Kings of the North
Kings of the North
In December 2016, Eddy Gotink and five fellow off-roaders set out on a round-trip journey to one of the northernmost points in Europe—North Cape, Norway—by way of Copenhagen, Vaxjö and Stockholm.
Gotink and his friends were prepared for extreme conditions: tough terrain, freezing temperatures and lack of daylight. Some nights were spent building fires, and one night was spent building an igloo as they inched closer to their destination. The group managed all of it with only three to four hours of daylight, blindfolded by the rotation of the Earth. “It was dark till about 10 am and around 1 pm it started getting dark again!” recalled Gotink.
One night, the group was unable to access their Airbnb rental due to excess snowfall. Gotink stopped a snowplow passing by and offered the driver a bottle of vodka in exchange for his services. Luckily, the driver accepted and helped them plow a route to shelter.
Adventure Inside of Adventure
In Arvidsjaur, Sweden, the group rented snowmobiles to experience the beautiful landscape up close. Scooting through the snow while straddling a 600 cc, 2-cylinder, 2-stroke engine with a top speed of 140 kph (87 mph) on ice was a great opportunity for Gotink and his friends to put their driving skills to the test.
A Few Close Calls
The group often drove on dark, snowy roads, so high beams were the norm. One night, after passing another vehicle that also had their high beams on, Gotink’s car switched to low beams—quickly finding themselves in total darkness. Seemingly out of thin air, a group of reindeer materialized. Gotink’s car wasn’t able to stop, but thankfully, they didn’t hit the animals who escaped unscathed.
Another day, two of the three cars ended up getting stuck in the deep snow. Gotink’s vehicle, fitted with BFGoodrich® studded tires, became the hero after pulling them out of the snow and back on track.
A Journey to Remember
After safely reaching North Cape, Gotink and the rest of the group got to witness the Northern Lights—a well-earned show for a spectacularly demanding journey.