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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 9 May 2011
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Location: Bath, England
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Nordkapp end July/early August advice needed

Hi. I am riding from England up to Nordkapp in the last week of July, first week in August. I am going via the Channel tunnel, then up through Sweden, and Norway. I intend to spend a few days in western Norway on the way up. Then back down through Finland, Eastonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany. I intend to rough camp as much as possible, using a camp site’s facilities every 3 days for showers.
Questions:
  • Is Nordkapp worth visiting?
  • What is the weather likely to be like? How cold? Wet?
  • What clothing would you take?
  • Free showers anywhere? Motorway services etc (Some French Airs have them).
  • Money saving tips for Sweden, Norway, Finland?
Thanks in anticipation.
Tony
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  #2  
Old 9 May 2011
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I did a similar route last year but didn't go to Nordkapp.
Anywhere in North Norway the weather can be unpredictable and cold at anytime of year.
We met a few people on their way back that had gone to Nordkapp and not seen anything due to rain/cloud etc. obviously if you have time you can work around the weather though.
The northern parts of Norway are amazing though, so go if you can, just don't get your hopes up about the final destination.

here's some temps to give you an idea of what to expect in The north
Tromsø - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In terms of money, camping, showers etc. free camping won't be that easy in Norway as all the flat secitons of land already have campsites on them, but they are normally quite cheap (around 100 NOK if i recall correctly) and all have showers/laundry/cooking facilities/wireless internet etc.

Finland on the other hand, free camping is easy in the North and almost necessary as some areas don't have anything else. In the south its a bit busier but probably still possible.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania are a lot cheaper but campsites are less frequent

Poland has a few campsites around and quite cheap but don't drink the water.

Not sure about free showers, don't remember seeing any.

For cheap food in Norway get hot dogs from petrol stations and pre cooked sausages from most supermarkets/shops.
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  #3  
Old 9 May 2011
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We drove upto NK in 2007, had beautiful weather most of the way through Norway, +- 28C most days. I tried to swim in the Lofoten Islands and it was at least 1/2" cold in the water. NK weather can change in seconds, we were lucky and got some great views and then a blast of wind would bring in a cloud of freezing air straight off the North Pole. The NK Centre is another Cafe with good sea views - which by the time you get to NK you may overdose on - Norway has so much fantastic scenery its hard to say any one place is more beautiful than another. There's a potted history of the area - famous vistors, etc.

Nordkapp is not really setup for tent camping - huge numbers of campervans and motorhomes though. I assume this is beacuse the parking fees include overnight parking. If you head back South there are so many little sheltered spots to wild camp its not funny, plenty of the fjord side car parks had shelters with tables which a few people were sleeping on. The parking at NK is totally open and when the wind got up our campervan was rolling around, would be uncomfortable in a tent.

We never found it hard to wild camp in Scandanavian countries - a few locals warned us off of known problem areas, ask other travellers about unsafe wild camping areas in the South during the Summer months. Staying away from the major roads helps.
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  #4  
Old 14 May 2011
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I ve been there in 2007.

Nordkapp is just a rock (as a friend i met up there said), but knowing that you are at the northest point of Europe makes you feel great.

About the weather, till arctic cyrcle was summer. 200km before nordcapp had to ware allmost everything i have. 5 C temp. , lot of wind and clouds.

You have lots of wonderfull places to see in norway. Dont miss them just to get to nordcapp
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  #5  
Old 31 May 2011
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In all honesty the question about whether you go all the way to Nordkapp boils down to time and money IMO, Once you go North of say Trondheim the scenery gets perhaps less interesting after being spoilt in the western Fjords, It's nice to have been there but I dont make a point of telling others they should, whereas Norway itself I tell people they must visit beforee they die for the scenery and roads n the SW.

In terms of what to wear just plan as if it was a UK Autumn and you will be fine, consider using 'Hytte' instead of your tent now and then and you will have an opportunity to escape mosquitoes and dry your gear should you get unlucky

When I went to Nordkapp I just pitched my tent in a field less than 1km from the visitor centre and nobody said anything but that was back in 2003 so things may have changed?

In 2008 I had some bike troubles and had to hitch north to Ostersund in Sweden, I was told to be mindful of Bears and Wolves in some places, Its not a very prevelant risk but the locals suggested camping/resting near water was not necessarily the best idea.

I found campsites infrequent in the LT LV and Poland with exceptions of really touristy places, but then we just laid our mats out on the ground and slept in our bike gear in fields, sometimes a farmer would come and check up on us but by using the universal sign language for sleepy tired we were always left to it at the realisation we weren't cattle rustlers.

some of the truck stops have showers, definitely one just inside the Polish border as you come in from LT and free wifi seemed more prolific than in the UK!

if you are going along the baltic coast in Poland then camping wont be hard but free camping might be, we got a bit of aggro from the Police, not bribes or anything they just didnt want us making the place untidy but in Hel and places you'll find all the Poles on holiday themselves camping, if you go down the east side of Poland then theres a lot of forest to camp in but the 'Komar' seem hungrier and meaner than the mozzies of the Arctic! oh and they still have Boar in the forests.

Have fun!
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  #6  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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I drove up there in Feb 2007, was obviously very cold then. Was about minus 40*c.
AWESOME SCENERY.

If you're passing nearby it is worth making the effort just to say you've been. I stayed in Alta near Nordkapp which was a nice town I liked.
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