Cape 2 Cape – The Adventure begins
My next big adventure has begun. Cape 2 Cape, hitchhiking from the North Cape to Cape Town, going all the way through Europe and then all the way through Africa.
Last year I finished my trip hitchhiking 45.000 km all around Asia, and now I’ve spend the winter up in the Arctic. It was an amazing experience getting to know the polar nights, seeing the Northern Lights in Norway and experiencing the darkness of a polar winter. I can totally understand that it makes people depressive living with so much darkness. You can’t believe how happy it made me seeing the sun rise again after two whole months not seeing and not feeling any sunlight. So for me I found out that I’m solar powered and now in desperate need of sun and warm places.
It’s the interest in the African culture, a culture which is very diverse from country to country and so many different ethnic groups we know so little about what makes me want to explore this continent.
I haven’t planned too much so far. I just know I’m going now through Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and then for a short visit back home to Austria before going further South. Or I might even spend some more time in Europe before heading over to Africa. I’m also not sure yet which route I’m taking from Europe to Africa, but going from Spain to Morocco sounds most reasonable.
On the map it shows the most direct route, which would be hitchhiking 16.000km and with one car it would take just 216 hours to get from the North Cape to Cape Town. I might have a few stops more and will need a little longer. 😉
The last four months I was working on a Husky farm in Arctic Norway, taking care of lovely sled dogs (I will write more about the good and the bad of working on a Husky farm later on).
Anyway, after spending so much time in Alta, a small Norwegian city in the Arctic, I’m just happy to be on the road again. It’s cold and uncomfortable, I don’t know what I will eat or where I will sleep and maybe I have to camp outside in the freezing cold, but it feels good to move on.
After watching the start of the Finnmarksløpet, Europe’s biggest dog sled race I started hitching towards Finland. So the first day on the road again I ended up about half the way in Lakselv. And since I couldn’t reach my friend who was living there, I was going to put my tent on the camping place in Lakselv. When I asked the owner of the camping place if it would be okay to put my tent in their backyard, they went like “Why don’t you want to take a room?”. So I told her that I’m travelling without any money and she went, “Ah, no problem! Come inside. Here take this room. What do you want to drink? Here, have a beer!”. So nice!
And then she and her staff took me out for some more beer to the local pub of this tiny village.
The next day I slept long, started hitchhiking pretty late and at first it didn’t seem to work. At the petrol station where I was asking around everyone seemed to go in the other direction until I met one guy who said, he’s going in the other direction but he will put it on Facebook that I’m looking for a ride south-wards. And really after about half an hour a woman walked into the petrol station and asked me if I’m the guy looking for a ride. So lovely Norwegians! 🙂
So she took me to Karasjok at the border to Finland and dropped me at the Finnmarksløpet checkpoint, where I chatted with some girls volunteering there while warming myself at their camp fire and watched the race a little. The night I sneaked into a lavvu, the traditional tent of the Sami (the indigenous people from Northern Scandinavia), and slept very well on a cosy reindeer fur.
The next morning I hitchhiked over across the border and got stuck right after the border crossing. The whole morning I tried my luck with no car stopping and then decided to ask the people in the restaurant there. At the restaurant were many local Norwegians gambling and getting wasted for relatively little money compared to the prices in Norway.
So while waiting for a ride I joined the locals for a chat and got invited for some hot chocolates and a warm meal. And after a while a truck offered me a ride down the road and took me to a small place 30km before Inari where I ran into a Husky farm run by a German woman.
She had 26 Siberian Huskies and I stayed there for two nights, helped with the dogs and was going on a dog sled tour with her. The owners of the place she was renting would ask her for 20€ per night if she would have a guest in her own rooms. So I just slept on the balcony in my sleeping bag. Luckily it wasn’t as cold that nights. It had only around -8 °C and I was sweating as hell because I’m used to something around -30 °C now. 🙂
Have you been to Africa? Let me know about your experience and where you’ve been. Is there any place you totally recommend going to?