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Third trekking to Raudfjorden

17th July: expedition with snow-rackets and bear spotting

Third excursion to the Raudfjorden. A walk with snow-rackets until the early afternoon in the Richard Valley alongside the Richard Lake, followed by a walk on the beach to the Raudfjordhytta. Bear spotting before leaving on the boat.

The weather was still bad in the morning. The sky was cloudy. We had breakfast and made sandwiches ready for lunch before leaving for a walk with snow-rackets.

A walk with snow-rackets

For me, it was the first time on snow-rackets. There were three different types of snow-rackets on offer, near the smallest tent. After trying them on, everyone chose the most suitable for them, to use once on the snow.

We passed the small tent along the beach and headed north where the snow began. There, we put on our snow-rackets and started walking.

After some steps in the snow, my right snow-racket started giving me some problems. The tip of my foot went into one of the holes and I could not walk properly. When we stopped, I showed this to Bjorn, who advised me to tighten the straps.

Walking with the snow-rackets did not seem too difficult. We quietly walked in line, surrounded by a white landscape.

We occasionally stopped for breaks until we finally had lunch at a place where a rocky hill met the snow. Here, we took off the snow-rackets and under a light but persistent rain we started to climb to the top of the hill.

I found a place to sit by a big rock where I began to eat my meal and drink my hot tea. In front of us, the white, snowy terrain contrasted against the grey sky.

After eating we made our way back. At the foot of the hill we collected our snow-rackets, put them on again and departed.

The Raudfjordhytta

We got to the camp earlier than expected so Astri suggested we went for a walk on the beach to the Raudfjordhytta. Three of us (Kent, Eva and me) accepted the invitation.

Whilst walking we collected rubbish washed ashore by the sea and put it into a bag to be disposed of later at the camp. On a higher spot than the beach we found the ship’s wheel of an unknown boat.

We reached the Raudfjordhytta in good time and went back to the camp.

We then prepared for our departure. We cleaned the tents and packed. It snowed for almost an hour. Small flakes melted into the wet ground.

After we cleaned everything and got the luggage ready to be loaded on the boat, a bear came by. He wandered in from the North-East, on the beach where we had come from earlier.

A visit from the Polar bear

It walked in a self-assured manner, ignoring people whose scent he had no doubt picked up who were looking at it from afar. The bear crossed the beach moving along the lenght of our camp and then moved northward before stopping on the snow as if it was waiting for something.

The guides grouped us together for better protection and since the bear would not go away, Bjorn fired a flare to scare it. But the bear would not move.

The bear slumped on to the snow with its face on the white ground as if it was about to take a nap.

Meanwhile, the dinghies came by to pick us up. We took our luggage onboard and left our first camp for the boat.

The trekking group who followed us, told stories of their wonderful bear watching experiences. The bear we had seen stayed there all night long until the early hours of the morning.

After the thrill of seeing a Polar bear up-close and with the chill of the Arctic in our bodies, another day on Svalbard was over.

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