Destination Nordkapp – Day 3
Day 3: Trondheim to Bronnoysund 445.7km
“Now the roads start to get good,” says Erick Courly, the man who scouted this mind-bending route for us from Oslo to Nordkapp. We thought it was pretty good already. But with Trondhem rapidly disappearing behind us, we jump on the only ferry of the day, land in Rorvik 25 minutes later, and embark on over 400km more of increasingly beautiful riding.
Our Africa Twins feel overloaded as the fear of speeding fines is replaced by an insatiable urge to enjoy the metronomic flow of the bends. Panniers, topbox, and a stuffed 35-litre drybag – plus my 17.5stone – mean the AT’s simplistic suspension is struggling, and I’m not the only one. Maximum preload on the shock takes some of slop out of the equation, but the rest will just have to be tolerated.
It feels like we’ve switched countries again, each day unfurling like a progressive world tour of the greatest roads on Earth. Now the E6’s light tarmac, yellow centre line, and flowing curves that cut a groove through the endless pine forests past crashing rivers and over delicate suspension bridges reminds me of the Californian hills above LA. The lunch stop arrives at a roadside layby where burgers and veg are scoffed before we spend fifteen minutes staring in awe at the engineering spectacle of the dam at Fiskum. Then we’re back on the E6 heading ever northwards. This is Norway’s main road, but you’d never guess. It doesn’t even widen to a dual carriageway, and nor does it need to. Traffic fluctuates between non-existent and light, and a good percentage of it appears to be other motorcyclists, RVs and cyclists, many of whom are going where we are – albeit with a less committed schedule.
Gone are the shifting mizzle and cloud, and we’re baking in 23-degree heat under clear blue skies as we pass enormous mirror-flat lakes and the most extreme landscape yet. Fittingly, a garish archway over the E6 declares that we’ve reached Nord Norge, the gateway to North Norway. It feels like a small victory already.
We peel off the E6 onto the 75, and head west again for the coastal peninsular town of Bronnoysund. We’re constantly fighting the urge to stop and take photos, and when we do there’s always disappointment around the next corner as the landscape eclipses the one just captured. We’ve ridden the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats, and haven’t found a bad road yet. That’s understating the truth, though. Take the very best the UK has to offer – the glorious roads of Wales, England and Scotland – and some of them can compete with parts of our route so far, but only for a few miles. Norway’s relentless, unbroken assault of superb asphalt leaves us giggling on adrenaline, euphoric at the sheer quality and variety of fast sweepers and technical hairpins, open coastal beauty and dense forested climbs.
There’s a unanimous voice of agreement over dinner, as riders from all over the world concede that we’ve never had it better. Erick laughs with the confidence only a Frenchman can muster, and says: “You’ve seen nothing yet – wait for tomorrow.”