Today I was doing one of the main sightseeing activities on Svalbard, and that is the snowmobile trip. Up here in the Svalbard Islands , there are not much roads, and should you get out and about there are dogsledding, skiing or showmobile that are the obious methods. To use the snow mobiles you have to have a driving license , and since I never have got around to get me one, I had to find a guide that where willing to bring me along as a passanger. And I found this company Better moments (www.bettermoments.no) that was willing to take me as a passanger.
There where two guides on the trip. Eivind and Niklas. This is Eivind
And this is Niklas.
The trip that I was going for was a trip down all the way to the east cost , where there are the biggest possibilities to see the polar bears since they are hunting for seal there.
The big problem today was the ever changing weather here at Svalbard, and today it is quite bad, but we still set out and was trying to see where it was possible to go.
It was a perfect day to quality test my camera gear in extreme conditions by the way. And I can say, my Canon, Sigma , Black Rapid and Peli did not have any big issues handling a snowstorm and cold weather…. (quite impressed actually)
So after a while on traveling the visibility dropped severly , and the guides decided to go to the Templefjord insted, this was of saftey resons. The first stop we did in the Tempelfjord was on a viewpoint on a mountian. This little image here shows a cliff egde marker (the snow builds up over the egde, and is extremly dangerous to venture ouside the marker) and as you can see on the image, the visibility is bad…..
Then we went down to sealevel , and the guides took us the a small trappers settlement name “Fredheim” where we had some lunch. It is quite nice and peaceful and gets some shade from the weather becouse of the mountains.
The we had some hot lunch , served in tin cans and with a bottle that served a candleholder. Candelight lunch Svalbard style….
When we went out the weather had eased a little bit , and you can see the rough ocean
One the way home we passed a nice canyon, and there where a frozen waterfall, I have not seen anything like that before.
So then it was time to go back to Longyearbyen , and even if the weather was not all the best (close to the oposite), the guides gave an excellent trip, improvising on the go. So Better Moments comes highly reconmended. And hopfully I can get a glimpse of the polar bears the next time I am trying out for the east cost …
A famous photographer (I dont remember its name) says that “If your picture is not good enought, you are not close enought”. Portrait shots of animals is kind of difficult, they dont do instructions very well….. But tonight I finally managed to get close enough to get a decent shot of a reindeer. (But I have to say, I think it looks kind of grumpy….)