I had seen pictures & videos of this scooter kind of snow vehicle but to be honest, I wasn’t even sure of the name! So when I was told that we are going to drive snow mobiles, I was a bit apprehensive. Not that I don’t love adventure sports; Scuba diving, Bungee jumping, Parasailing, Rappelling, Segways.. I have done them all. But this? I cheered myself that there is always a first time for everything.
I was at the top of Gubalowka Mt. in Zakopane, Poland where we had reached by a funicular. From the top, the place looked snow covered paradise ! It was so beautiful that I didn’t want to move from there.
But then as per the schedule, we had to move to the reality of snowmobiling.
At the site, the instructor taught us how to handle the vehicles and also, the do’s & don’ts. They checked our clothes and shoes. Those who did not have proper gears were provided the same. We were to leave our bags & other stuff. The snow mobiles were heavy and had runners instead of wheels to slide across the surface & cut through the snow. There were enough snow mobiles for each one of us.
Donning my helmet and gloves, I was still wondering how I would handle it when I realized I wasn’t the only chicken out there! I saw some of us including men, opting for pillion rides! How could I be left behind? I jumped on a snow monster to ride the pillion. The brave ones, who, in real life were hardcore bikers, opted to drive.
The instructor was riding in the front and all of us were to follow him in a line. My snowmobile was just behind him. Our journey began.
The instructor was fast, superfast and so much in control of his vehicle that he wasn’t actually sitting & driving like anyone would do. Instead, he had almost turned backwards leaning on one side, to see if we all are coping with his speed. Obviously not! He would go a distance, then turn around and go back behind the last snow mobile…. more like a shepherd herding his sheep!
Being a responsible instructor, he would also see to it that we cross the slopes comfortably and then he would accelerate to regain his position no. 1.
The fun was on. I didn’t want this ride to be over ever. Sitting comfortably with occasional titters, I was totally mesmerized by the surrounding white beauty. The only noise was of the snowmobile fueled by petrol. The temperature was sub zero but it couldn’t deter me from capturing the vast expanse of landscape in my camera. To hold the camera, I had to remove my gloves. At the end of the ride, my hands were numb & I was shivering like crazy but I had achieved what I wanted.
We crossed ups & downs of slopes, saw lovely little villages, beautiful wooden houses and churches. The experience was pure adrenaline rush. The total ride was for around 2 & half hours including a short break for a barbeque lunch. No other break.
The instructor didn’t understand my need of capturing this paradise in a photo or two. Probably because this vast expanse was his home and he was seeing it every single day!
To have an idea, you can watch this video shot by me there.
Travel Tip– The snowmobile is very safe to ride and the fun you get is absolutely free.
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