Monday, January 6, 2014

I am writing to Mr Ugg

We spent a day in Gander and the temperature got down to -28 which with wind chill became -40 - which is very cold indeed - too cold to walk to the shopping center across the road from the hotel. We bought some wine and left three bottles in the car overnite. These froze solid and popped their corks.

We did not get to Fogo island. There was another storm and we drove from Gander to the ferry terminal to discover that the ferries had been cancelled for the day. There was no point in us going to Fogo just for one night so we decided to go back to St. John's.

This was the trip from hell as the road was covered with snow drifts and patches of ice. High winds created snow storms and at times we ground almost to a halt on the highway because visibility was zero. Cate was driving and managed to get back all the way to St Johns before she braked late and slid into another car at a set of traffic lights. We were of course fully insured - but damn near froze to death exchanging details with the other driver.

We discovered when we got back that there was a warning in place advising against driving on the Trans Canada Highway - where we had been.

We also discovered - when we returned to the Sheraton - that they had no power - but the bar was open and provided the necessities to sustain life - although we had to sit there wearing our full winter gear including scarves and ugg boots. Since then the city has had regular power outages but we were all given torches so we can find our way around our hotel rooms. We leave at 5:30 AM tomorrow and expect to have to get up in a freezing room and dress in the dark.

We have a wonderful room with a view of the harbor and the city so we can see the hordes of trucks being filled up with snow and then dumping it in the sea. They have made the roads passable but the footpaths are a complete shambles and we spend a lot of our walking time on the roads competing with the traffic. It will be weeks before the city is cleared of snow.

We are much better off than they are in Indianapolis which has been monstered by the polar vortex. Indy has had wind chill temperatures of - 40 and conditions are so bad that driving on any roads is illegal.

There are massive blackouts across Indiana but I rang our neighbors and so far our street is OK - so the cats will be warm. I rang the cat minder and she says that her person has not been able to get to the cats since Saturday - but left them lots of food and water.

We are due to fly to Toronto tomorrow and then to Indy - but today there are no flights into Indy from anywhere so we may be stuck in Toronto. We are looking at options to get back via bus and rail as we are worried about the cats.

The only bad thing that has happened on the trip is that my ugg boots leak - so I always have wet feet. I am going to write to Mr ugg to complain. This should not happen!


  1. That Ugg-boots-leak is quite uggly!
    (A little voice in my head keeps asking why Australians should be the ones making boots for arctic conditions. Do Penguins wear Uggs?)

    I hope you make it back soon and safely so. You should think about opening a travel agency, "Expert Tours to Hell and Back. Uggs included".

    Happy New Year, stay warm. The cats will be safe, better come back a day or two later than risk anything.

    (You'd not be pleased being in Vienna this Christmas: there's rumor they'll have to mow the lawn at Stadtpark any day now.)

  2. I do agree with Merisi and love the title of your/her new travel agency! I've never owned a real pair of Uggies, does that make me un-Australian I wonder? Safe trip anyway.

  3. Was going to say that you didn't get much of a gander at Gander then? titter titter

  4. I didn't realise uggs were supposed to be waterproof?! They've come a long way.

  5. We were gone for a week so the heat was turned off in our house and it seems that now a week after our return that the house is finally warmed back up. I made sure to turn off the water supply before I left as Cooper stayed neXt door and didn't need it. You were probably colder than Antarctica where it is summer. I had never read about Ugg boots before, for the wiki article. Do you have a favorite brand? Hope you make it home just fine.

  6. I am refusing to leave the house today unless it is an emergency. Too bad about the Uggs, I am considering getting a pair myself.

  7. The relationship between serious winter footwear (such as my Lowa boots, for example) and Ugg stuff is similar to the relationship between a genuine Russian fur ushanka and a cashmere beanie. I’m told that Ugg boots are currently fashionable among young pretty people in Paris… which is the sort of environment they deserve. Australian footwear is not necessarily as good as it’s often made out to be. A few years ago, my R M Williams stockmen’s boots literally fell apart when I wore them on rough ground in Israel.

  8. The news from the coldfront are anything but good. I hope you are somewhere warm and safe.

  9. Merisi: Uggs were invented in Australia but of course are now owned by a US company. They were once just a 'fashion' item but have metamorphosed into proper boots.

    Sandy: we had a one day gander at Gander which is more than enough.

    Lenny: I have been buying ugg boots since we went to Vienna. They make a great range of heavy duty wool lined snow boots which have taken me in winter to Russia, Lapland, Finland, Norway and Denmark, I have never had a pair spring a leak before.

    Esb: see comment to Lenny. I always buy the snow boots with good tread on the soles for snow and ice.

    Fmcgmcclc: I am sure you will not have a problem. I should have used ugg waterproofer on mine regularly.

    William: see previous comments. We buy the serious ugg a not the fashion ones.

    Merisi: we are now snug in our hotel room