland.
    They've got a bunch of heavy metal lying around as museum pieces to prove it, like this steam-powered half-track sled they used to drag logged wood around:

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    Midnight sun:

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    Even in the cabin, this is as dark as it gets this far north:

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    #9
  10. Manifold

    Manifold Adventurer

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    Watching. This is interesting route. Thanks!
    #10
  11. El Lobo

    El Lobo Been here awhile

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    Great Work!
    #11
  12. Lonesomerider

    Lonesomerider n00b

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    Great RR, one trip more on my To-Do list

    Gesendet von meinem Moto G (4) mit Tapatalk
    #12
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  13. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    I could tell by the clever title that this was going to be the product of a witty wordsmith - and I was not disappointed! Bravo!

    Nice crisp photographs as well.

    BJ
    #13
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  14. epyonxero

    epyonxero Adventurer

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    Great report so far. Looking forward to hearing about the Norway portion of the trip and especially the ride through Lofoten. I drove through there a few years ago and couldnt stop wishing I had a bike.
    #14
  15. mtorma

    mtorma n00b

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    Nice! As a Finn I liked reading this report. Familiar places and pictures in northeast/eastern parts of Lappland. Just a couple weeks ago I was with a friend on our annual Lappland adventure tour at Sodankylä-Pokka-Vuotso-Tulppio-Naruska-Salla area.
    #15
  16. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    I wouldn't call myself a wordsmith, but thank you for your kind words. :) Anyway:

    Day 5: Northbound in a hurry

    I got up for an early breakfast, not only to maximize "porch time" -- as you might by now suspect, I was quite smitten with this particular spot of Lappland -- but also to adjust my planning:
    The Treacherous Tulppio Trap put me behind schedule, and while the planned route included a generous amount of slack the next few days were filled with a number of attractions. Specifically, I had wanted to:

    * Explore Inarijärvi (Lake Inari) and its surround
    * Visit the extreme end of road-accessible civilization in continental Norway, the small abandoned fishing village of Hamningberg
    * Ride Fv98 from Tana to Kakselv, perhaps with a few stints up further north
    * Hike in Stabbursdalen nasjonalpark, and finally
    * Ride the old Postal Road from Alta to Kautokeino

    A quick check of the weather forecast however made it clear that I would need to chose what I wanted to do most: I had two days of reasonably guaranteed sunny weather, one day of 'perhaps', followed by several days of rain and wind.

    Regardless of how much I wanted it hike there this immediately put Stabbursdalen off limits; furthermore, I had looked quite forward to the Old Postal Road and wanted to ride it in good weather.

    In the end I decided to leave the TET early at Sodankylä and ride to Hamningberg today; since the road from Tana to Karasjok and then on to Kautokeino is very well built and supposedly rather free of ... 'man-made obstacles to rapid riding', I'd then head to Kautokeino tomorrow and ride the Old Postal Road.

    What? Less words, more pics? Okay then.

    Heading out towards Sodankylä. En avant!

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    Due to time constraints I didn't really stop much before Lake Inari. I would've dearly wanted to spent more time around the lake, but I didn't have more time than to have a coffee and snap a couple pics of the lake:

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    From Inari I didn't head up directly north towards Utsjoki; instead I headed west towards Angeli and then ride north following the Tana/Tenojoki river, which also is the natural border between Finnland and Norway in these parts.

    This added another 80-100km to an already long day, but in my eyes it is absolutely worth it: The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, the road is unpaved ... and you'll actually loose less time than you would think.

    Unlike on tourist roads the most effective speed enforcement there is on those secondary but well-maintained gravel roads is provided by Reindeer and similar critters that might step out into the road without looking both ways.

    There are also a number of fun little side-roads to explore.
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    The red cross on the sign post is a snow-mobile trail marker. Those trails are all over the place north of Rovaniemi, but you need to be a bit careful in picking the ones to go exploring on: In summer many of them turn into an impassable boggy mess.

    Tana/Tenjoki river:

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    More of the almost ubiquitous cabins:

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    Once you pass the small town of Vadso and head up north on the Varanger peninsula's east coast you're heading off into a sparsely settled landscape and an intensely moody and brooding light:

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    The land on the horizon is the Rybachy (Fisher) and Sredny (Middle) Peninsula, Russia. Both were ceded from Russia to Finland during the Russian Revolution and back to the Soviet Union after the Finnish Winter War.

    The peninsulas featured also prominently in WW2 due to its strategic location covering the approaches to both Murmansk and Archangelsk, the two major ports for delivery to Lend-Lease.
    Their strategic role continued into the Cold War due to the Soviet Northern Fleet base in Severomorsk, and access to foreigners was prohibited well into the 21st century.
    By now its supposedly possible to enter them even as a foreigner with a special permit.

