Dog-Sledding in Tromsø – Let’s have some fun…

Tromso Travel Blog

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a New Experience...

So, what is there to do in an arctic winter Sunday? For a common local guy the answer probably would be: try to rest a while after a working week or a drinking/partying Saturday’s night! But not for a tough guy from the south, like me :-D

Got to get up early for two reasons: 1 – to get breakfast before it ends; 2 – because I booked the dog-sledding for 10am… that’s the best way to maximize your time on a tour, always book something for the early morning ;-)

Being at budget hotel I fond also a budget breakfast and still don’t understand why the other two guys fond it so good!!! But I’ve also heard JV praising this place one minute and refer disappointedly to it after a while (seems he had a friend that got a job someplace as northern as this one, that only stay there for a few months – seems now he his sympathetic with his friend ;-)… depends on his moods!

10am and we are ready to go, I’m thrill about it and believe that JV’s father is too! So, its time to JV gets more disappointed that his father chooses to go to this activity! If it weren’t for the fact he got to stand by his father, he could be back to bed after breakfast!!! Instead he’s back on the back of another van :-D

We leave the hotel to pick up some other tourists at the local camping (seemed a good place to stay with all those bungalows), all Germans and much younger than us (1 guy and 4 girls, all of them in their early twenties, I guess).

Beautiful Landscape
They enter the car very reserved, specially the girls. Also that’s where I gave my front-seat for the German girl who complains on back seats, so… that’s why my road-movie got shorter ;-)  ah! I thought this was a 8 seat van, till I saw this was a group of 5… and a guy seating on the back of the van on a sideway seat :-)

After a short trip we arrive at the farm/centre! Because of last night’s rain the path inside it was on ice so even the car with special tires didn’t manage to get us next to the main house and we had to walk!... this was the hardest task of the day - to walk on ascending or descending ice, maybe for 50m or more… it was more slipping than walking ;-) holding to each other or to the trees (I decided to go through the trees, deeper soft snow, cause I already had my fall last night ;-)

After this extra activity (not booked ;-), we arrive at the main place to what seems to be a big kennel (dog pound?! didn’t found a better translation) with almost 80 dogs.

On a small wooden house we dress the outfits for the activity, a complete suit that included ice-boots, which came in hand after that last walk-on-ice to get here… the suit was also needed against smoke on the final stage of the activity as we were about to find out. The place seemed quite new build… Although I didn’t like seen so many dogs in one place all tied up, they all seemed to be well treated! We spent a good 10 to 15 minutes saying hello to the dogs (which they like it a lot), talking to the owners and taking some photos!

The activity starts with a mini-briefing about the sled they use and on how to drive the dogs. Since the dogs are already trained and a guide is going with us, there isn’t a lot to learn, so it’s very easy to get the main issues… it’s only a little less easier to get them in action ;-)

Time to get the sleds and dogs ready for take off… each sled had 5 dogs and carries 2 humans! I go with the German – JB! While he gets to drive first, I seat on the sled (covered with warm reindeer fur) and get my camcorder ready to go!

 And we’re off… wow!!! Sliding on ice its great… even if it shakes and squeezes you to the bone ;-) don’t know how to describe it well, but seeing the beauty landscape of the fjords, the sunlight and the sun presence below the horizon, while seating there and being pulled by those dogs… was really amazing feeling!!!

My turn to drive the sled… wow and wow!!! Double amazing!!! Long time don’t felt so happy and delighted with something :-) The sights were truly wonderful – while standing up on the sled one could also see the sea, so with the fjords, the sunlight and the beauty of a white landscape, you can say WOW… all the time ;-)

After a few minutes I was getting the hand on it… using the hand-break… stopping with one or two feet… I was almost an expert… if it weren’t for the times I kept forgetting to do it and end up with my dogs over the guide’s sled :-D as I was right after him and whenever he stopped to check on the others sleds that follows us – while I was distracted looking back or talking with JB on the sled – I end up stopping a little bit late… only for a funny situation, that was, with the dogs around his sled ;-)  …not to mention that speedy turn, on a rough ground… turn out that the sled almost turn around… over us! Some how I manage to stop it at half way so the buddy JB only laid on the ground, without the sled over him ;-D …yes, we laughed a lot !!! and with “astonishing expertise” ;-) I also manage to put it (the sled) back on track again… amazing deed that earned a guide’s compliment in the end of the ride :-) you don’t get compliments for doing it right :-P

Also got a special thanks from a satisfied JV, for pushing him into something he was not interested at all… before :-D

But like they say, all good things must come to an end… and it ended pretty fast… But wait! We still had to get a bit, or bite, of the arctic traditional Sami Tent! Although it was more like a modern Sami Tent, we get the picture ;-)

And it was a really pleasant way to end up our visit and activity.

Chocolate Cake... so Good!!!
We seat around the fire and had tea with chocolate cake (tasted very good :-)  …time to talk with the guide and the other tourists… we also had the company of two little puppies, which were the delight of the German girls, who hugged them till the end of the visit ;-)

After undressing the borrowed cloths, we got back in town, exchanged e-mails with the guide and JB (let them all know that they could find me here in TB ;-) and back to the Hotel… the day wasn’t over yet… what I’m I saying? It’s 3pm, the day(light)’s already gone!!! Of course, the arctic night is here to last…

 

Before starting to worry about the Northern Lights, we still had the time to visit a major Tromsø tourist spot – Polaria  – an Arctic Experience! < http://www.

polaria.no/en/ >

We arrive there at 4pm, one hour before it closed, but I think it was enough. Can’t say I like it a lot or that it’s a must go there to see it… but, it’s nice and educational and it’s worth a visit if you’re there. We get to see a movie of Svalbard in a wide big screen, with some nice images and aerial shooting… the other main attraction was the water tank that houses the 3 bearded seals – “the only group of bearded seals in captivity in the world” like says on their site – with a passage underneath we could see them passing above our heads. Then, up the stairs we saw them “flying” on the water from one side to another… it was nice, but would rather prefer see them outside… in the sea ;-)

 

Ferreira says:
I booked with Anja Jenssen at Arctic Pathfinder
www.arcticpathfinder.no
Tel. +47 48 14 30 59
its a local travel agent, Anja did contact the farm and made the arrangements so they pick us up at the hotel...
enjoy it ;-)
Posted on: Jul 21, 2008
Pobster says:
I'm going to Tromso in December and am really looking forward to it after reading this! Which company did you do the dog sledding with?
Posted on: Jul 20, 2008
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a New Experience...
a New Experience...
Beautiful Landscape
Beautiful Landscape
Chocolate Cake... so Good!!!
Chocolate Cake... so Good!!!
Say cheese Little Puppy
Say cheese Little Puppy
under attack ;-)
under attack ;-)
a friendly hug...
a friendly hug...
Getting the dogs in position...
Getting the dogs in position...
...someones already in a good pos…
...someone's already in a good po…
Im the one seated ;-)
We got tha…
I'm the one seated ;-) We got th…
... and away we go!!!!!!!
... and away we go!!!!!!!
First stage... we climb... sort of…
First stage... we climb... sort o…
JV was taking pics with my camera!…
JV was taking pics with my camera…
We could almost smell the sun :-)
We could almost "smell" the sun :-)
Thats the closest we got to... a …
That's the closest we got to... a…
The sky above was a little heavy c…
The sky above was a little heavy …
Guide Checking his followers!
Guide Checking his followers!
Fortunately we got enough snow (on…
Fortunately we got enough snow (o…
we didnt give the guide a chance …
we didn't give the guide a chance…
Tromso
photo by: Biedjee