Oh, I know you’re all humming that song now …. and my dad is probably remembering the corny photo I emailed to him just before Christmas, of Christopher Walken in the snow.
We’re still at Katterjokk, leaving tomorrow to nip across the border into Finland for a few days. We went aurora-hunting last night, but it was mostly cloudy and misty and we didn’t get to see much even though we headed closer to Abisko in case it was clearer there. It wasn’t.
This morning we went for a walk up the hill from the apartments, to the Katterjokk train station. On the other side of the railway line is a ski-lift which isn’t working yet as there’s not enough snow. There’s enough for us, but it’s a bit patchy on the slopes and there are still rocks sticking out, which probably isn’t ideal for skiers. There is also a tourist information office up there, and about half a dozen caravans. I think they might be for the people who run the ski-lift when it’s ski season. We walked along snowmobile tracks, which are probably walking tracks in summer, and met the friendly woman who works at the supermarket. She was going home at lunchtime on a new snowmobile that she and her husband had bought yesterday. She was very pleased with it, but they need to get another seat so 2 people can sit on it at once. And there is room at the back to carry stuff as well.
I attempted to make a snow angel, but the snow wasn’t powdery enough and I was laughing too much, so it didn’t really work. We walked through the rest of Katterjokk village, which consists of about 20 houses. They all seem to be holiday houses – some have people staying in them, some haven’t had anyone there since it started snowing. I noticed a snowmobile with a lot of snow on it, and then 2 others with covers over them, and concluded that the snow-covered one is the equivalent of a wrecked car in a front yard at home.
There is also a large caravan park/camp ground here, and most if not all the caravans are empty at the moment. This time of the year seems to be in-between the main seasons – too early for skiers, too cold for people wanting to walk,fish, kayak. So there are just a few aurora-watchers and a few snowmobilers. I think we’re the only people who have stayed here for more than one night.
What do we wear when we go outside, I hear you ask. Or maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway. The day before we flew here (which was the day after I found out we were coming), we went to a fantastic closing down sale at the Columbia store in Adelaide. We each bought a pair of snow boots, a couple of sets of thermals, a warm jacket for Greg (he had already bought one for me), and other bits and pieces including gloves and scarves.
If we’re only going to be in the car, and then indoors, I just add a jacket to what I’m wearing (on the advice of my cold-weather dwelling friends David and Mickey – thanks for that excellent tip, it’s saved a lot of hot flushes!). If I’m going to be outside for a while, I wear a layer of thermals, a warm top, a lightweight pair of pants (jeans take too long to dry and I never take them travelling), my warm Columbia jacket, a scarf, hat, a pair of thick socks (my feet have never felt cold in my snow boots), and a pair of possum/merino gloves that my gorgeous friend Sally brought back from New Zealand. If we’re planning on sitting outside for a while, I’ll add at least another layer of thermals, a polartec top and a down jacket. Current temps here are around -5 to -8C. And then of course, as soon as we get back inside, it all gets peeled off again.