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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  #1  
Old 26 Aug 2015
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Somerset, UK to Nordkapp, Norway - June/July 2016

I am planning a little trip - some 5200 miles - from Somerset, UK to Nordkapp, Norway in June/July 2016.

My basic plan is 18 to 20 days total.

Get to Hirtshals at the end of day 2 and either cross on the

Hirtshals/Langesund ferry on day 2 or first thing day 3 - approx. 500 miles/day.

Slow ride up the west coast on Norway - averaging probably 250 miles/day.

Slightly faster run back down through Finland to (probably) Turku then take the overnight ferry to Stockholm.

Stockholm to Somerset in 3 days - approx 500 miles/day.

As and when I feel like it I'm thinking about a day off or just touring the immediate area.

My initial idea is camping but using cheap accommodation if the weather is particularly bad or when I get fed up being under canvas.


The benefit of your experience would be much appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 26 Aug 2015
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touring Norway

Hi RachelAnne, everything you need to know is on the Hubb.
Maybe there is even a direct ferry next year.
Please don't be too ambitious about mileage on driving days - we don't have many motorways, and there are ferries, slow traffic and bends everywhere. It really takes time, and then there are the speed limits. It takes some bad luck to be caught and fined, but it does happen.
The good news is the scenary and the driving experience. If you can make time for using the older roads, often privatly run toll-roads now, that will add a lot of spice to your trip.
Velkommen

Peter, in Oslo
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  #3  
Old 26 Aug 2015
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Thanks for the advice Peter, especially about the toll roads. Is there any way I can find which are toll roads and which aren't prior to my trip and how many NOK can I expect to pay for the tolls?
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  #4  
Old 26 Aug 2015
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As Peter said, you won't manage high daily mileages through Norway, particularly the south, if you want to enjoy the ride. I 'did' North Cape last year in 4 weeks from the UK but felt I had 'flown' through too much of the country so I went back again this year for a second look around the south west corner ! I've still not done the Lofoten Islands so will be heading back that way next year.

Don't get to hung up on the private toll roads - they are not that expensive (many are free for motorbikes) and the main motorway/bridge tolls seem to be free for bikes as well.

Photos from my trips :

https://www.facebook.com/owen.lewis....5482819&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/owen.lewis....5482819&type=3
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  #5  
Old 26 Aug 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pebble35 View Post
As Peter said, you won't manage high daily mileages through Norway, particularly the south, if you want to enjoy the ride. I 'did' North Cape last year in 4 weeks from the UK but felt I had 'flown' through too much of the country so I went back again this year for a second look around the south west corner ! I've still not done the Lofoten Islands so will be heading back that way next year.

Don't get to hung up on the private toll roads - they are not that expensive (many are free for motorbikes) and the main motorway/bridge tolls seem to be free for bikes as well.

Photos from my trips :

https://www.facebook.com/owen.lewis....5482819&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/owen.lewis....5482819&type=3
I've only glanced through them but those photo's are great.

The provisional route I've got at the moment completely ignores the South West corner (rightly or wrongly). It's very obvious that I can't see the whole of the country in the 10ish days I will have in Norway. My goal is to reach Nordkapp but get a feel for the country en-route.

The camping lodges in your photo's - I've seen them on video's of Norway. What is the typical cost per night for them?
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  #6  
Old 26 Aug 2015
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touring Norway

Hi RachelAnne, up late.
Toll roads are marked on good smaller scale maps with a thin line across the road. The Norwegian Automobil Assoc (NAF) roadbook has them. Usually you can see the new road with tunnels and ringroads around towns and villages with a higher rating as a highway. The old road (gamleveien) follows the topography and winds its way out of the valley and over a mountain pass, and down into the next valley. There are usually more pleasant places for wild camping along the old roads, but there are more sheep and cattle along the old road, as well as tractors and local "rally drivers" practising their four wheel drifts. Often there are long sections of gravel, which can be very slippery wet.
Cost - usually between Nkr 30 to 100 depending on the distance, and sometimes there are controlpoints, especially on weekends. Some are coins in an envolope, some take bankcards or you have to ring a number which charges your phonebill. As a tourist you have some leeway - and the last two systems do have problems, not your fault!
I forgot to mention the comprehensive guide to touring Norway by Indu, look him up on the Hubb.

