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Trekking on Svalbard

Excursions and trekking to the North Pole

My journey was focused on trekking around the Svalbard islands. We stayed at two base camps which we reached by boat. We left the camp in the morning and went walking until around 6 pm.

Trekking on Svalbard is a good way to get even closer to wild nature and the simple life, remote from the civilized, chaotic city life.

Leaving for the excursions

After waking up at 8 am and after having breakfast, you get ready for the daily adventure. There is no rush. Guides do not urge you to hurry and there is no frenetic activities like in city life. Everything was done in complete calm.

People who took part in this adventure were not new to camp life and trekking. The sense of peace and the calm atmosphere made our journey to Svalbard an even more pleasant experience.

Before leaving, everyone got their equipment and backpacks ready. I wore legwarmers, a scarf and a woolen cap. At breakfast, I made some sandwiches and then put them into the backpack, together with the waterproof overtrousers, a balaclava, and a pair of snow gloves. I also took a thermos with hot tea and a flask of fresh water. I always took a snack of almonds with me as well.

We all gathered at the main tent and departed.

Trekking on Svalbard’s soil

There are no paths. You walk on rocky soil carved by ice and water or on snow and mud. As with any trekking expedition, you occasionally stop for breaks.

Guides carry weapons on them. Each guard has a rifle both when camping or walking. Meeting a Polar bear is always possible even though we only saw one bear at the end of the first camp.

During the excursions, people sometimes get divided into smaller groups and follow different routes. Each group is led by a guide.

The duration of the excursions varied anywhere from 7 to 10 hours. You return to the camp to prepare dinner at 6 pm in any event.

What does trekking on Svalbard involve?

Trekking on Svalbard islands imbues you with a sense of freedom. Here you are out of the world and away from all sorts of modern madness. You will witness spectacular landscapes and animals living in an extraordinary environment.

Whilst you do your best to keep away from cold, you see ducks and bears swimming and jumping in freezing waters. You see birds diving into the sea to get fish and seals emerging from the water.

The pure, continuous silence is sometimes broken by bird cries, by the noise of breaking ice or by the wind. Our voices were the only human sound in this almost forgotten world. Our unfamiliar voices become part of the environment.

I remember the snowy and rough mountains, the bare soil, the flowery moss, the lichens on the rocks, the slopes covered of broken stones, the snow on which you walk on foot or with the snow rackets. I remember the omnipresent ice, the cold and ongoing wind, the feeling of being far away on the top of the world.

The Svalbard islands remain in the heart of those who went there, to remind them that one day they must return, maybe stay there forever.

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