Saturday, August 16, 2014

8/16/2014: Dealing with a small wrench in the gears

Remember my bragging about the world chess championship and the extreme arctic bike race circuit coming to town? Well, the first made finding hotel rooms kind of a nightmare and now the second poses problems for getting our massive amounts of food and gear to the Hurtigruten, our ferry to the island of Ingoya tomorrow.

The race guides and general information plus field notebook
 The problem is that for one, the whole town is  buzzing with massive amounts of people and vendors. Second, they are also closing off the streets for the bike routes which means no taxi to the ferry plus the ferry loading site is being moved to an undisclosed site.

The bike route through town tomorrow
A view from my hotel of the city of Tromso soon to be crawling with road bikes…and spandex, eeeek
A list of the stages as they loop town
 So, today we've been scouring town to find storage on the other side of the bike race route because the closed road we need to cross is literally 100 yards from where we think the new ferry pickup will be but there is no crossing it with our massive crates of food and gear. As we worked our way through town talking logistics out loud to work through this problem we got to witness all the festivities associated with the onslaught of skinny tires and spandex.

It is tough to see but at this vendor you can order "whale and beef skewers"
Classic Norwegian sight: Air-Dried salted cod toward the back
A little closer look at the cod 
Speaking of cod, here is a booth selling Bacalao which is a slightly polarizing dish. Either you like dried cod reconstituted with milk then mixed with tomato sauce, potatoes, and olives or you don't. I've had it done great and not so... 
Gotta have something for the kids in the land where legos began. Make your own lego mini-cart and see how far it will go
It is around 15:00 right now (scientists get to use cool military time) and I am finishing this with just enough time to get our main personal bags down with the gear. It makes life a lot easier to just have a backpack for tomorrow and not worry about any more bulk than we have to. I am getting picked up shortly and then on to the first near-whole group meeting. There are a lot of people doing different tasks on this trip: Professors, Grad. students, a Fullbright Scholar in Journalism, an undergraduate, oh yeah, and one math teacher. This should be fun...

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