Circumnavigation of the Baltic Sea: Microcamper Summer (Travel Journal)

Day 10

On the evening of the 10th day, we reach the northernmost point in Europe. Now it comes to a big challenge. Christian wants to paddle to the real Norkap and I want to hike, not to the tourist one. From the sportive activity itself it is doable for both of us. But: Paddling path and hiking path do not run parallel. Both can be done in a different time and the kayak has to go down a cliff first! The last one is the most challenging.
We park the car as close as possible to the deployment point for the kayak, directly in front of the North Cape sign and at the starting point of the European hiking trail E1. The kayak is already set up and must now be maneuvered down a steep cliff about 300 m high. This turns out to be quite exhausting. The length makes the kayak unwieldy to carry and it is not really light either. For over 2 h we torture ourselves with the kayak meandering down the descent. It is really exhausting and I grumble admittedly completely unnecessary much to myself.
By now it is 11 p.m. and raining lightly. We discussed the organizational procedure and take the Walki Talkies with us to stay in contact. And off we go. Christian sets off with the kayak to the North Cape. Despite the rain I try to take a few pictures with the camera. As I have seen him no more, I make myself immediately and as fast as it is possible for me on the way up. 1 km hiking trail with 300 hm are not run in 10 min. I do not know it to the minute. I estimate that it has taken me about 25 min to walk up.
I am very focused on the path and so irritated when suddenly 5 m in front of me reindeer stand on the path. Funny enough, the animals seem to be as irritated as I am. They clear the way for me and I walk on to the car and drive to my hiking starting point, which is 6 km away. I park Edgar at the parking lot, grab the drone case and camera, and start walking with GPS. At first, I have trouble to orient myself. But I quickly understand how the path is signposted, namely with the help of stone people.
A look at the GPS tells me that the battery charge is low and I may have to rely completely on myself. With a somewhat queasy feeling I hike towards the North Cape. On far corridor no human being is to be seen. The way leads me across the tundra. Now and then I see reindeer and above me a hawk circles, in whose area I probably penetrated. When I see footprints on the path, I get more safety that I am right. About halfway down the trail, an elderly couple comes toward me. I ask them how far it still is to the North Cape. They answer me, they have needed for a distance 2.5 h and have stayed there only 10 min, before they have started again the way back. That shocks me. But I have no choice, we want to meet at the North Cape. I run and run without knowing when I will arrive. After about 7 km Christian radios me. The walkie talkies have contact! He tells me that he’s been there for a while, it’s getting cold and he’s heading back and I should turn back too.
I am briefly disappointed that I did not quite make it to the real North Cape. But the thought is quickly gone. The joy overweighs the fact that the contact of the walkie talkies is working. I know that Christian in the kayak covers the distance faster than I do on foot. I turn around immediately and walk back to the parking lot as fast as I can with my luggage on my back. 2 people I see in front of me give me drive and take away the feeling of being alone. The way back I run much faster, also with the thought that Christian should not wait too long for me and cool down. I manage the 7 km in a little over 1 h, get into the car, drive to the touristy North Cape and hurry down the steep coast. At the bottom, we are both done and treat ourselves to a break with apples, cookies and water. We decide to get the kayak later and look for a place to sleep. 3:30 we lie in our sleeping bags and in the rooftop tent, which protects us from upcoming wind and rain.

at the Nordcap
at the Nordcap ©Christian Hein

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