Hectic Morning & Dog Sledding

Kvaløya Travel Blog

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After being woken up at 7.30am we decided that we couldn't stay in the hotel if there was going to be building works starting every day at that time, especially as we were going on the Northern Lights trip on Thursday and we might not get back until 3am and neither of us can survive on 4 hours sleep... We decided to be brave and speak to the people on reception to see if we could check out and just pay for the one night and go somewhere else.

Unlike the person on reception the night before, the girl we spoke to was lovely and said that it was fine, and told us that The Viking was just up the road... so off we went, fingers crossed that they would have a room for us... Luckily they did, the guy on reception was really nice and said that they were fully booked the night before and the people hadn't checked out of the room yet so we wouldn't be able to check in until later, which worked really well because we had a trip to go on! So off we ran back to the Thon to get our luggage.

.. went back to the Viking to leave our luggage... then we hot footed it down to the SAS Radisson to meet for our dog sledding trip (all this excitement in just 2.5 hours!) We managed to get a couple of photos of the harbour before we were picked up!

I don't know what I was expecting regarding the daylight in Tromsø... even obsessively checking the webcams for 6 weeks leading up to the trip didn't help.  The only way I can describe it is as a couple of hours of dusky twilight before it gets dark.  I think all the snow definitely helped to lighten it up, but everywhere I looked I could only think of one thing to say... 'it's all so pretty'.  I'm definitely glad that we did the dog sledding trip in the morning as otherwise we wouldn't have been able to see any of the scenery!

I booked my dog sledding trip through Arctic Pathfinders following on from a fellow travbuddy recommendation.

Me, my fab thermal suit & a husky
We were picked up and made our way over to the island of Kvaløya which is about a 30 minute drive from Tromsø. 

When we arrived at the base we were given thick thermal suits and boots, then we were told that we would be driving the sled ourselves for the whole duration of the trip.  I was a little disappointed about this because I wouldn't be able to video the trip or take any photos, but the driving would make up for it. 

We were taken to meet the dogs, the company have 85 in total and they range from 6 months to 9 years with one old guy who is 14.  As soon as we walked into the kennel area the dogs all went crazy wanting attention from the girls in the crazy thermal suits, they were all so lovely... especially the one that cocked his leg on Jude!

After we had spent a few minutes with the dogs we were taken to meet the dogs that would be coming out with us, and were given instructions on how to drive the sled / brake.

The dogs!
  The dogs were attached to the sled while we were standing on the brake to give our guide a chance to get a bit ahead of us.  I was standing with both feet on my brake and the dogs were still tugging the sled a little way down the hill...  Then we were off!  The trail was 15km long and was up and down hills and round corners, once the dogs start running you can go really fast.  It was quite hard work holding onto the sled while balancing one foot on the sled and the other on the brake while checking to see that the guide wire was taut and that was holding on tightly enough so that I wouldn't fall off... my exercise for the day!

It was such a fantastic trip, the scenery was stunning and you could see reindeer tracks in the snow.

The dogs!
    After what seemed like 10 minutes (but was actually 50) we were back at the base where we said goodbye to the dogs and went into a little hut with an open fire for coffee and chocolate cake.   We got the chance to take some photos around the base before saying goodbye to the dogs (again) and heading back to Tromsø.

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Me, my fab thermal suit & a husky
Me, my fab thermal suit & a husky
The dogs!
The dogs!
The dogs!
The dogs!
My dogs!
'My' dogs!
Jude & one of the dogs
Jude & one of the dogs
Me & the sled, after the 15km run!
Me & the sled, after the 15km run!
Me & Jude
Me & Jude
Deep snow...!
Deep snow...!
The dogs!
The dogs!
The dogs!
The dogs!
Husky!
Husky!
Husky!
Husky!
Husky!
Husky!
Kvaløya
photo by: Pobster