After months and months of preparation, the Renault Trucks vehicles and members of the Cape to Cape expedition travelling from Cape North (Norway) to the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) finally set out on 1st March. The first stages will see them facing up to the wind and the cold as they cross the spectacular Norvegian landscape in winter.
It is 13:30 on this Sunday 1 March as the four Renault Trucks Kerax and six Sherpa leave from the most northerly point of the European continent. A moment of high emotion for all the drivers and the Renault Trucks company which has been working on this project for so many months. It isn’t every day you see a GPS displaying coordinates like these : 71°10’21’’ north latitude !
True to its reputation, Cape North, located on the island of Mageroya, welcomes its passing guests with snow, a bitingly cold wind and a temperature of -20°C. Once you are there, the only option is to head south – something the whole armada is more than willing to do!
On the road, the Renault Trucks staff team witnesses an infinite number of subtle changes in the landscape around them as they wind their way along a frequently narrow and very often icy route. At times, it takes them past mountainous massifs, and at others through tunnels gouged out of the rocks.
After driving along the foot of steep cliffs, the Sherpa and Kerax come to Honningsvag, a Norwegian fishing port, nestling in a narrow fiord. Used as a rearguard base by the Germans in the Second World War, it subsequently welcomed the less belligerent boats of the local fishermen, which sought its protection from the storms - for on this fragmented coastline of north-eastern Norway, the wind can be particularly fierce.
All the Cape to Cape team drivers were particularly proud of this first stage and are calmly looking forward to setting out on the next – during which they will be discovering the vastnesses of Russia.