Destination Nordkapp – Day 2
Day 2: Fosnavag to Trondheim 446.8km
Sporadic sleep revealed that the sun sets for barely an hour this far north, the night gloom more thanks to cloud and rain than any lack of sunlight. We’re promised some amazing roads today, as we cling to the Atlantic coast road, and head for a series of islands and bridges that have long been lodged in my mind’s eye as a must-ride destination.
A quick blast to the first of the day’s three ferries saw us dodging showers through a monochrome landscape of islands and inlets. The roads undulate through gently rising mountains that remind me again of the Scottish Highlands. A second ferry took us to Molde, via occasional glimpses of the open sea towards the Faroe Islands – we’re already a long way north, the whole of the UK well below us, and Iceland barely above.
Effortlessly flowing roads suddenly leave us exposed to the deep blue Atlantic, and myriad rocky islands linked by a strip of tarmac clinging impossibly to craggy outcrops and man-made stacks. In the distance looms a launch ramp that looks like a forgotten stunt prop from one of Evel Kneivel’s record attempts. My pulse is racing, and I can’t quite believe that I’m here, two decades after I first saw a picture of the crazy curving arch bridge that peaks a dizzying 75ft above the crashing Atlantic. Spanning 850ft, there’s a pronounced crest and left turn as we summit the Storseisundet bridge, revealing yet more island-hopping links and an increasingly filmic landscape beyond. It’s too good to let it pass, so we pull in to a layby, retrace our steps and do it again. And again. And again. One minute we’re bathed in sunlight, the next we’re leaning at 25-degrees into howling winds and driving rain. The weather changes here with ferocious speed. Another couple of passes and we concede that we can’t just do this all day, reluctantly deciding to push on towards our goal for the day, the city of Trondheim.
The third ferry of the day, from Rykkjem to Kvanne, leads us to a huge river valley, riding the banks of the Surna between steep carved valley walls. The clouds have receded, and as we drop down into Tronheim in early evening, sunlight bounces off the brightly painted riverside buildings of the historic old town as we meander through quiet streets to our city centre hotel. For a supposedly bustling student town, it feels pleasantly quiet – the sort of venue you could imagine flying in to for a weekend city break.
After a scrub-up and a change of clothes, we have dinner then head out for a walk around town to stretch our legs. They should be aching after two days and nearly 1000km of riding, and it’s the first time I’m conscious that there’s not yet been a single leg-stretching moment of cramp or discomfort. For such a narrow-seated adventure bike, the Africa Twin is proving to be one of the most spaciously comfortable distance tools I’ve ever ridden.