Safe travels, and I hope this wasn't too offputting.

Peter
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  #7  
Old 27 Aug 2015
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two trips

Hi RachelAnne - had a long drive to Sweden and back in monsoon rain - glad I was not on the bike.
I'm thinking you need to plan two trips. One powerdrive to Nordkapp and back, don't look at anything except the oval 100 meters in front of you. Tick that one off....been there, done that.

The other trip is the laidback one, doing all the silly roads, trek to features like Preikestolen, Besseggen and Kjerag Bolten. Fish for your supper, free of charge from saltwater, costs in lakes and rivers. Lofoten Islands and Fjordcountry. Go to a local dance and see if you are offered real moonshine. They mix it with coffee, and it's lethal. Actually, that is probably not a good idea. Drop that.

Please ask if you need any info.

Peter, in Oslo
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  #8  
Old 27 Aug 2015
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Hi Peter,

I'll certainly give the coffee-laced moonshine a miss I think. I'm getting to old to enjoy the hangover

I have looked at bits and pieces and at the moment this is my route north. I feel that 1750 mile and a suggested 45 hours should be achievable in 10 days and if I can up my daily mileage a little it gives me a day or two to have a 'rest day' and look around the local area I'm in at the time. Basically, I'm not really going to be looking around every fjord and minor road but I don't want to be riding the main arteries of Norway either.

I don't know if you've seen them but there were a bunch of lads went to Norway from the UK last month, who's progress I am following on YouTube who have made reasonable progress.

I'm expecting my south bound route through Finland to be on main arteries and to take me 3 to 4 days.
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  #9  
Old 27 Aug 2015
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Hi RachelAnne, check out my page for Norway specific info - Ride Norway | All you need to know for your motorcycle trip to Norway - which I hope may be helpful. Thanks for the mention - again, GSPeter!
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  #10  
Old 28 Aug 2015
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Nordkapp

Hi again RachelAnne,
Your trip is doable, no doubts, even though I'm sceptical. Just go for it.
I'm enjoying Mr Vida and his mates, group travel is often slower, and six people ....
The hangover from moonshine is bad, but it was what was available, and affordable. Nowadays it's a redneck culture thing.
What bike will you be riding? There can be diversions onto gravel because of blocked roads or accidents, your choice of tyre is important. Also it's a good idea to have some means of preventing your sidestand from sinking into the ground. I have a plate screwed on, easier than throwing planks about.

Safe travels

Peter, in Oslo
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  #11  
Old 28 Aug 2015
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Hi Peter, I think there are good and bad points about solo and group riding.

Group riding you have company, you can get a group view on detours, stopping points etc. and you have help in the event of a breakdown (or God forbid) an accident. You also cannot please all people at all times, you have to ride at the pace of the slowest and you can only travel as far as the least distance-capable rider/bike.

Solo riding is pretty much the opposite really - it can be lonely, you make a decision based on one persons view and if something goes wrong you're on your own until/unless you can find a helpful local, but the positive is you do what you want, when you want.

When you say my route is 'doable' it makes it sound it is a bit of a stretch. Would you consider that to be the case having viewed my route and knowing the country?

I ride a 1300 Pan European so there is no doubt about it's distance capability but if I'm down to gravel roads that would slow me very considerably and it would possibly be worth stopping short of a daily target rather than take to gravel.
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  #12  
Old 31 Aug 2015
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Hi RachelAnne, I'm no use to you, information-wise, but I'm very interested in this thread, as Roynie and I are coming to the end of our current Russian adventure, and have already started thinking about the next one. I'll be keeping an eye out for useful nuggets of information, if you don't mind.

