As the rest of the UK received a large dumping of snow, the Isle of Wight instead had high winds and squally rain showers. This is an image of the Needles on the west cost of the Isle of Wight. Walking up from the car park, the winds were in excess of 60 knots, which translates to mid force 11 winds, a few knots shy of hurricane wind speeds!
Shot for the Day (30 September 2017)
Once back on the mainland in Ullapool in Scotland and I decided to visit the local light house I had spotted on the way out and back from the Outer Hebrides. I found a good location overlooking Rhue Lighthouse but I was being heavily buffeted by the wind, which was far stronger than the waves in the image show. However, after about half an hour of opalescent skies, the clouds parted and the shaft of light caught the beach in the foreground and struck the light house perfectly beyond it.
I ended up having to drive pretty hard to make up for the time I spend fiddling around to get this shot, to make my flight that evening in Glasgow. however, it was definitely worth it.
Shot for the Day (12 March 2017)
Believe it or not, this is late spring / early summer in Ushuaia. You can just make out the city across the Beagle Channel to the right on the coast. The clouds rolled in from the south (which in this case, the next landmass is Antartica) and it started to snow (this would be like late May in Europe). We were on a yacht and the boat was at a constant 30 degree angle as we sped across the waves back to town. It was unbelievably cold and all of the passengers were required to stay on deck.
On the plus side, the wildlife we had travelled over to see did not seem to care about the impending storm.
Day 12: Jokulsarlon to Litlahof
We woke up to thick cloud but there was no wind or rain. Planned to do 130km. When we got on the bike Dave began to suffer from the illness that had struck him on his way out here. It struck him quite early in the day and as it really kicked in he could hardly move. We attempted to do 35km’s before breakfast but Dave couldn’t make it so we stopped and set up for a hot drink. Cycled a little bit further. Julien then got his second puncture which was very annoying as he only had two inner tubes but it was caused due to the poor gravel road surfaces. We now have no inner tubes left, so fingers crossed.
By the afternoon Julien was getting really cold. Dave was very ill. Dave wanted to thumb a ride as he could go no further. Julien decided to go on to find a hostel. There was nothing, so he cycled on and on and on. 40 clicks down the road found a town called Litlahof.
A landlady said she had a house with rooms. Julien took the room at about 4pm and waited for Dave. He was in a bad way so arrived at 8 PM. When he got to the hostel we had a chat and decided that Dave should rest up and either meet up with Julien at the end of each day or head to Reykjavik. Four days to go. About 110km solo planned per day.
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Day 25: Tore to Pello
Julien had a little bit of a late start this morning as it took him some time to recover from the 95 miles he cycled yesterday.
He knew that today would be a bit shorter and was expecting to cover around 120km.
He set off towards OverKalix and cycled towards the town for 53km. The route was very hilly and Julien faced a constant headwind that really slowed him down.
The hills and the wind meant that it took Julien 4 and a half hours to reach OverKalix, rather than the two hours he was expecting.
Julien stopped in briefly at OverKalix, which was a really nice picturesque town. He pushed on and was excited about heading towards Finland.
Julien cycled to Övertorneå and again faced a strong headwind. This meant he arrived at the town about an hour later than he was expecting.
He had a bite to eat at Övertorneå and then cycled onwards crossing the bridge from Sweden in Finland.
Crossing the bridge Julien had about 50km of great cycling. The road was finally flat, the wind died down and there was very little traffic.
Julien passed the campsite he had originally planned to stay in and decided to push on to the Artic Circle.
Finland is two hours ahead of the UK so by the time Julien arrived everything had shut down, but he was still really chuffed to have made it the Artic Circle after 2000 miles!
The excitement of reaching the Artic Circle gave Julien a boost of energy and he continued on for another 25km.
However the wind picked up and he was very tired by this stage so it took him a couple of hours to reach the nearest campsite.
When Julien arrived at the town it was absolutely buzzing with people in the streets and a band playing.
Julien had to queue to get into the campsite and once he made it inside he discovered that a massive motor racing event is occurring over the next couple of days.
At 11.30 it was still really bright outside with the sun still a fair distance above the horizon. Combined with the party atmosphere Julien is not expecting much sleep tonight!
Still, hopefully Julien will get some sleep before cycling on tomorrow – he really is on the home stretch now!
Here is the Google Map for today. You can sponsor Julien on his Just Giving page.
Please also visit the Child’s i Foundation and see if you can do anything to help out!
Day 24: Älvsbyn to Tore
Julien could not get a signal on his phone last night, but I just got a text from him with an update on what he got up to yesterday.
He started out a little bit later than usual because his clothes were stuck in the campsites washing machine!
Eventually the owner of the campsite managed to fix the machine and Julien set off at about 11.
He cycled towards Lulea on a rough road and was shaken around quite a bit on the way. On the plus side he saw some stunning views on the route.
He stopped in for lunch but couldn’t read the menu so randomly ordered something to eat. He is still not sure what it was but said it tasted ok!
Julien did not particularly like Lulea, he got stuck on a dangerous dual carriageway on the way north to Tore.
The hard shoulder was sometimes only 10cm wide and traffic was passing him by at 70mph!
To avoid this Julien decided to take a much longer back road route which turned into stone / mud tracks. He did an extra 50km as a result.
He got to Tore and found a campsite that had some gorgeous views over the sea.
Julien thinks it was a bit of a mistake to come to the Baltic coast, as the roads are all so busy.
Julien is now heading on to Finland. Here is the Google Map of yesterday’s journey.
You can sponsor Julien on his Just Giving page.