My Russian visa starts on November 15th, so when you look at it it's not that much time to ride 4,000 kms and stop and photograph all that a trip and ride like this has to offer.
I also have a bit of a weather window to get up to Nordkapp before it just get's too inhospitable and dark, although it's probably not going to be much better in Russia in December.
I would like to be in St. Petersburg Russia as close to the start date of my visa for Russia of Nov 15th, and that will give me about 10 days to spend in St. Petersburg and photograph as much of the city as possible before I have to head over to Moscow and then up to Yaroslavl, 300kms north of Moscow, where I was invited by the Black bears MC in Russia to attend their Winter Rally on Dec 5th.
As Karin was speaking with her friend Ing-Margreth one day, she hung up the phone and told me a little of her friends diagnosos of breast cancer. So I asked Karin to ask Ing-Margreth if she would be up for a visit with her and maybe take her for a sidecar ride.
So that's what we did.
Ing-Margreth, Vejbystrand Harbor, Sweden. Oct 8, 2012.
I stopped by the house and spoke with her inside for a bit, then we went for a sidecar ride down to Vejbystrand harbor where these shots were taken.
Ing-Margreth starts her chemo this week, so she will most likely lose her hair, so I was glad to be able to give some nice photos for her scrapbook before the chemo does it's job.
Ahh, ok, all good. Now I can think straight.
I carry 2 MSR stoves with me so while I'm making coffee I can also make toast or cook oatmeal at the same time.
There are a number of items on my outfit that I carry 2 of, and especially on a big trip like this, mainly as a backup, but in this case for convenience also.
If you only have 1 stove with you and it decides to die while you're up in Nordkapp in -20°, it could be a problem. Fire and heat are important to have backups of, the same way I carry multiple campfire lighters, the butane refillable ones. I have at least 3 with me, they don't like the extreme cold so it's good to have a few. The way I have my outfit set up is to be as self sufficient as possible. Even though as a fellow traveller once said to me "They bake bread everywhere", it may not always be possible to get to the bakery.
I've got into this habit of having the same thing for breakfast a few years back when in Death Valley, I discovered this combination and just stuck with ever since, first because I love the taste and second, none of these food items require any special storage like refrigeration. The Choco gets a little firmer as the temperature gets colder, but I keep it in my sleeping bag at night when it goes below -5°, otherwise you cant spread it. Plus, these food items are, for the most part, good high energy calories in cold weather, and easy to eat provided you have a wicked sweet tooth like myself and think that everything tastes better with chocolate.
And it's pretty healthy if you spread them on a good grain bread. Well, that's my story anyway. I am having a hard time finding the Blueberry Jam, ever since I left germany this Bonne Maman brand I can't find, and no, all Blueberry Jam is not created equal, nor does it taste the same either.
Musn't grumble though. Could be worse.
All packed up and ready to go after making sure that I left minimal or no impact on the area.
So I made it to Husqvarna. I probably took a few hundred images from inside the museum, so I'm going to have to leave that article for the next post......
.....but here's a teaser shot for you. Some gorgeous bikes in there.
Meanwhile, as I'm writing this entry from Stockholm, another 'little' issue has come up with the outfit and that is the clutch, which may require me to do a complete clutch replacement. Nobodys fault really, but it appears that the sintered clutch plate that I put in may be too hard for the stock BMW pressure plates, I will know more this week when I remove the starter and see if I can take a look at the clutch. If I have to replace it, it will require pretty much taking the whole outfit apart, but better it happen here in Stockholm then up in Nordkapp. I have some friends that are working on trying to get me a garage space to work on the outfit and Frank Hoffmann at Wunderlich Germany is organizing getting me a new stock BMW clutch plate setup.
I would like to say that when I emailed Frank Hoffmann at Wunderlich Germany about this issue, within 10 minutes he had called me right back at the phone number I gave him. It gives me tremendous confidence to know that I have this type of support from Frank and Wunderlich Germany. Thank you very much Frank.
So, that's where I'm at right now. I have to make a decision regarding the clutch. I'm half thinking of just going for it and heading up to Nordkapp with the new clutch from Wunderlich in a bag and just take a chance that I can make it to Russia. If I wait and do the repairs here in Stockholm, it's going to delay me for another week or more, but if I go and the clutch lets loose in or around Nordkapp, then I'm really screwed, as there's nowhere out there to do a repair as big as that.
So... Make it or break it, wing it or bring it? Am I biting off more than I can chew?.
The comments section is now open,
that way if I break down in Nordkapp I'll have something to read as I freeze my ass off on the side of the road.......