29-07-2002 (Monday)

I am off to town to make a phone call and to get a few things. It is a 5 km walk and I got there too early, the shops only open at 10. The first phone I used didn't work and it also didn't work when I tried it when we arrived. What does that say about the Norwegian socialist telephone system? Asking around I was pointed to the Radisson Hotel with the only phone that works in town. After a nice chat to Eleni I was recharged and went off to hit the Svalbardbutikken (supermarket).
The return walk was against the cold wind and not so pleasant. But rejoicing at the nice goodies in my plastic bag made the journey bearable. I had just broken my own record of the most expensive tomato, I bought two and they cost 11.42Kr or about R8 a piece. The previous record was set in Greenland when I paid R5.
We set off up the hill and into the next valley, that is Todalen. Going was heavy, I already had done 10 km going to town and we didn't last very long. In addition rainy weather was coming in, we just managed to set up tent and had to quickly disappear into it. A cosy tent is always nice when it is miserable outside.
Half way through the evening we decided that we should do the right thing and set up the trip wires. It was a good decision, a few days later when we got back into town we were told about a sighting of a Polar Bear higher up in the same valley. It had stopped raining and there was no wind. It was thus not to bad to get out of the tent. The top of the mountain on the opposite side of the valley (Adventdalen) showed a line of snow as from about 400m up. Very interesting to know that snow can fall anytime anywhere in Svalbard. The picture below very clearly shows the snow line.

30-07-2002 (Tuesday)

Jim woke me up saying it's 9h00 and I believed him. Only during breakfast did I notice it was only just after 7, his watch had stopped.
Slowly we got going. The plan was to walk up the valley without the rucksacks, just the gun ‾ and to come back to take the tent closer to LYB. Our hike ended at an adid of an old coal mine up on the side of the mountain (in fact 220m above sea level). The adid was completely blocked off by ice.
We had some fun by Jim trying to make a fire using the timber laying around there He actually succeeded and it was pleasant to feel the warmth of a fire in such a cold place. From here it was back to the tent for lunch and breaking camp to move down into Adventdalen closer to LYB.

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