Friday, 22 April 2011


The sky is full of squiggles, I'm sure that's not a technical term but they're not technically clouds but strings of white that twist all over the sky and have followed us from Soppero for most of the day.

Setting up for camp for the first time was an education. Once Miloš finds a site he's happy with - sheltered, deep snow, enough room for 41 dogs, 4 tents and 8 sleds - he pulls off the hard, compacted snow and we trudge into the soft deeper stuff. The idea is to make a coral, much like the old western camps, so the all the dogs can be secured to the one in front and behind and this is done be making a huge circle. Once Miloš begins to close on the last team he stops and anchors his team. On this occasion the team were anchored to a birch tree, the birch tree was rotten and his team were over excited. As
he left them to secure Laura behind him the team broke loose and took off alone. He was so confident that they would stop, the anchor being loose and the team being his prize dogs that he didn't seem too concerned at first but Cute was on a mission and off she went, leading her team towards the horizon. We realised things were serious when Miloš set off after them at speed. It was important that none of us moved and the natural instinct of all the others is to 'follow the leader' so we dug in our heels and hung on.

After what seemed like an eternity he appeared at speed with the team looking under control and yet rather pleased with themselves.

Girlie latrine
The snow that is drifted up against the rise in the land, by which we are camped, is deep with a crisp layer on top. We dug out our tent spaces to a depth of around 2 feet and erected the tent in no time, in fact we cheated by stamping the snow down rather than digging as the "shuffles" (as Miloš calls them) aren't really man enough. The tents are very simple and when pitched in a hole they don't even need to be pegged. There was much discussion about where the communal latrine should be dug but Laura and I felt that we had time to dig our own personal one. It is a work of art, with a twig arrangement and a loo roll holder made from a stump. There's even a little hand cleaning area with soft powdery snow.
Night night

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