Arrival into Norway – the record is in sight
It took us over 14 hours to cross Sweden from South to North through last night, which felt like a very long way for our now slightly tired team. At least Sweden has beautiful empty smooth roads - about as much of a contrast to the African road conditions we've experienced as it's possible to get!
As dawn arrived, we crossed the Arctic Circle and then onwards into Finland, our penultimate country of the whole challenge. It has been an interesting experience to see these remote parts of Scandinavia. As you'd imagine, it's very empty indeed with pine forests and mirror-still lakes and cold-looking fjords cutting in and out. The houses are all in the same style, small wooden cottages painted in bright colours. But in general, after 19 hours crossing Scandinavia now, theses empty forest landscapes are losing a little bit of their appeal for the three of us.
And so we cross into Norway. The country of our destination, Nordkapp. The temperature is down to 9 degrees , with an icy wind and occasional rain showers making it pretty unpleasant outside the Touareg.
We still have 377km to travel North across the bleak and empty landscape of Norway, so we're far from finished just yet. But, the end is in sight, and we're starting to allow ourselves the idea that we could beat our ambition to finish in under 10 days quite nicely.
The three of us are really staring to feel tired now. We've really given our all over the last 9 days, and to be honest there isn't a lot more left to give. But our spirits are high, the mood is good in the car. We are probably now running on adrenaline at the prospect of getting to that Northern Cape and claiming a new World Record within the coming hours.
And let's not forget the fourth member of our team, the Touareg V6 TDI. No matter what the road can throw at is, it is continuing to soak up everything without complaint. It may be looking filthy and bit battered in places, but it is the hero of this challenge.
Our next update will be after the finish - wish us luck!