Day 8: Alta to Nordkapp (and back to Alta), 484.0km
Bike: Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin DCT
Mileage ridden today: 484.0km
Mileage so far: 3349.0km (finished!)
At 7.30am we roll out for the final leg of our mammoth eight-day trip, which has seen everything from snow on day one to sunburn and 30 degrees yesterday.
The road to Nordkapp is some 240km from Alta and renowned for police speed traps, so we chill, ride in a group of ten or so and create an Africa Twin convoy.
The scenery changes again as the DCT Africa Twins chug along in sixth gear at 90kmh, and right now it reminds me of Ranmore Common in Scotland more than anything else we’ve seen in Norway so far.
With the same hotel for two nights, my kit is all back in Alta and the Africa Twin feels lithe and flick able in comparison to the rest of the week, when I’ve been carrying 28kg of clothing and cameras with me.
Somehow, we manage to get to the fuel stop at 200km, 30 minutes before we should and drink coffee with our guide, Eric, before the final cold, 10 degree run to Nordkapp. I should not have left my spare layers at the hotel!
A few miles before Nordkapp itself and the end of the road, you ride up to around 400 metres and can see over the tops of the snowy hills to the mort northerly point in Europe. With the next stop being the North Pole, and Svalbard, it really does feel like the edge of the world.
Emotions are running high as we park our fleet of Africa Twins at the visitor centre near the edge of the cliffs and pose for pics and video at the globe that marks the most northerly point.
It has been such an amazing trip that has brought people from all backgrounds together for eight days of the best riding that I have ever done in all my years of testing bikes.
Norway truly is one of the best destinations on the world for riding motorcycles.
Honda are still working on their plans to launch #AdventureRoads as biking holidays anyone can buy, so keep your eyes on Insidebikes for more, we’ll tell you as soon as we know more.
But most of all, the common thread of the last few days has been our love for motorcycles, travel and exploring, and that’s something you will never get the same kick out of when driving a car.
Because of this trip, because of Honda, because of the Africa Twin, because of Norway, I’ve made some friends for life and will never forget the experience.
I’ve bonded so much with the Africa Twin that I’d love to try and work a deal to hang on to it! It hasn’t missed a beat, and just gets on with covering ground. It’s not every bike that I could say I’ve ridden 3349km on to Nordkapp!
We lunch together, maybe for the last time as group and then have a gentle wobble back the 240km to Alta, aware that the police are apparently watching us.
Norway, you win. The Africa Twin is at the top of its game, and motorcycles have given us a new zest for life.
But it doesn’t have to be Norway it could be a Sunday morning ride with your mates, a weekend biking holiday to North Wales, or a ride to the beach. Motorcycle adventures don’t have to be big.
I’ll leave the final words about being an adventurer to Italian Priest Francesco Negri, a man considered to be the first tourist to ever travel to the North Cape in the 1700s, to find out how people could live this far north.
He said: “Here I stand at North Cape – on the furthest outpost of civilisation – and can say that my thirst for knowledge has been satisfied. Now I can travel home happy – God willing.”
Special thanks to the organisers of this trip, our brilliant, funny and always smiling guide Eric for guiding us all the way, to Honda for putting up with me, and to David Rogers at Honda UK for arranging everything and supplying the bike.