Tuesday, 24 January 2017

real paradise - aurora borealis and reindeer in Lapland

aurora borealis, Nellim, Finland
As previously mentioned, I prefer cold places to hot.

Something to do with the comfort of hiking boots and thermals reminding me that I am about to go on an adventure.

A long awaited trip to Finnish Lapland with friends.

Snow, wilderness, reindeer, and if we were really lucky the aurora borealis.

We were really lucky.

aurora borealis, Lapland

aurora borealis

For once I was really glad that I had taken my tripod on my trip. Camera exposures to catch stars and the northern lights are a few seconds long, and hand holding the camera is not an option. When the aurora starts 'dancing' in the sky you know you are really, really fortunate.

The days are very short at this time of year. Sunrise and sunset only four hours apart, with a lovely blue twilight that lasts for some time before and after. The sun did not emerge above the horizon during our visit, but just moved slowly around below the top of the hills.

We did a bit of ice fishing on Inari Lake. I don't think anyone really expected to catch a fish.

The best bit is drilling a hole. The ice was about 70cm thick.

The fishing rod was tiny.

Fishing had the potential to be a very cold, zen-like experience.

It is a very popular sport in the summer when the lake is swarming with mosquitos and the bears are awake in the forest.

Reindeer are plentiful. Most are in the wild until rounded up for stock taking.

Reindeer herders know their own stock from the markings cut on the reindeers' ears.

They have a book of ear markings.

reindeer with ear marking
lunch of reindeer stir fry

a reindeer passes by our picnic spot

Some facilities were a little chilly.

snowy seat

instructions best avoided

the scenery was everything that I had hoped

Lake Inari

trees in the snow


I took many, many photos of trees, and if we hadn't been so busy fishing, snow shoeing and aurora watching I would have taken many more.

A place of peace and beauty. 


trees at dawn


Thursday, 12 January 2017

stuck in Paradise

Coconut palms
My other half (OH) had work to do in sunny climes. Sri Lanka to be precise.

He invited me along for the ride.

He likes hot.

I like cold.

I sheltered under the palm trees and watched the crows and people on the beach.



ropes for toddy tappers
 Sap from the coconut palms is used to make a local spirit. It tastes like whisky without the flavour of whisky.
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The best time to walk was as the sun went down.

I found myself collecting plastic bottles from the shore, just as I do everywhere that I go.

There were hundreds to choose from.

I watched.

 Crow watched.

 Dog watched.

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men fished

time passed

 and birds flew

It seems that crows are everywhere around the world.

There is something rather appealing about swimming with crows.

They, like me, do like a nice clean pool.

It is the only place to be cool.

Next week the roles are reversed; I am off to Lapland, and can't wait to be really cold! OH is worried about the sartorial elegance of his thermals.

I wonder whether there are crows in lapland....

I'll let you know.