We decide to see if we can line up some activities to fill the gaps in our timetable at the end of the week. We make our way to Tourist Information and book ourselves in for horse riding. Chris will either have to go on a diet or lie about his weight – actually he comes in just under the limit. I am already panicking about not being in the right place at the right time for this as we have to get ourselves to the venue. Home via the local supermarket to buy milk, which does not feature in the tea making provisions at Levitunturi.
We then investigate where a flight of steps in the forest leads. It leads a very long way and we eventually come out by the top of the gondola. I feel obliged to count the steps on the way down – just the 740.
Snowmobiling in the afternoon. We are kitted out in extra thick gear and given driving instructions. How have I got to the age of fifty something and never ridden anything resembling a motorbike? My youth was obviously misspent in other ways. The handlebars are heated, we are told there are three settings, off, hot and barbequed. In the interests of everyone’s safety and because I’ve read the small print (with difficulty as I am wearing contact lenses not vari-focals) about paying the 850 euro excess in case of an accident, I have decided not to drive. I can’t even drive an electric sewing machine. We therefore set off with Chris driving and me gripping tightly (that would be very tightly) to the hand holds. We have been instructed in various hand signals. If we are in difficulty we are to keep still and cross our arms. Apparently if we can’t cross our arms because we are trapped under the snowmobile, we cross our legs instead – most reassuring.
Chris is enjoying reliving his days as a mod on a Vespa, I am just letting my life flash before my eyes. Actually it is quite fun and we pass through some lovely scenery before stopping for the inevitable hot drink, accompanied by a dohnut this time There is an igloo at our stopping place. We send in the small children of our party to check this out. By the return journey we are getting used to this snowmobiling lark and we reach speeds of 60 kph. My visor has steamed up so I am effectively looking through greaseproof paper – makes predicting the bends a bit tricky. I am also supposed to be taking pictures. Had I been able to see where I was and what was coming up, I would not have elected to let go of the hand holds and take my gloves off, whilst fiddling In my pocket for the camera and juggling the camera case, just at the very fastest (and therefore the very coldest) point in the journey. By the end of the ride the far left hand portion of my visor has demisted so a serious eyes left means I can see where I am – this doesn’t bode well for the security of my contact lenses.
Once back at the hotel, I decide to get my money’s worth out of the spa facility and go for another swim. I am determined to try the outdoor pool, albeit briefly and Chris is charged with the job of being in the right place at the right time to get the photographic evidence of me swimming when it is minus 10. It starts off so well all this, although I do discover I have forgotten my towel. Not wanting to make another trip through the tunnel that connects the spa with Ounas block and then up the stairs to our room, I decide I will drip dry. I have my photograph taken outside then return to the other pools. Much more crowded today; mostly overweight men of senior years – this compulsory Speedos is so not a good idea. I spot an Aqua-jogging pool. The idea is that you get extra fit by swimming against the current. I leap in (well slide in gently – no jumping allowed). Hmm, a little deeper than I anticipated and I can only just touch the bottom. If I try really hard I can maintain a stationary position when swimming against the current. I decide, like most of my fellow aqua-joggers, to go with the flow. Time is up, where are the steps? I am whooshed round the circuit a few times by the current. There are no steps. I have to leaver myself out by my arms in water that is too deep to push off from the bottom, whilst being propelled along by the force of the water. I could be here some time. I wonder, idly, how long it will be before Chris wonders where I am. In the end I launch myself at a passing section of poolside and cling on whale like until I manage to wriggle ashore. Not having a towel will now pale into insignificance.
I sample a little of most of the main courses on offer for the evening meal, passing only on the pickled cucumber. There is chilli fish, veggi burger and a strange vegetable bake topped with Doritos. The million calorie a mouthful ice cream is gorgeous but I manage to pour it over the table when trying to serve it – they should provide larger bowls.