Svalbard Day 10. 04.08.2012

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Hiking
Tags: , , , ,

Our trip is really over. We dismantled the base camp: took down all the tents and packed everything into the metal containers that were used for transporting on the boat. Our boat pick-up was originally planned for 16:00, but we were told that the boat would arrive between 14:00 and 15:00. We were ready very early and went to hang out in the warmth in the czech hut. It was very cold outside, and we were lovely and warm in the hut. We played cards to while away the time.

We returned to the beach where we were going to get picked up. And then the waiting started. Our eyes were peeled on the horizon, waiting to be whisked away out of the cold. The boat didn’t arrive. It was a bit choppy, and there was speculation that the boat couldn’t make it. Sam told stories of the boat arriving, only to stay 50 m off shore and phone saying that they couldn’t land. It has happened before.

The boat still didn’t arrive. We opened up the spare supplies box and rummaged around. We found a bag of nice muesli: different to the muesli we had had the last 9 days. A welcome change. We chomped through that. Then some biscuits were extracted from the box. And lots of hot chocolate.

It was very cold. I was wearing everything I had, and did some taekwondo moves to keep warm. Sam started a fire. It didn’t give off any heat, though. We put the metal storage boxes together to form a wind shield and Lisa pulled out her sleeping bag and crawled into it behind the metal boxes. I lay behind the shield on the rocks beside her.

Then some of the czech crowd dropped past on the way to their scientific experiment.

Waiting on the cold beach

Waiting on the cold beach

Then finally the boat arrived. We put on the super warm moon suits, and were whisked back to civilization.

Longyearbyen meant warm showers. It meant fresh clothes. It meant nice food. It meant warmth.

We had our debriefing meal in a lovely restaurant before Sam took us on a pub crawl. We walked from one pub to the next, walking through the daylight in the depths of the night between bars. Our night ended in the local disco ‘Huset’, that, until 01:00 is a high quality restaurant. Then it miraculously transforms into a small town disco. There, we danced the night away.

Huset after the transformation.

Huset after the transformation.

Somewhat the worse for wear, we returned to our lodge at 03:00. The alarm went at 05:00 to pack, have breakfast and head off to the airport. Goodbye Svalbard. Goodbye Norway. One of the greatest holidays I have ever had was coming to an end.

My bike, my luggage and myself all arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol airport in one piece. Back from the trip of a life time.

Safe and sound back in the Netherlands

Safe and sound back in the Netherlands

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