After flying north to Trondheim, then south to Oslo, then back north again, we touched down in Svalbard at midnight last night. As we approached this remote arctic archipelago the entire plane was glued to the windows, staring out at the vast icy world below, bathed in a silvery light.. It was just awesome. I have never been on a plane before when the excitment was super high, even the flight attendant were grinning as much as everyone else!
We flew over gigantic glaciers, snowy mountains and icy coasts before landing in the small settlement of Longyearbyen. With our huge pile of bags in tow we hauled them across the road and down the hill to the camping area where we set up our tent for the first time. This will be our humble, yet luxurious home for the coming months. A shelter that will separate us from the freezing wind outside, yet immerse us in this icy wonderland.
Anticipitation is high. Today we bought 15litres of fuel, collected our 8 bags of freeze dried food which was shipped up here a month ago, and unwrapped our shiny new Zegul Arrow Empower kayaks from Tahe Outdoors in Estonia. These incredible kayaks will be our vessels for the next 2000 kilometres. They will hold our huge mountain of gear, and allow us to adventure freely, solely under our own steam. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m amping for this adventure to begin!
In the coming days we will be doing more testing and modifying our gear so that we are 100% confident that everything’s going to work before we paddle away for good. We will meet with the Govenor of Svalbard, and find out as much about the current ice conditions from cruise operators, and we’ll buy and pack the remaining food and supplies that we will need. There is no rush, it’s about getting everything dialed before we’re totally on our own, and with the current ice conditions encasing the north and eastern coasts, time is on our side.
We’re camped on the edge of the fiord, with a gigantic panorama of glaciers and mountains spanning the horizon. Arctic terns are attacking overhead and passing vehicles shower us in dust. The midnight sun means no difference between night and day, other than the silence of the night. Already, I love it here 🙂