Day 7, Friday, March 2nd 2018
Distance covered: 542 km
Driving: 9am – 10pm (CMT +1) (Nordkapp and real dinner included)
Weather: Cloudy, some sun, later full moon
Lowest temperature: -8C
Border crossing: Norway – Finland (no border control)
After a healthy Tea and Cookies breakfast, we were amazed by the scenery around our cabin, which we had reached the night before in the dark. And after some quick pictures, we were heading north: direction Nordkapp.
The roads were very icy, just right for our 4×4 and Spikes Tires. After an hour, we reached the long and quite steep (down and up again) underwater tunnel that connects the mainland with the Nordkapp Island. Interestingly, most of the tunnels up here are closed by “doors”, that open automatically upon arrival.
Half an hour later we reached the gathering point for the Nordkapp convoy. In winter, you can only reach the Nordkapp in a convoy following a snow plow (again because of the strong wind blowing snow on the street). These convoys leave at 11:00 (the one we took), 12:00 (mainly busses full of elderly people from “Hurtig Routen”) and at 19:00 (in the dark). Many other BSC teams were already waiting in line and it was great to have a chat with other teams and learn of their latest adventures.
30 minutes later, we finally reached the (quite expensive: 50,- €) parking lot at the Nordkapp and were proud and relieved we made it up to the Globe, for our Champagne enriched picture!
Not reaching the Nordkapp due to car issues would have been a massive frustration. After making it here, everything else was a nice addition, but our Rallye clearly had reached it’s emotional climax.
The landscape was again breathtaking: white hills, no more vegetation, the Arctic Sea ahead, a low sun and light snow showers with a strong wind at -7C.
We enjoyed a Cappuccino and Blueberry Cake in the modern Visitor Center, took a look at the small exhibition on the “Battle of the North Cape” with the sinking of the Scharnhorst and left the Nordkapp in another convoy around 12:30.
Very short and fast
Obviously, we were heading south, enjoying sun and landscape and heading towards Finland. As we were soon leaving the most spectacular landscape of the trip behind us and as we wanted to spend a full day in St.Petersburg, without touching the car, we had to make a good distance today and especially the next day.
We crossed the unguarded border in the dark. With a lot of snow and ice on the street, we commenced our drive on a long and straight street across shallow hills until we reached Inari. Being hungry and in the mood for good food (after last nights canned soup), we visited the best rated restaurant in town “Aanaar” and were quite surprised. The menu offered a wide selection of local food (reindeer as well as fish) and the wine list was promising, too. We decided on two different reindeer dishes which were both great.
After another 30 minutes drive, we reached around 22:00 our home for the night: an easy vacation resort with cabins close to a river, just outside of Ivalo.
This was the last stop with some realistic chance on Aurora Borealis. And as there where some stars visible between the clouds, we decided to spend some tome outside in front of our cabins, staring into the night. But the foam on our self-tapped Krombacher turned into ice within minutes, so we didn’t stay too long and gave up.
No Aurora Borealis this rallye, but a good reason to come back.