tirsdag 4. mai 2010

Trip to Svea, the major mining area

This weekend me and 5 other friends went on a scooter trip to Svea.

We didn`t have the best start on the trip, as we discovered that several of the jerrycans we wanted to bring was leaking. So while being at the gas station, some of us went back to find other jerrycans, and we had to pour gas from one can to the other before we could actually start the trip. But after a while, we finally got on our way =)

We had a really nice drive to the student cabin there, the weather and view was awesome! On our way we even visited some friends that where having fieldwork in the area.

We did not see any polar bear or tracks, but another group that went out the same day found a lot of tracks all over Van Mijenfjorden.

We had to go to the mining-area to get some coal, as the last visitors of the cabin had mistaken stone for coal... And then me and Sam got stuck with the scooter in the coal-pile, because the snow covering in was so wet and heavy due to the strong sun! =P But with some digging and maneuvering, we got the scooter out again =)

At trips I always wanna be the chef, if we are making food by ourselves =) So I had quite much fun making an improvised vegetable stew, and luckily everyone appreciated it =) The rest of the group tried to get the fire going and heat up the cabin. The cabin was really nice by the way! So nice!

After dinner, and dessert ( I brough cake!), some of us went to see the town of the miners. Most of the area was industry area, or barracks where the miners lived. The miners have their own airport in Svea, which they use to get to and from Longyearbyen. While we were walking, trucks where constantly moving coal from the mine to the dock. And a few miners where barely looking at us, walking there late in the evening, clearly not being one of them. It was really cool to walk around in this town, which isn`t really a town, just a working area. But it was cool to see how it looked like =)

The next day we woke up to pretty bad weather, lots of wind and snow. So we decided just so see if it would clear up, and in the meanwhile just rest and relax, play a few games or read a book. Perfect Sunday, being away form everything and able to relax without the feeling that I had to do something! (Nothing you really can do when you`re stuck in a cabin without electricity, being away from civilization.) It did not really clear up during the day, and maybe just a little bit during the evening. We were thinking about staying for the next day, instead of driving in those conditions, but one of us needed to be back at Longyearbyen. Luckily, one of us had a GPS with us, so we found the way without problem. But mostly we were driving in whiteout, not always spotting the scooter in front of you. And all the new snow made it more difficult to drive, but none of us got stuck or capsized. Driving accross a hillside in new snow, with a passenger or a sledge, isn`t always that easy! At one moment the drivers in front suddenly disappeared, driving down a hidden, steep slope! My scooter-partner walked down, so I could drive down alone. It was me and a second scooter standing on the top, with the rest of the guys pointing in all directions to try to give us advise on where it was safest to go down! Confused as we were by these mixed signals, I decided that if the two guys infront of me could manage down without getting hurt, I could too! And so I did, without any problems =P But it was really steep! And form there on we could finally just follow the track, and arrived late in the evening in Longyearbyen.

But it was a great trip, it was so nice to just relax out in the cabin!

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