Starting Location:Â Overkalix
Ending Location:Â Abisko
Total Distance Traveled (including this day):Â 3012kmÂ
Bike Comfort Factor (1-10) :6
“Tired” Factor (1-10) :3
After the trip the day before, we felt like new people this morning after some real sleep. Â We started to pack up items when Gregg announced the nearby restaurant served breakfast! Â Actual cooked breakfast!. Â So over we went. Â The most expensive brekkie in living history, but it was worth it.
And at this point, a moment of sadness and regret. Â Sadness that Vladimir (who abuses me constantly) head to return home to Denmark and regret that after he did such a great job setting the pace getting us this far north so quickly, he couldn’t join us for Norway. Â His lovely daughter’s 16th Birthday was coming up and he couldn’t miss it. Â You would be hard pressed to find a better guide, host and family that constantly made me laugh as they viciously abused each other (and me) verbally.
Before heading NorthWest, we just *had* to make a detour to a tractor museum we say the evening before. Â A few kilometres away, we pulled in and met the owner, who decided to open up just for us (it was not open in season as yet). Â This guy had fascinating tractors, motorbikes and more. Â He could have spent all day showing us around. Â Starting tractors, showing us WW2 motorbikes, offering us coffee. Â We stayed for an hour, but then had to move on.
40km later, we hit the arctic circle line for the first time. Â The swedish version is marked and a small store/coffee shop is there. Â A nice lady sells tourist stuff and we sit there, impressed with ourselves.
Then, onwards we went. Â Feeling it get colder as we headed more north and to higher altitudes. Â The first of the frozen lakes appeared and the volume of traffic dropped off to almost nothing. Â In the next petrol stop a local in broken english wanted to talk about cars ( I tried) and then his daughter who can’t find a husband living in Munich and won’t come back home. Â I nodded appropriately. Â Then “Is Jesus your saviour”?. Â I pretended I couldn’t understand and we had to move on. Â A few hours later and the bikes are rolling past Abisko National Park. Â Stunning. Â Just stunning.
From here, we had only a few hours to go to get the campsite. Â The site was mostly empty (winter dog-sledding is their primary business). Â Sean Cull had been in touch with them to book for us. Â They even kept the local restaurant open for us and served us Moose. Â We shared a room (bunk beds) and got to bed about midnight, in the sunshine. Â The train station beside us rumbled with freight through the night. Â The next day was the first scheduled rest day/contingency day. Â There was an option to head north to TromsÃ¶ or take it easy. Â There were differences of opinion on what to do the next day but everyone agreed that we were not tired enough to rest yet. Â Onwards!