On the subject of road surface/bike/tyre choice, I'm getting the impression that the more remote areas of Norway/Scandinavia may be very like Russia in some respects. Here, unless you are literally travelling from St. Petersburg to Moscow on the main road, you need to be capable of some off-road riding. Road construction is done on an industrial scale here and often both lanes, for several km in a construction zone, will be unsurfaced, muddy, sandy or strewn with loose gravel of varying grades and depth - all of which can be lethal in the wet on the wrong tyres. Russian riders don't bat an eyelid at these conditions because they've been brought up with them, but it can be disconcerting for us Brits, unused to riding anything other than tarmac.
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  #13  
Old 31 Aug 2015
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I do not think you need to worry too much about road quality in Norway. I know the Swedes sometimes apply pretty coarse gravel as foundation when they refurbish their roads, and let traffic onto the work in progress. I haven't met that problem myself while riding around in Norway. Your Pan should be more than capable in case of any roadworks/detours - I wouldn't worry at all. It's not going to be like - you know - Dakar rally stuff or anything.
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Old 31 Aug 2015
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touring Norway

Hi again RachelAnne, you understood my reservations about daily distance, but riding a Pan European sort of smoothes out the road. I hear that it is very comfortable ride, and as it is probably a good idea to keep it on asfalt, no problems. Barring roadworks, diversions and local roads to campings and such there is good asfalt all the way.
The weather might be more of a problem (I watched the Vida films you linked), and June/July is a good time to make your tour. Seldom is the weather stable or predictable, you just have to deal with it. Weather forecasts here are a bit of a gamble because we have continents south and east, polar area north and Atlantic Ocean, bisected by the Gulf Stream. The dominant weather pattern is from the south-west and wet. If you have the gear to keep you dry and warm, no problem.
Other perils are animals, domestic and wild, on the road, just drive accordingly. Worse are the mosquitoes, they will drive you mad, but they don't carry any dangerous diseases. Use whatever repellants you can find, buy a veil and a broad brim hat for those unbearable times when nothing stops them, and have a strict routine with tent openings and windows.
Opening times for shops are more liberal now, but there are restictions on alcohol salestimes, and booze is heavily taxed. Prices are generally high, there are no cheap eating places, even though the kroner has dropped in relation to sterling, but this could change by next year.
There are competant mechanics in most big towns, but parts supply can be a problem. Your insurance company will have an agreement with a Norwegian company for assistance, get that straightened out before you leave.
You will need a Green Card, proving you have valid insurance, nobody asks for it until you have an accident, but it is mandatory, and free.
ATM's evrywhere, but have some cash because a lot of small businesses, like camping ground and handicrafts, prefer cash. Petrol stations take debit cards, most will do credit cards too. Shops take cards, no problems.
If you read previous posts about travelling in Scandinavia you will be well prepared, compared to most other places it is easy here, people speak English and are friendly too. Not much crime, but usual precautions.
We have an extensive network of Youth Hostels (Vandrehjem) which are usually a good deal if you need a roof, and the camping cabins too, hotels are pricy, and there arn't many B & B's, but they are usually good value too.

Safe travels

Peter,in Oslo

Last edited by GSPeter; 31 Aug 2015 at 21:04. Reason: accomodation
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  #15  
Old 8 Sep 2015
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Hi RachelAnne, I did a solo trip around the south west/fjord region last year. I was camping and using the huts/hytte. The huts were never too expensive - about £30-£35 was the most I paid. They had heating, electricity, hot plate, bunk beds. Those with better facilities cost more.

I was pushing it to do 200 miles per day. I stopped at places to see the sights , ferry crossings etc. but often felt as though I was passing through places fairly quickly. Perhaps your route will be faster and allow more progress. Don't underestimate how many times you will want to stop to photos - it is a stunningly beautiful place.

The roads are fine. I did some gravel but sought it out specially. Only ever saw one police car and no speed traps but others have had different experiences.

Hope you have a good trip. There is a slight possibility of a new ferry between UK and Norway next year. If it happens I will be on it
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