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Fourth trekking to Kongsfjorden

22nd July: excursion on the beach to Kapp Guissez and boarding the boat

It was the fourth day at the second base camp in the Kongsfjorden. We had the time to go for an 11 kilometer walk on the beach, to reach Kapp Guissez.

For that morning I had decided to stay in my sleeping bag until at least 8.30, after the night bear watching shift. But Stuart decided to wake all of us up at 8 O’ clock with the call: “Special breakfast – English breakfast!”

Eggs and bacon were cooked for breakfast that morning.

I woke up at 8.30 and went to the tent. I am used to the Italian way of eating so I had never had salty food for breakfast. I do not know why, but that morning I did feel like eating scrambled eggs and bacon.

I tried that English breakfast which was not bad at all.

Kapp Guissez

An 11 kilometres long expedition to Kapp Guissez was planned for the day. We planned to walk on the beach, heading North from the tent towards the hill.

Whilst walking we come by a modern refuge and a nearby tool shed.

We kept walking on the beach and on the rocky soil, stopping briefly to eat a sandwich sitting on the ground. We walked for about 4 kilometres but the hill was still far away.

We decided to divide the group into two. Some people were to return, passing through a beach covered with whale skeletons. The others were to continue walking as far as they could, considering dinner at the camp was scheduled for 6 p.m.

I decided to go on. Our group, led by Astri, walked towards Kapp Guissez which we did not reach.

The trapper refuge

The expedition ended after 8 of the 11 kilometres we had planned to walk. We stopped at an old refuge to finish eating.

Amongst the rusty iron and wooden pieces we found some bullets on the ground. One even dated back to 1914.

We stayed there for one hour before returning to the camp.

It started to get warm, so I took some clothes off and wore a T-shirt. We took a shortcut, so we reached the camp from the bear watching hill and not from the beach as we usually would.

The rest of the group had already started to cook dinner. The smell of grilled meat was taken by the wind, so we hastened our conversation and increased the pace.

Whale, seal and reindeer barbeque

We could see them from the top. Circled around the barbeque our friends gathered, watching Bjorn turning the meat and waiting for the food to be ready.

The dish of the day was made with whale, seal and reindeer meat. It is the first time I had eaten it.

I must say I did not like whale meat. It is too fishy tasting and very hard. Seal meat tastes like liver and is better. Reindeer meat tastes similar to our meats.

After dinner we tidied the camp and tents, then boat arrived and the dinghies were put into the water, which was full of ice, so it took some time to reach the boat.

We had a shower and rested on the warm boat after arranging our luggage. I went to bed at 1 am.

Another long trekking day on Svalbard had finished. Time passed quickly under the perpetual sun and the cold winds. Memories of those places are alive in me, as alive as the hope to return there.

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