Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snowmobile and the best things in life

Leer "Motos de nieve y las mejores cosas de la vida".

The day starts sunny and warm. Well, the idea of warm here is different to my idea of warm back at home. Having minus 6 degrees Celsius looks like a warm temperature here. The main activity today was the snow scooters and the dog sledge. Because we are going to stay outside for a long time the company in charge of the activity make us wear an additional overall and change our shoes. Even in a sunny day the additional protection is very welcome because the wind can freeze you quite quickly.

The snowmobiles are a nice piece of engineering, using the tactics learned over centuries about the snow to make a big and noisy toy for going around in winter. You get quick instructions on driving them, and you are ready to start the trip. They look powerful, and feel powerful, but when you are sit driving them you realize you are not going to use that much power. You are a beginner, and drive like a beginner. We could speed up only a couple of times, and were not able to reach even 80 kph.

The ride is designed to be fun even at low speed. The woods covered by snow, and the sound of the engines and the novelty of the situation make every turn a chance for surprise, and the sunny day we had made it even better. We drove for 30 minutes to the river, and there we had coffee and sandwiches. At that point we were supposed to change to the dog sledge, but a silly mistake made me lost it. Free advice: don't try to learn how to make snow angels when you are in tight schedule. The only possible solution for me was continuing the ride in the scooters, what was not bad at all, just incomplete.

The afternoon included more outdoors activities, namely downhill sledge and snow football. Snow sledge was really funny, even if you have to walk uphill in the snow for 5 minutes for a ride of 30 seconds. It can be dangerous, as one of the guys realized when he fell and broke his nose, but... what is life without risk?

Snow football is totally different from normal football. Is not that easy to play when the ground can disappear below your feet and let you stuck to the knees in snow. It has, however, the advantage of making me look a little bit less useless in the field than the grass version would do.

To close the day we decided to stay outside to see the aurora, but it was clowdy and we just went out for a walk in the night, and flowing our Swedish guides we ended up waking trough the snow in a frozen river. There were two things that really impressed me: first one was fining the ice under the snow. In the areas of the river where the snow was thin, you could just wipe it away and see the ice. It was hard as concrete, but was really only frozen water, we had snow on the top and water in the bottom of the ice. It was a layer water over water over water, and me walking on it. Isn't that cool? The second one was realizing how hard is walking in the snow. The las 50-70 meters of walking were done on a lot of snow. My legs totally disappeared with every step. So to walk a single step i had to take all of my body out of the snow, walk a step, and get stuck in the snow again. And it keeps like that for every step.

However it was a really nice feeling. After getting out of the river I felt tired, and my breathing was heavy, but I felt good to. It was new, enjoyable and made me remember that the best things in life are for free.

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