Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grani Opened

Snow report for the Kauniainen ski hill: frozen dirt bumps, covered by a layer of rocks and pieces of two-by-fours. And a dusting of snow on top. Everything is ready for the season to start!

We finally got some snow in southern Finland. My old skis keep being used on sand and dirt, so Jarmo and I decided that it would be fun to open the season at Grani. There wasn't indeed much snow, but it is a start. Actually, the skis seemed to slide very well, although turning was at times difficult, if we happened to try that on top of those rocks or two-by-fours.

Seriously though, I'm hoping the real season begins soon. The snow cannons are already in place, just waiting for the cold weather to be turned on. And the ski cat is parked at the bottom and ready to go. Hopefully we'll get long-lasting cold weather.

The funny thing was that as we were skiing, a mountain biker speeded past us. Sport seasons are starting to overlap a bit. But more the merrier! In fact, we also saw joggers, Jarmo's son was sliding down the hill on a sledge, and we even saw a nordic walker (with sticks) at the top of the hill. For a moment we thought the walker was a skier who would make the season-opening ski run in front of us :-)

And, oh, some great news! The long-awaited 2nd lift is being built! The foundations are already in place, and the top of the hill has been heightened a bit to allow for the lift to bring people to the highest point also on the left side. Looking forward to the new lift. The large number of five year old (or younger) beginners on the slope means long waits on the current single lift.

Photos and videos (c) 2014 by Jari Arkko and Jarmo Ruuth. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dos Ojos

I like lazy Saturdays. The ones with no meetings, and planes not leaving until the evening. And no plans, other than having a swimsuit and wanting to visit some natural pools in the warm weather. But I ended up seeing incredible cenotes, colours, and diving in the world's 3rd longest underwater cave.

Cenotes are natural sinkholes, and common in the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico, where I was. I rented a car and ended up going to Cenote Azul and Dos Ojos. What a wonderful world I found!

Unfortunately, I have no video nor other pictures than the three ones on this page (blue, green, and yellow). I did not know I was going diving, so I had not taken the waterproof case for my GoPro camera on this trip. (For what it is worth, I was carrying my skis, but found no dunes to ski on.)

So, for other than these pictures, you'll have to take my word for it. Dos Ojos is a set of interlinked cenotes, creating an underwater cave system more than 80 kilometres long. Obviously, with no dividing experience I could not explore the depths of this cave, but I was able to go snorkelling to the Bat Cave. This nearby cave can be reached by an easy 50 meter dive from one of the entrances of Dos Ojos.

The access is almost completely filled with water, just a few centimetres of air above the water. But it is easy to snorkel through with a guide. Although I kept hitting my head to the stalagmites. And if you've ever liked stalagmite caves, I'm sure you'll be able to appreciate how pretty underground stalagmites can be in crystal clear, blue cave waters with 100m+ visibility.

Photos (c) 2014 by Jari Arkko. Tämä blogi löyty myös suomeksi.