Three bikers have left Grimsby on an epic fundraising journey to Nordkapp...
You may have read about three biker friends who are currently on a trip to Norway and back to raise funds for Andy's at St Andrew's Hospice.
Mike Cowling, Sherwood Barker-Grimshaw and Syd Dawson will each carry a small teddy bear to represent the hospice on the 5,000-mile trip, and we are pleased to say we've heard from them!
Bear Little Syd and his friends Little Mike and Little Woody have sent a diary to the hospice to keep us updated... and it's very exciting!
We have been very lucky to have a television crew doing an interview with our dads at Andy’s at St Andrew’s Hospice in Grimsby. It is available to see here. All the publicity is to promote donations for Andy’s. The TV people stayed to see us off on our long long trip to the Arctic circle to Nordkapp at the top of Norway.
First off we had a three hour road journey down to the ferry at Harwich in Essex to The Hook of Holland. It was an overnight crossing leaving at 11pm but had to be there for 8 o’clock because the nice people at Stena Line had supplied us all with a big cabin each and evening meal and breakfast. We cannot thank them enough for their hospitality it was really appreciated. A good night’s sleep before we started our 5,000 mile round trip was just what we needed. The biggest problem we would probably face is that it is 24-hour daylight this time of year, wow!
When we docked in Holland, dad and the others unstrapped the bikes and we were on our way. We have done 279 miles today up through northern Germany to Putgarden and drove straight onto the ferry, which is unusual. One hour later we are on our way through Denmark, over Malmo Bridge (which a master piece of engineering) into Sweden, the third country today. We haven't had time to see the sights and are all getting rather tired by now too.
Next, the long trek into Sweden with another ferry journey. This one only 45 minutes and costing about £30 each. It’s now starting to get a bit chilly. Our dads have nice blue T-shirts to keep them warm, with Andy’s details on it. Our little ones are small so not a lot to keep us warm! I don’t think Mike at “Belton4" does them that small anyway.
We stayed in an unusual room at Hoors which resembles Fred Flintstone’s house, the downside the dads had to cook their own meals!
We are now taking a slight detour and onto the road to Vaxjo and onto Vimmerby to visit the MX World Collection Museum. My dad used to work and travel with motocross bikes for a while years ago and had some old 1980s programmes to donate should they want them. I know they are planning to have lunch there and then get back on track for Nordkapp. It turns out that the owner arranged for their lunch and visit to the museum for free, great people, so generous. We then went to Motala and find campsite. We set up camp and the heavens opened.
Todays is a lot longer journey - 375 miles - still rainy and the camping gear had to packed away soaking wet, just like us bears. No one thought to bring us in out of the weather! Breakfast was up the road at a McDonalds - there are everywhere! We head towards Sveg, fuel and lunch at Ludvic, Fulam (no football here) and finally a B&B at Hede. Our dads really do need to try and dry some their gear - Dad left my mac and southwester at home, typical...
Today we entered Lapland and behind the sign was an old fashion wooden Loo - photo on website - so the first "Loo in Lapland!" We have done 275 miles and had more rain than ever.
Still raining albeit fine stuff, then the heavens opened and stayed that way all day. We headed for Gulliveer, only to find no cabins left. They went to the tourist information and realised there was a hotel opposite. Bliss for them - we were still out in the wet!
223-mile trip heading for Finland. It's only a short one and thankfully the weather has picked up. It's hot! Well for some in all their gear. We now go over the border at Karesuando to Palooojoensuu and into Norway. Am I pleased we bears don't have to pronounce these place names!
We head for Kautokeino campsite and into a pre-booked hut. Well, some of us did, at least it was warmer!
Today we do 249 miles, heading for Alta. We pick up the eo6 to Olderfjord then e69 up to Nordkapp. Passing through four tunnels, one of which was a sea tunnel about 7km long and very cold. The temperature dropped nearly ten degrees.
We arrived at Nordkapp at about 4pm - a lifelong ambition completed! We were given permission to take one bike (ours) to the Globe for charity pictures.
There is an exhibition centre with a film running which the dads watched. We then had to backtrack about 25km to another pre-booked campsite and hut. We have done 2,454 miles to date and now we are to make our way home again, but by a different route. The plan is to come via the west coast of Norway through the amazing Fjords. Can't wait.
Only 130 miles today as it is the scariest day of all our lives.
Beside the rain, the wind was the problem. It was so strong we were getting blown from one side of the road to the other, the bikes were never upright.
I am sure that on two occasions the front wheel was not in contact with the road. The others had the same problems as they were in front of me. When we reached Olderfjord we stopped for fuel, as our bike was running on fumes! We went inside, as all the manned garages are coffee shop too, and had breakfast.
The last 100km lead us to Alta where we found a hotel. The bikes, with us bears, were put to bed - even though it was only midday!
Keep an eye out for another update from the bears and the boys soon!