mandag 1. mars 2010
Overnight trip to Coles Bay
Last weekend I went to Coles Bay with 6 other friends by scooter. 2 of them were my Belgian friends who is visitting my this week, they had rented a scooter to join us on the trip. We where supposed to start at 9 am, but waking up early and packing sledges on a Saturday is a slow process... But when we finally got ready, I was really excited to start the trip. We where 4 scooters and 2 sledges, altoghether 7 people =)
We were a bit curious on how the scooters would make it up Longyearbreen, but we had no problems. Weather was quite good for a trip though, could have been a little less wind, but it was nice =) From Fardalen and to COles Bay is a little bit tricky, it is mostly ice and rocks there. We had to make some stopps to let the engine and belt cool down a little bit. When we arrived the bay, we got to se some of the Russian leftovers after they`re attempt of a coal industry there.
We followed on the west side of the bay, to try to find the cabin we where looking for. Clearly, the instructions we got was apparently quite different from each other, but we managed to find it anyway! A russian cabin that is open for any traveler that needs it, with 7 beds and a oven =)with a view of Isfjorden (the fjord and the ocean.) We left our luggage there, had some lunch and started to get ready to go skiing. We wanted to drive up a little bit and then go skiing up, but it was very steep and tricky to drive. 2 of us capsized, luckily without getting hurt, but the belt jumped out of place, and we could not drive it. We tried to get it back on, but was not sure if we had the tools needed to loosen the belt and put it on place again. I called a guy I know on the mainland to ask what to do. Apparently we had the tools needed to do it, and it would not be too tricky, had it not been for the screws being completely rusted and unable to move...
We went back to the cabin, made a fire and started unpacking in stead. It was really cosy when we got some heat inside, had some chocolate and tea, hot chocolate or blackcurrant hotdrink. For those of you who have never been to a cottage with minus degrees inside when you arrive, and then getting warmer and warmer by the oven, I can`t explain it any better thant you eventually feel you live in a sauna =P But it was great! You just take more and more clothes of as it gets warmer =P WHile driving, I had a scooter suite on, my skiing pants and jacked, and 2 pairs of whoolen underwear =P At the end of the evening you only have 1 pair of whoolen udnerwear (or less). And then, imagine how it is standing beside the owen, making food! I was apparantly voted/ volunteered for being the chef of the evening (truly beeing my fathers daughter), and when the oven was warm enough to use for cooking, I was running to and from the oven and the hallway, either coocking or cooling down! Luckily we had a primus, so most of the food I could heat by using the primus. But, oh was I thankful for minus degrees outside! So Saturday`s dinner was rice and vegetables, and it was delicous! For dessert, orange and chocolate =P
And then we had entertainment for the night! (other than internal jokes that got more and more.... ) Above the room was a small storage room, and I think some snow must have entered the door up there, because suddenly it started dripping from the roof. Headlamps and moving drops is a great combination when you are sitting in a cabin without electricity!
And we got some Northern lights! And a beautiful night with a clear sky and almost a full moon! Me and my visitors where playing with a camera outside, with long opening time (or whatever it is called) in the dark! It was great!
Beeing in the middle of nowhere in high Arctic, what do you think we wake up to? A cellphone calling early in the morning on a Sunday! (Well, not that early, it was getting 10 ion the morning...) Hehe, then it was just to put on some more wool, grap the rifle, go to the "toilet", and wake up to the amazing mountains surrounding us, getting covered in sunlight! Dressing up in a lot of clothes, just to eat some breakfast =P And start to boil some snow to get some drinking water. (There can be a parazite in the snow here, so we have to let the snow melt and boil for a while to get clean, safe water.) After breakfast, we split up. SOme of us wanted to go skiing, and the rest of us took a hike along the shoreline. It is quite strange to see how the sea become ice along the shore,so it was a fascinating hike =) And we spotted a seal! Haha, the cute fellow where curious about us, so he/she was lying in the water, watching us, wondering what kind of strange creater we were! And it was swimming really close to the shoreline, so we got a pretty good look at him! =D
Tavelling back to Nybyen/Longyearbyen was mostly fine, sill a lot of ice and rocks from Colesdalen vally to Fardalen, but we managed. With one scooter less, we had 1 person sitting on a sledge, and hpoing that we would not get any trouble. But a lot of quite new snow made it really tricky for us to go up from Fardalen vally to Longyearbreen glacier! Either I am really lucky, or just skilled (=P), but I managed to get up without capsizing or getting stuck in the snow! Even though I almost capsized 8-9 times, I managed somehow to prevent it. And I an really impressed that a similar scooter to mine managed to get up with a sledge! ( I don`t really have a big engine, and in that snow I was struggeling with 2 people on my scooter). Luckily, we got some help from a local guy, driving up the second sledge and a person.
So I am really happy about the trip! No one got hurt, no frostbites, everyone were happy and had a good time, a succesful trip!