Cycling Home from Norway
A Trip Report
Following a four week expedition with the British Schools Exploring Society in Arctic
Norway, I waved off the team at the airport and hopped onto my bike to take the
long way home.
The journey took some three weeks, travelling through Norway, Finland and Sweden
on a 1000 mile route to Vasteras near Stockholm.
It was not a complicated trip. It didn't involve much planning or any training; there
was nothing particularly innovative about it nor was it a great physical challenge.
What it was, however, for me, was a powerful experience; travelling solo in a simple
manner with time to reflect and learn as I went. And learn I did.
In many ways such a short and straightforward trip does not warrant the writing of a
report such as this. It is perhaps an indulgence but I gained so much from this trip
that I hope to pass on some of my experience by writing about it. That, and I have
thoroughly enjoy spending the time looking back at the adventure.
After two and a half years organising logistics for the British Schools Exploring
Society (BSES), based in the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in London, I was
given the opportunity to partake in an expedition in the field as an assistant leader.
The expedition,which consisted of some 30 Young Explorers and 16 leaders, was
based on the Loppa Peninsula of northern Norway, near the town of Alta. Time was
split evenly between sea kayaking around the fjords and mountaineering on the
Oksfjordjokolen glacial snout and ice cap.
The equipment used for the expedition was shipped out by container – a service
kindly donated by Sea Cargo and Norlines. With the coinciding of a large container
being sent to Norway and the termination of my current employment, an idea was
born: I would cycle home from Norway.
Stopped early to
pitch tent in
exhausted from 4
weeks leading a
group in the
1, 36km, near
Day 1, 7:24pm