    ---

    The road services less and less people the further it goes:

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    but its excellently built out until it reaches Vardo:

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    Vardo is more or less the last village or town populated the entire year, and once you turn onto Hamningbergvegen the landscape takes on an increasingly otherworldly look:

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    Hamningbergvegen ends in (quelle surprise) in Hamningberg, a small fishing village abandoned in 1964.
    Its still in use during the summer month -- and indeed much of the land directly next to the road is filled to the brim with holiday homes, many of them built in recent decades -- but there's no permanent occupation anymore.

    Its also one of the few places in Finnmark that wasn't burned to the ground by the retreating Wehrmacht in WW2, meaning it is one of the last places you can find examples of the local traditional architecture that isn't a reconstruction.

    "Downtown" Hamningberg:

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    A couple hundred meters north you still can find some old WW2-era fortifications:

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    And an undisturbed look into the Barents Sea and the midnight sun. Isn't this much better than the hurried, bustled rustling of tourists at the Nordkapp?

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    Barents Sea, meet Tiger. Tiger, meet Barents Sea:

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    I took the opportunity to cook up a quick dinner right there at the far edge of Norway; nothing more than pasta with Sugo and a bit of canned tuna, but I intensely enjoyed it.

    The whole area has a tranquil beauty bordering on the transcendent. If you are planning on riding northern Norway and have the time for it -- it is, admittedly, a rather long way out -- I cannot recommend it highly enough.

    Though in a certain sense, having the dinner there instead of at the tent had a small, almost tiny and negligible drawback: It gave the long day time to catch up with me, and I still needed to pitch a tent.

    A couple KM down the road I found a rather nice, secluded spot ...

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    ... that was yet quite near to the beach:

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    By now it was something around 2:00 in the morning, and I went to bed completely knackered. I even skipped the almost obligatory tentside brewski.
    #16
  17. mtorma

    mtorma n00b

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    And not only that, it's is also illegitimate to drive those snowmobile trails by any other motor vehicle but snowmobiles (even snowmobiles are forbidden when there are no snow on trail ;)). Generally Finnish law prohibit driving any motor vehicle anywhere outside official roads (road need to have a name or a number, so many nice looking trails may be illegal) _unless_ you have a permission to ride from the landowner(s). Luckily we have lots of legal (and small) gravel roads here so no need to break the law consciously ;)
    #17
  18. itinerant wool stash

    itinerant wool stash Inveterate optimist Supporter

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    I suspected as much and limited myself to trails that both had obviously been used by wheeled vehicles -- this is also a somewhat useful proxy for the "swamp yes or no?" question :) -- and that had no 'keep out/private' sign, chain or similar.

    Especially the later part should goes without saying and pretty universally, regardless of country.

    --

    Day 6: Old Postal Road

    Some days you wake up, and instantly know today's gonna be a great day; how can it not be, when you have this view less than 50m from your tent:

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    The actual beach and dunes behind it are a protected biotope, and the local authorities would prefer if nobody walked in it. Nobody human, that is; those fluffy fellas I found camping road-side probably would be fine:

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    One more shot of the road up towards Hamningberg itself. Its a bit of a moonscape ...

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    ... but it even becomes more of one if you paint your buildings grey and buy a grey van:

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    Road back towards Vardø:
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    From thereon down it was about 6h of worth of tarmac slog to Kautokeino; riding through it it actually was a beautiful landscape, but for some reason nothing there tickled my fancy enough to stop and want to take a picture.

    After a quick lunch it was off for one of the main attractions, the Old Postal Road. The road takes you through stunning terrain right at the edge of the taiga, but while the new road keeps down in the valley the old road quickly takes you up onto some sort of high plateau and into the tundra, though those biomes are very close together there:

    Only a couple dozen meters of altitude separate them, and often the Old Postal Road will drop you down into the forest or at least dwarf trees, though the further north you go the less frequent this becomes.

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    Its also one of those sceneries do most of the photographer's work. Its surprisingly hard to take ugly pictures there:
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    Riding there I quickly learned to prefer the high parts: Not only did they offer a breath-taking vista but they were considerably drier. In the lower regions the effects of the heavy rain the last couple days could still be seen and felt: A lot of water on the road, muddy patches, sand, puddles, a couple washed out climbs with still a bit of water running down the road.
    Stuff like that, and as usual unless your bike takes a nap you mostly tend not to stop at the places you struggle with.

    Considering that a rather novice dirt rider could pot through it on heavy metal, mostly doing 60 to 80 kph, it really could not have been that bad anyway. At one point I got a bit overconfident and rather promptly had a bad case of the front end getting kicked sidewards that had me fearing an imminent nap, but somehow I managed to wrestle it back under control.

