Days 15 & 16 - Goodbye to Dan and hello to Longyearbyen
We spent most of Saturday on the ice cap still, waiting for ski-doos to collect us. We arrived back in Longyearbyen very late on Saturday night or rather extremely early Sunday morning, with just enough time to dispatch Dan to the airport.
We were very sad to send Dan home and embark on week three without him but, realistically, his hair wouldn’t have lasted longer anyway; it was just beginning to look too un-styled. Dan was back at work this afternoon, but at 11am, his first crucial appointment of the day was with his hairdresser, to restore those locks to their pre-expedition glory. Oh, and in case you were worried about his toes, he went and had his frostbite seen to afterwards.
Yesterday we spent the day in Longyearbyen, sorting through our kit and generally organising before heading on our planned journey south. What we had not planned on, however, was the ensuing series of events that have now radically reshaped the last stage of the expedition. Having been reliably and disappointingly informed that we would be lucky to see even a breath of wind on our route this week, we then proceeded to befriend some locals, who not only offered us beds for the night and a base to store our gear, but most amazingly of all, have lent us 3 ski-doos and 3 small sleds. We would like to repeat, that is 1 ski-doo and 1 sled each. We are beside ourselves with excitement. Thank you guys for being such generous and spectacular hosts! You really have made our day.
Aboard our new toys, we will now be heading towards the middle of the island later today, still in the eternal quest for the wind that we are determined just cannot elude us forever. There are valleys in this part of Spitsbergen which are reported to be really quite special, incredibly picturesque and extremely different to the ice cap where we have spent all our time until now. This is where we will be based for the next few days. We are going to have lots of fun! Hopefully we will see some polar bears too…