Switching off for a husky adventure
For me this trip was about completely switching off from normal working life, really getting in touch with nature and spending real quality time with the people you are there with. Just as well, because the Wilderness Camp where we were staying in Swedish Lapland doesn’t have any electricity, modern appliances or running water! (You get water from the lake.) It’s fairly strenuous but the more you put in the more you get out of it, and let’s face it, any trip that starts with your own husky transfer (they even had their own parking bay) is going to be amazing.
We were greeted by Nicola, Bjorn and an eager team of dogs at Kiruna Airport and whilst everyone was hopping on to the bus, we were putting on a thick layer of warm winter clothing and taken through beautiful snow capped fir trees by the huskies!
Upon arrival at the Mushers Lodge for our first nights’ stay, we were instantly welcomed and made to feel part of the family. Everything about what would happen over the next couple of days and where we would find things in the hotel was explained to us, and then we were whisked off to the dining room and served a nice home made meal. This was not a gourmet meal like you would find in a restaurant, more of a home comfort meal which to me made it more welcoming as it was made for a family rather than guests.
After waking up the next morning fresh from watching one of the best northern lights showings I’ve ever seen, we started preparations for spending the next two days and nights in the Wilderness Lodge with just our guide and our huskies.
The morning was spent meeting more huskies and preparing the dogs’ harnesses, learning about the sleds and how to use them properly. The dogs were so excitable every time they knew they were close to going for a run and barked and howled enthusiastically. They were all very friendly and we quickly learnt about their different traits.
We were out with the dogs for about 2 hours in the morning, stopping for some soup and to catch our breath as it was non stop action! In and out of the woods, across lakes and rivers and up and down hills, the trails had everything.
Both mornings and afternoons were spent doing different trails and covering around 30-45 km over the course of the each day, so when we got back to the lodge we needed to recover. For me there is no way better to recover than a sauna, or simply just sitting in front of an open fire. The traditional sauna itself took a little while to get going but then when it was ready it was ideal. And for a real Scandinavian touch, when you needed to cool yourself down, there was a door back to dive in the snow!
The final day was a snowmobile transfer back from the Mushers Lodge to the Icehotel. I had been to the Icehotel once before, so I didn’t think I would get the same feelings I did the first time I went, but I was blown away! It was even better than I remembered. There is so much care and pride in all of the artists work and they have such passion in the Icehotel. The guides are so knowledgeable and generally everyone goes out of their way to make your stay the experience of a life time!