    The one thing I frankly dreaded most was water: I didn't really have experience with crossing anything more than about knee-deep, and even that was rather limited. Given local environmental law its not exactly something that can be easily practiced in Austria; depending on the body of water taking a big bike through can result in a book throw even if you own the land or have the owner's consent.

    But so far all the puddles were not really deeper than that, and usually could easily be skirted on the sides anyway. Until I ran across the puddle:

    [​IMG]

    Well, actually that is not a puddle. It is the bog you can see shimmering through the trees, flooding the road.

    I stopped, had a bit of a think, decided that the side opposite the bog would probably be the preferable, did the prudent thing and walked it ... no, wait. :fpalm Actually, what I did was going on to be an overconfident idiot, giving the bike the beans and just rid into it.

    It was a bit deep, but initially it went just fine; not content with being an overconfident idiot I went straight to jinxing it by thinking "hey, this is not too bad". Happy thoughts ... until I got about 2/3 of the way across it, where it suddenly became much deeper and I was blinker-deep in the soup.

    Fuck.

    The Tiger is not the most amphibious bike (well, duh. its named after a cat :deal) possible, with an air intake under the seat. Once the water level approaches the blinkers the bow-wake is the only thing that keeps the engine from drowning, and if I had to stop for any reason I would have to hit the kill switch immediately.
    Which of course would leave me alone, with a bike in the drink, and a rather questionable proposition of having to push it out on my own. The only reason this prospect of failure cannot be summed up as "fucked, properly" is that the worst case hike out on the Old Postal Road is about 30km. How splendid.

    Its amazing how fast the above can run through your head, and in the end I did the only thing I could to avert fucking it up further:
    Make sure not to slow down, carefully increase clutch slip in tandem with throttle to ensure the engine doesn't stall out.

    And like someone drunk on fool's luck, I made it through. The pic is actually from the other side, while I was busy having a bit of a break:knary

    Funnily enough, after that little episode the road was mostly dry. Meanwhile, the scenery kept getting more and more awesome:

    [​IMG]

    Some time after that descent you come to the one bridge that is widely known to be missing:

    [​IMG]

    And which you have to ford instead:
    [​IMG]

    Frankly, while water levels were higher than you see in some reports, after that little thing in the bog it was a bit anticlimactic, and after a quick walk (see, even I can learn if you use a big enough stick) the Tiger was across it:

    [​IMG]

    I see they upgraded the Reindeer gates:

    [​IMG]

    The Old Road is divided into a northern and southern section by the new road, and this gate is only a couple minutes away from that meet-up. The southern road was supposed to be the more technical section, while the northern road was supposed to be more scenic.

    Frankly, at that point I was a bit skeptical on the second claim ... because look at the previous pictures. But in the end the northern section did not disappoint:

    [​IMG]

    It was also obvious that considerably more maintenance effort is invested in it, and except for a couple of climbs and descends with ruts and big rocks it was mostly potting across leisure gravel.

    Well, except for one little thing issue near the end:

    [​IMG]

    "Damnit Frank, not now!"

    The K60 is ... not the best tire on snow, but most blame for getting stuck there again belongs to the idiot riding it that went with the ATV track inside of the Jeep track (visible at the bottom left corner) across the snow field.

    In the end I decided the best way to get unstuck was to tip the bike on the side, push it over to the other track, and give it another go on that. As I was toiling away on the "push it" part a family with kids showed up from hiking and helped me push the bike over. For whatever reason the kids thought it immensely entertaining, especially the plume of snow the tire started to roost out once I got going on the other track, and helped enthusiastically.
    They even carried the backpack I had taken off to the other side before I could tell them not to bother.

    I am not really certain what the novelty factor was in that whole business, and I couldn't shake the feeling it had a bit of zoo exhibit: "Come and see Austrian idiot get stuck in the snow, open 9am to 5pm"

    From thereon it was just a convenient rolling down into Alta, where I first went shopping (beer! especially since for whatever obscure law a camping areal may sell you beer to drink directly right then and there, but not if you intend to drink it on your hytta's porch. even if that is less than 15m away as the mosquito flies) and then on to find a hytta.

    The hytta turned out to be in a nice spot, and since I felt I had earned a rest day I rented it for two days.
    Besides, I had other business to conclude in Alta, and if I had the entire tomorrow to take care of it much stress could be avoided.
    #18
    horsti, pklop, CowboyFatBob and 8 others like this.
  19. Juan Cruz

    Juan Cruz Just riding

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    I'm in an office without windows or sunlight, this is exactly what I need to not go crazy.

    Thank you.


    Ride safe
    #19
  20. OldManJoris

    OldManJoris Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Belgium
    Thumbs up for this one!
    #20