I am not sure if I would do it again. The first time I was afraid. I was afraid of the unknown. If I do it again I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what I know could happen.
There were good bits and not so good bits. There were things I could do better and there was stuff that I just brought with me and never used.
The Good Bits
Driving my XRV750 Africa Twin fully loaded through Scandinavia. The roads were super. The quality of the surfaces combined with scenery makes these some of the best motorcycling roads in the world. Wet or dry the moods of the fjords and mountins were awe inspiring. Glaciers, waterfalls and pastrol valleys are all part of the wonderful fabric of Norway. Although route 6 is undergoing major upgrades and will be completed in 2021, this meant long delays. If you want to go into northern Norway go through Sweden. Speeding is up there with murder in Norway. The fines are eyewatering.
The midnight sun was a majestic experience for me. Looking out onto the Lofoten Islands is going to be a cherised memory.
Not so Good Bits,
Losing my wallet and phone on the return trip was an upset. The phone has been returned thank goodness. My worst driving experiences were two extremes. Rotterdam in a heat wave of 40c was very trying. It was surpassed by the cross wind on top of the mountains as I crossed into the Arctic. The gusts of cold Arctic wind blew me off my driving line and the bike was angled over like I was going around a roundabout at 40kph. The fully loaded Africa Twin and I were a bit stressed. The experience made me think of blast freezers for turkeys at Christmas.
Things I Would Do Better.
Next time I will not drive through the UK. Although I think it made for a genuine motorcycle tour. Perhaps the ferry to Cherbourg is a better option. The infrastructure in the UK is stressed with the amount of traffic and road works. Also, I would consider going up through Sweden to Tromso. The 80kph speed limit on highways in Norway can be a bit dull sometimes. Also I would upgrade the saddle of my bike. There are a couple of seams, one on each side of the saddle, that were uncomfortable.
Bring a couple of fuses next time.
Stuff I Didn’t Use.
I think I used everything except for the first aid kit. That is good.
The whiskey question? I brought five bottles. Two were decanted into plastic bottles and were in a side pannier. Three were in the top box. I bought another litre bottle of Tullamore Dew on the ferry. The square bottle is a good shape to fit in the top box.
My little ball of malt each evening was a treat I looked forward to after a day in the saddle. I drank 3 bottles of Powers Gold Lable and half a bottle of Tullamore Dew. I gave one bottle as a present and I shared one with some German bikers from Hanover. Maybe I brought too much but better looking at it than looking for it. Its €60 a bottle in the bottle shops. Norway is expensive.
It was a marvellous experience. The blog and feedback kept me company. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again though.