Saturday, May 05, 2007

Day 283: Rebellion I started this post a few days ago, and here's what it looked like then:

"Everything hurts. My body's staged a successful coup against my brain and I've been reduced to a bed-ridden belligerent brain in a useless body. So! Thank you friends who are doing my laundry and food shopping. It is sincerely appreciated.

There's a bit of good news behind the rebellion, however. First, crutches are apparently excellent exercise and this must mean I'm growing some kind of muscles in places that clearly never had the chance to shine before. Secondly, the motivation behind the coup was that I had to run ( around town a lot yesterday to conduct a few matters of business INCLUDING picking up my Russian paperwork! I can finally begin the process of applying for my visa. Or...figuring out how to haul my body to a place where I can apply for a visa. Regardless, things are in the works. The brain still has some tricks up its sleeve."

Clearly I was on some kind of painkiller.

Anyway, feeling better now after doing mostly nothing over the last few days. Also going insane from being inside. The first week was sort of ok, now I feel like I'm rotting.

Here's the big news, which comes hand and hand with the Russian paperwork news: to the best of my logistical reasoning, it is necessary for me to move to Oslo. Next Wednesday. I'm planning to move to Russia the first week of June, and with my busted leg the safest place to apply for my visa is in Oslo.

Considering my usual time line, this feels very sudden...I ususally know about a month in advance when I'll leave a place. I love Longyearbyen. I know I'll be back someday, but this sudden rush to collect everything and deal with Russia and not being able to walk has recently been fairly overwhelming.

To pile on some more bittersweet, lets go through some more of those photos I took awhile back when I could get outside...

During one of those beautiful days, I went on another little trip by myself - first up along the upper road next to the old coal transport system above town.

Old coal processing plant:

Coming back to the fjord, a shot of Longyearbyen's one lonely little iceberg - very little ice in the fjord this year. Climate change, people.

The next part of the trip gave me one of the best views I've had anywhere near Longyearbyen. I went across the fjord and started following some tracks up the mountain - thinking I wouldn't get very far - and to my amazement I and my scooter were able to make it all the way up to the plateau of the first mountain across from Longyearbyen.


The mouth of the fjord, the point where the airport and Svalsat are:

Long tiny trail of coal transport structures stretching out to the mines in adjacent valleys:

Me and my rifle...

Later, on that gorgeous day when I sunburnt one cheek and frostbit the other, we did some amphipod sampling out in the fjord.

Mikko helping to set up the phytoplankton sampling net:

The winch hauling up the net:

Yah, that's about all I have from that experience. The camera kept freezing and we were working. But here's some from the next day, when we went out again:

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous:

Mikko and Henrik, driving the boat:

We had to make our little zodiac do a bit of icebreaking...

Finally, in slightly more recent photography, some of the stunning weather we've been having:

That nearly concludes the more set and then this leg better start working because I need to take more photos.

If you're a Svalbardian, hopefully I'll see you on Friday for a last hurrah.

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