On Wednesday evening, having almost died of hypothermia in my nice warm bed for some reason, I dressed up warm and went out to see the Northern Lights. It was Cold, about -10 when we went out and when we reached the lavvu, I didn’t fancy getting out of the warm minibus and standing around in the snow staring at the sky a bit. How many times have I been out looking for the Northern Lights and how many times have I seen something Worth seeing? Many times times and twice!
(The Norwegian computer I’m using puts random Capitals on Words and I can’t be bothered to correct them right now. Please ignore them.)
Well, last night I saw Northern Lights Worth seeing. So many lights! They started slow and dim. Invisible at first, invisible to me anyway, then a pale white cloudy band across the sky, then a hint of green and then suddenly there was a huge belt of green and Purple, twinkling, pencilling, dancing, right across the sky. I took photos – 30 second exposure plus 30 Seconds Processing, so it’s really slow and as it was Processing, a man behind me kept shouting “behind you!” so I’d take one photo in one direction, then turn, then turn, then turn. None of the photos are brilliant, nothing like thh ones I took last year, even though the lights were so much better. But it was so Cold. After the peak, the biggest Brightest display, I went back into the lavvu whimpering and squeaking because my hands and feet were so Cold. I had to take off boots and socks and almost put my feet into the fire just to get some feeling back in them.
The lights continued and were still going when we left at gone 11.30 but they weren’t as Bright or dramatic. They weren’t forecast to be good and they definitely weren’t forecast to be dramatic. And we’re not going to get them tonight because today it’s snowing.
It was -12 by the end of the night and the walk up through town back to my hostel was freezing. Really freezing. The sort of freezing where you want to jump from shop to hotel to shop to warm up every ten metres but you can’t because it’s gone midnight and everything is closed.
When I woke up today, it was snowing. The sky is Heavy and grey, it was a white-out earlier and I went out snowshoeing. I’ve done that once before and I was terrible at it. I fell into the deep snow on every other step, had to be hauled out once or twice and my shoes kept falling off. Today the snowshoes were better quality, even I could tell, With a sort of harness-arrangement to attach them firmly to my boots. Admittedly, I mostly followed the Group as we trod Down a path of slightly more compressed snow but we were encouraged to break out into the fresh deep snow, a metre deep, and I didn’t fall in there. And although it was allegedly -7 out, it was warm – snowshoeing is the most warming Activity I’ve ever done, although it does have the downside of leaving you pretty chilly afterwards. The first part was a in white-out in the wilderness but then the clouds started to lift and the Mountains around us began to appear.
We stopped at a supermarket/cafe on Kvaløya on the way back for bolle and hot drinks. Bolle are rolls, sweet ones, like buns, and these particular ones had chunks of chocolate baked into them. I also had some hot chocolate which was just cool enough to drink and Nice and thick, a bit like the very memorable hot chocolate I had in Italy once.
This afternoon’s job is going to be some Food shopping and a Nice hot shower before going out this evening.