• Start date: June 1989
  • End date: September 1989
  • Start / end point: Kirkenes-Stavenger (North-South coast respectively)
  • Total km: 2,500
  • Expedition duration: 85 days
  • Challenges achieved: First Spanish expedition by kayak off Norway coastline


At the end of June 1989, Ramón Larramendi and Rafael Peche begin a kayak expedition in the vicinity of the Arctic: navigation off the Norway west coast, from north to south, 2,500 kilometers rowing, in total autonomy and without any follow-up from land. In addition, all supplies would be obtained from hunting, fishing and the hospitality of the people whom they met. The budget was less than half a euro per day.

The voyage began in the town of Kirkenes, 500 km north of the Arctic Circle and 7 km from the Russian border. The first days, accompanied by the midnight sun, were the hardest, until they managed to get used to the polar cold and the intense north wind.

On June 27, they crossed the North Cape and continued their journey south. For many days they rowed in solitude, crossing fjords up to 23 km wide. As the days passed, they learned to fish and managed to stock up on what the sea had to offer. As of Tromso, the weather improved, but Peche had health problems that complicated the progress of the two companions, both 22 years of age. Although they tried to continue together, finally, after 1,500 km traveled and 62 days of crossing, Peche was forced to leave and Larramendi continued alone. His partner was waiting for him at the finish line.

Although initially Larramendi had thought to end in Oslo, finally he chose to stop at Stavengen, 1.000 km away from the point in which the companions had separated. Every day he managed to do 60-65 km and every night he had to drag his boat, about 40 kg of weight, to a safe point on the coast. He suffered special difficulties when passing by Cape Stand, due to the strong winds, but he managed to advance at the rhythm of 83.5 km in 12 hours.

Finally he met up with Peche in Stavengen, after having covered more than 2,500 km in 88 days. There they managed to sell their two kayaks for 80,000 pesetas each. They hitchhiked back to Spain, crossing half of Europe.


RELATED NEWS                       

Norway by kayak. Monte de Piedad Madrid magazine (PDF 4 MB) (PDF, 4 M)

Send this to a friend