Saturday, 11 February 2012

An adventure in Latteluokta — På äventyr i Latteluokta

(Svenska, se nedan)

5:00, alarm clock. A weekend day going outside means getting up early. The 6:17 train has been replaced by a bus, therefore we have the opportunity to take our bicycles (trains don't take bicycles). We enter the bus, which is for free, not because of Kirunakortet but because buses that replace trains don't sell tickets, and nor did for this trip.

We have heard that folk are ice-skating on Torneträsk, so we took our chance and cycled over the lake. An outstanding opportunity to see the small villages on the northern shores of Torneträsk, villages that are linked by a road (Talmavägen) that doesn't lead anywhere else.
Unfortunately, as we quickly learned, the ice here was not as blank as the ice further west at Torneträsk near Abisko and Björkliden. Some parts were blank, and some parts had some 5–10 cm of snow. The snow was melting (it was around 0°C) and had a hard surface that the bicycle sometimes fell through through the snow onto the ice. Joel wal doing fine, but me and my bicycle weigh a bit more than him and his, so I was quite a bit slower here. But we enjoyed ourselves and finally reached the other shore. At one point I stepped through the snow into a layer of water below, and got my feed wet.

The last part we were mostly pushing the bicycle, and we amazed the locals as we arrived at Latteluokta pushing our bicycles through the snow.

Several people were quite interested, and quickly we were invited into a home for coffee and food.

As the hosts Barbro and Håkan rightly pointed out, my shoes were not really good. I was wearing thin sports-shoes that I considered okay as long as they remained dry, but being totally wet were not so suitable for cycling 50 km back. Our hosts, with whom we appear to have several common acquaintances, gave me socks and warm winter boots, for me to keep. I've been wearing those the rest of the day, and they are fantastic; I'm sure I will wear them a lot more!

The wind has turned and it's a long way back to Kiruna. It will take at least 2½ hours getting back to the road, probably longer. Håkan offers to give us a ride on his snowmobile, which we gladly accept. We attach the bicycles and are off!

Now all that is left is a relatively uneventful 50 km ride home, mostly against the wind. It's a quiet road and on two or three occasions we are overtaken by people we know. By the time we arrive home it's almost 18:00 and dark, but such an adventurous day is certainly worthwile!

More photographs on Facebook.
Latteluokta seen from Nagirvárri, 29 May 2010

Vi har hört att folk åker skridskor på Torneträsk, därför passade vi på och cyklade över träsket. En utmärkt chans att se de småbyar på norra sidan Torneträsk, som förbinds av en väg (Talmavägen) som annars leder ingenstans. Tyvärr, som vi snabbt upptäckte, var isen här inte lika blank som isen längre västerut nära Abisko och Björkliden. Vissa delar var blank, andra delar hade 5–10 cm snö. Det var nollgradigt och snön smältade litegran, och det fanns en skare som till en början kunde bära Joel men inte mig, men senare inte honom heller. Men vi hade kul och slutligen nådde andra sidan. En gång stod jag plötsligt i vatten som låg under snön, och mina fötter hade blivit våta.

Den sista delen fick vi släpa cykeln, och vi överraskade byborna när vi ankom i Latteluokta med medan vi släpte våra cyklar genom snön.

Folk var ganska intresserade, och snabbt bjöds vi in till kaffe och mat.

Som våra värdar Barbro och Håkan påpekade, och de hade rätt, var mina skor inte riktigt bra. Jag hade på mig "dyngsura gympadojor" som jag tror är hyfsad okej om de är torra och det är nollgradigt, men som inte riktigt gör jobbet när de har blivit våta och jag skulle cykla 5 mil hem. Våra värdar, som vi råkar ha flera delade bekante med, har gett mig riktiga vinterkängor och yllesockor. Jag har haft de på hela dagen, och kommer säkert att ha de på framöver!

Vinden har vänt och det är en lång väg åter till Kiruna. Det kommer att ta minst 2½ timmar till vägen, troligtvis längre. Håkan erbjuder att köra oss till vägen på sin snöskotar, ett anbud som vi tacksamt tar emot. Vi sätter fast cyklarna och kör iväg!

Allting som är kvar är en relativ ohändelserik 5 mil cykeltur hem, mestadels mot vinden. Vägen är ganska ljung och två eller tre gånger övertas vi av bekanta. När vi är äntligen hemma är det nästan 18:00 och mörkt, men en sådan här händelserik dag är det säkert värd!

Mer bilder på Facebook.


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