¤ Oh boy, how time flew! Today's our last day in Nellim and we would be leaving tomorrow morning for Inari. The full impact of the "reluctance-to-leave" syndrome hadn't really hit me yet as I was pretty excited for today's activity. We're going to experience how life is like for a reindeer herder!
¤ This morning was really sunny and beautiful!
¤ We had an extremely large group attending today's activity and our convoy of snow mobiles was impressive. We had the usual snowmobile test drive, but it was shocking to see puddles of melting ice along the snowmobile tracks. This was a far cry from the -28 deg c weather we had some days back.
¤ Today's pace was slower than the day of snowmobile safari but the slippery melting ice did not make the drive any easier. XB was constantly worried that the snowmobile might veer or topple..
¤ We first made our way to Hannu Pekka's (he's one of our guides) dad's reindeer farm. I tell you, it's cuteness overload. By now, reindeer was nothing new to us, but to see a herd of young reindeer was like surrounding yourself with kittens and puppies...
It's pretty funny to see them running towards us. Coz humans = treat time!
The emo one.. "Where are my antlers??" You're still good-looking, bro.*
The one who thinks he's walking on the runway.. I guess bigger antlers = more confidence.*
But none can beat this guy! O.O Alpha male, anyone?*
* It's a fact that reindeer lose antlers. Young males lose them in early spring (like what you're seeing here), old males lose them in December and the females lose them in summer. Sooo... that last reindeer might be a female!!??
¤ It's another day of campfire lunch. But this time round, almost everyone helped out a bit. Some went to search for fire wood while a few of us (that'd be me!) helped to prepare the cheese toasts. The guides had prepared a pot of hot and delicious reindeer stew and we were all enjoying our simple but satisfying meal.
Helping out with the cheese toasts.. But.. No cheese toasts to be seen...
There you go! Cheese toasts!
¤ And during lunch, I stumbled upon some wild berries. Yes, they were edible.. And yes I tried them.. But..
... the frozen crowberries were tasteless...
... And the lingonberries were *scrunch face* sour...
¤ And next up, we delved into the art and science of ice-fishing. No, it's not your usual "drill a hole, set a rod, then sit and wait" kind of ice-fishing. This is real fishing with real tools. Markers were placed, holes were drilled and nets were cast. After a few days, these big boys would return, in hope for a good harvest.
Matti (and Hannu Pekka) demonstrating net-casting
Catch of the day! This was from the net cast a few days back.
¤ It's our last night... And the skies were clear. The guys were hopeful for some auroras, so they went out again. As for me.. I didn't really feel like going out.. Partly because I had already bathed and partly because I knew the chance of seeing an aurora that night was quite low (thanks to spaceweather.com).
And with the almost full moon in the sky and without a tripod, I was totally discouraged from stargazing in the cold. (The sky still appeared blue even at 9pm! ah, yes.. It's quite a weird experience to feel what seemed to be like summer days in wintry weathers, and this "early sunrise, late sunset" pattern got more evident during our last few days here)
I told XB I'd wait for the aurora in the living room. And with all the lights out and the door closed, I started to test if there were auroras in the skies. Snap. Snap. Snap. Nothing. Zilch.
Nada.. Notice the blue tinge in the sky even at 9pm..?
I thought I'd wait a while before trying again. But I drifted into lalaland sooner than I thought.... And then I suddenly woke up freezing.. Somehow, the heaters in the living room had stopped working. It's already 1 plus in the morning and I should be going to bed. But for some reasons, the first thing I did was to open the window and snap a photo of the sky. I then stared at the camera LCD screen. There, in front of me, was a photo with a green band in it.
What? I tried snapping a few more times again. The green band's gone.
At that moment, I felt a little weird. What a coincidence... And that's not the last that I felt this way..