Polar Stroll – Day 8
It’s a good thing that we spent last night in the accommodations of the alpine-skiing club KORE, because during the night the temperature dropped to a freezing -26 degrees Celsius. I guess there’s no need to say that we would be a bit cold in our tent.
In the morning after a brief visit to skiing club’s practice we marched to the lake, where we got back on our skis and continued the journey in a swift gliding step. I’ve said it before and I’l say it again – skiing on the frozen surface of a lake is a pure delight – there’s nothing catching you by the ankles, the surface is totally flat and the wide view lets you stay on course with no extra hassle. The weather was nice and comfortable – only -10 degrees Celsius. So we slid and glid till lunch time with no worries on our shoulders. While preparing lunch, we realized that there’s a little problem with our sledge – it’s broken. It seamed that yesterday while sliding down the hill the “pig” had taken one bump too many on the hidden rocks, and now the outside and inside environment had became almost one – a crack had opened in the front part of the sledge and the sledge was full of snow.
At first we were certain that this is it for our friend the “pig” and there’s no hope of recovery. The sadness stirred up by a possibility of losing a companion scaled through the roof, when we realized that this means we would have to put our staff in backpacks and carry everything turtle-style. It just wasn’t acceptable, so we went to the other shore of the lake to look for help. And help we found in a form of a Finnish man called Jyrki, who not only fluently speaks German but also has a habit of storing some useful stuff, like tin plates, tin cutter and a riveter. Jack-pot, as they say. It took us a while, but in the end we had saved the “piglet”. Praise the lord of do-it-yourself. Now our “pig” has a brand new coat of mail and is ready for anything.
After we had transformed our sledge into a tank Jyrki asked us if we had some plans for this evening. “Sure we have,” I answered, “we plan to camp near the lake.” My answer was not to Jurki’s satisfaction, because he didn’t want to spend his morning dragging two frozen Latvians out of a tent (the prognosis for this night is -25 degrees), so he extended an invitation we couldn’t refuse. The hospitality in the North is truly amazing.
Karlis (66° 33.55N, 027° 42.42E)