This fabulous post was sent in by Laicie Laufman, Prinsendam’s librarian.
Highlight of Visit:
Conquering the extremely challenging 2 ½ hr/33km bike trek up to the North Cape from the port of Honningsvag. As I reached the very top I was overcome with a sense of pride and satisfaction. Some of my colleagues thought I might have become a casualty to the pains of the journey but then I arrived with wide eyes and a big smile on my face to their surprise, and mine as well!
Downer of the Day:
We did lose a handful of riders throughout the strenuous course of the various hill slopes (which seemed like treacherous mountains at the time) and one of our riders hurt his knee.
“Where there is a will there is a way, but in that mix I need some apple juice and a PB&J,” by Laicie.
I knew this was something I just had to do. After all, who wouldn’t want to experience the landscapes of Norway to their fullest, right? From past experiences I knew that overworking myself sometimes resulted in fainting or severe nausea (climbing Mt. Fuji a couple years ago) and I refused the possibility of this repeating itself. For some reason apple juice has come through in several trying times of mine and today it proved itself once again. With each swig I felt a revitalizing rush of power send bolts of boosting energy through me. I must also give kudos to my pre- and post-snack of PB&J sandwiches and bananas!!!
Word got out that the Chief Engineer was planning a massive bike tour to the North Cape and bikes were being prepared for such an event. The night prior to the trip I got wind of this and decided to contact our Human Resource Manager to see if there were any spaces left. Apparently I was granted the last spot. After a fulfilling slumber I woke with excitement to get my warm biking apparel on and backpack organized for a long day ahead. When that was done I went down to the bike racks and claimed my ‘baby’ early before anyone else could get to her. I made way to the P.O. for a bit of energy intake and sandwich preparation then proceeded to get two bunches of bananas to share with the rest of the athletes. Soon after we were ready to take off.
Once the Chief had given us a pep talk and we took some preliminary photos, it became each person for themselves toward the destination of NordKapp. The weather was ideal. Crisp air, lush greenery, ample rock displays, sparkling water, some snow and of course sunshine that was both warm and full of life. We had a quick photo stop at the sign which said 31km to go (everyone was there) and after that the little specs of dispersed riders began to disappear. I was alone most of the way but was surrounded by such beauty including some cute lil reindeer wondering about the background. I rode in silence for a third of the way then realized I needed some ‘pumping up’ music , soon came the 80’s and 90’s dance hits!
The ride seemed never ending, and just when I thought I had dominated a hill, a curve around revealed another one! The course was diverse in nature since there were plateaus, graduating slopes, extreme curvy escalating roads and some steep downward releases (those ones were the ones that reminded me to keep going). It was tough, to say at the very least. I learned a lot about the mechanics of my shaky bike and also came to realize that the lower gears weren’t going to behave properly so I would have to cope. I pushed, I grunted, I sweat, I sighed, I thought about life, I invoked a beast within and I conquered that bloody ride with strength! (I think we also felt similar). I was behind the pack and when I entered the 30 dollar site I went looking for the super team. I think that they must have thought I had turned back because they were all very happy to see me. The sense of accomplishment and spirit was so intense. I felt as though adrenaline inside of me was seeping out my pores- it was amazing!
The view was wondrous. Unfortunately my colleague with the injured knee could no longer ride, so we hoped on a 30-min bus back to the ship and reminisced about the day that was. Congratulations to all the crew that took on the NorthKapp and special shot outs to the 3 special ones that made the return trip!!!
Yet another travel memory, to go down in the books.