Friday, 9 January 2015

A welcome respite at Thomas Gut's

Finally we arrived at Thomas Gut's kennel near Sweizel in Germany around 8pm last night. After taking the dogs out, feeding and changing their straw again it was time for a little relaxation ourselves. Thomas had prepared a very welcome and hearty meal for us and it went down a treat! A couple of local beers later and Milos, Jan and I were all snoring away in the luxury of a bed. It was bliss. But morning came way too early. 

I woke with a dreadful head cold. I can't believe the timing but both Jan and Milos have had colds the last few days (and I was still battling the leftovers of one a month ago) so it was hardly surprising it came back. All day I've had my nose in a tissue, sneezing and taking painkillers for my headache. Still, life goes on here and Thomas took us out on his local trails to stretch the dogs legs. We were hoping it might help their appetite as we have a few males not eating. Unfortunately all of our females, bar one, are in heat now and the boys are going crazy. The timing couldn't be worse and it causes us much more work looking after them making sure they can't get at each other. The dogs are more likely to start a fight too so we have to watch that. Anyway, the very short training run was fun and the dogs had to cross an open creek for the first time which was good training - we don't have much of that in Kiruna! But the weather here is pretty bad... What snow there is is melting fast with the +5 temperature and the rain has set in. It's pretty nasty and makes me wonder what we'll be facing in France. I have to say at the moment we're wondering why we left Kiruna - perhaps one of the best dog sledding destinations in the world - to be here in the rain!! 

Now we await our handlers. Pavol (Milos's brother), Rasto and his wife Katy are all coming from Slovakia and meeting us here to drive the last 12 hours to France. It's 5pm now so they should be here soon. We need to leave around 8pm tonight, drive through the night, to arrive in France for 9am and the vet check at Samoens. From there the chaos continues with a prologue stage in the evening... Basically a show for the spectators. Not our favourite bit but again it should be good for the dogs to get out for a short and fast run. 

Whilst we wait I'm taking the opportunity to catch up on some bookings (they don't go on hold during the race!) and if I can, some shut eye. ;-)

More tomorrow at the start of the race! 

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