The end of the chase
Well that's nearly it for 2013 for the aurora chase for us. We certainly struck lucky at the start of the week.
The end of our holiday which coincided with the end of this week has come and gone with little more than a whimper and so we are no getting ready for our journey home tomorrow back to the UK, and by all accounts that is a snowy UK so we should be more than able to handle anything thrown at us when we touch down at Heathrow tomorrow early evening.
The weather, which we are aware of our previous trip and something I have mentioned before regarding the climate in Norway has taken a turn for the worse. We haven't been out for the last 3 nights as there has been a weather front hanging all over northern Norway which has produced rain, rain and more rain along with some sleet which is now turning into snow. When we arrived at Ersfjordbotn we were welcomed with snow covered mountains adorning the sides of the fjords. These same mountains have now taken on a very different look with the majority of the snow being washed off and probably now only covering between 30%-40% of them rather than the 90% coverage when we arrived. We have had so much rain that the small waterfall next to the cabin sprang back into life and has been almost been in a state of spate for the last 3 days solid as the water literally pours off the mountainside.
We are leaving with flood warnings and also high alerts of avalanches advised for the locality due to the sheer amount of rainfall that has been nothing short of relentless.
It goes without saying seeing the auroras at the start of holiday, which was always our goal, was the highlight. The lowlights include the Polar Zoo, which for the distance travelled and cost was a waste of both time and money. We found it very disappointing, certainly when visiting in winter time as we did. The drive there was the only high point of the trip through the fjords and mountains in nearly cloudless blue skies which afford great views to Bardu where the Polar Zoo is.
The zoo has elk, wolves, wolverines, deer, arctic foxes, lynx and whilst these are very appealing animals to photograph there is only one very small viewing platform over one of the wolf camps which was inaccessible due to snow when we went. All the other time you have to shoot through wire fencing so you are picking a single focus point so you can obscure the wire out of your images.
One of the highlights apart from the auroras was undoubtedly Grotfjord and standing on the beach surrounded by snow covered mountains and seeing the afternoon move into dusk just before sunset that afforded us a great opportunity to capture some great long exposure images like the one below.
The last opportunity we had to capture the auroras entailed a 60 mile drive to Nordkjosbotn in search of clear skies on Thursday. Although, slightly obscured at times by cloud we still had the chance to capture the aurora in temperatures that dropped down to -10.
So that ends our trip for the this year, it is hard not to fall in love with Ersfjordbotn Kystferie due to it's location and the beauty of the aurora borealis on a cloudless evening in winter time over the fjord. Having visited twice now in literally just over 12 months we need to consider all our options for next year. Time for somewhere new or time for a new project maybe, I don't think I or my suffering family know that answer just yet. I seriously doubt though we will find anywhere that feels as much as home as this place does though. A lot will depend on the solar maximum and if it has peaked already? Then I think pastures new will be calling............ In my heart though I hope it hasn't.
I have some projects I would like to devote more time to at home that I have been planning for a while. Anyone though he has taken interest in my blog and fancies a trip next year to this place please let me know................... I am always happy to give you a quote for my personal guiding services ;-)
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