Prologue: Preparations for Lapland

Ivalo Travel Blog

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A dream cherished for 12 years about to come true ... (source:
Lapland has been a dream I've been walking around with for more than 10 years. Back in the late nineties I visited Finland and worked with a distributor of the company for which I worked at the time. It was a great week and the director promised me that if I'd ever be back he'd take me on a husky sled trip one day. Unfortunately that day never came since our company was bought and moved to Switzerland, after which I went to work elsewhere. But the thought of speeding through the snow, pulled by a pack of dogs has been slumbering ever since.

In the last couple of years I started thinking about Lapland again, triggered two things. One was Biedjee's trip to Tromso to see the Northern Lights. The other was the raving stories about the sled trip one of my colleagues (Marca) had made not so long ago.
I wonder if the Easter Bunny comes up here ? (source:

In recent years I have adopted the vision that I should enjoy life to the max because it might suddenly be over unexpectedly. And what good is it to die with lots of savings and little experiences? My attitude might not so much be Carpe Diem but it most certainly is Carpe Annus (with two n's that is), planning as many trips and fun activities in a year as time and money allows.

So while having lunch with Marca I sent a text message to my friend and travel buddy Bart in a sudden impulse of enthusiasm: 'Wanna go on a sled dog trip in Lapland?'. Within a few second the answer came: 'Yes !'. We had agreed to make another trip after our Northern India adventure and this seemed like a great idea. So, I started gathering information about specialised travel agencies for Lapland and got into contact with the sled dog farm that Marca recommended. A new cunning plan was starting to take shape ...

Unfortunately Bart had to cancel because of other obligations and lack of time. I started to consider alternatives and looked into several options. I could take a group trip, but I had just gotten used to more individual forms of travel with good friends. And then it dawned on me that Paul might be interested in joining. I had met Paul on my trip to Ladakh and he had been one of my companions on the trip through Laos. Being someone who likes a bit of fun and a good conversation alike, Paul certainly would be excellent to team up with again. When I called him he was immediately enthusiastic, but had to wait for feedback from his insurance company since his house got burgled a few weeks earlier. If they would pay for the damages he'd join me, otherwise he'd be a bit short on cash for a while. But it must have been one or two days later that he already called me back. His message came down to 'screw the insurance, I'm going, whether they pay or not'. ;-)

I immediately booked the trip I had already taken an option on. Because of increased flight costs we decided to stay an extra night in Lapland, which was the best alternative offered. I decided to make the best of that extra night and arranged for a day in Inari, where we would sleep at the husky farm that would take us on a two day sled trip the day after. It would also be a nice break from the hotel in Saariselkä we'd be staying in for several nights. The whole thing would take place in early April; we'd be going (North)East at Easter, as Jim Kerr would say.

Receiving the travel documentation I was in for a bit of a shock when I saw the list of suggested clothing. Not being someone that's fond of winter sports I didn't have any of that fancy stuff, and considering the drain on my savings account that one week of Lapland was this was starting to get a bit out of hand. Fortunately, Marca came to the rescue and immediately started to gather ski jacket, pants and boots from the wardrobes of her partner and friends. It's still taking some trial and error to find stuff that actually fits me but I'm sure we'll get there and it saves me from having to buy a lot of stuff I might never use again. Thanks Marca, you're a star!

With these items crossed of the list there was just some UV lip balm, thermal underwear and maybe a new pair of sunglasses to worry about. Nothing too serious and while the anticipation is building, there's still two weeks for the final arrangements. And boy, do I look sexy in those thermal pants ! Well, to people of some undiscovered civilisation that is ... ;-)

bartgijtenbeek says: je toch...
Posted on: Apr 05, 2010
edsander says:
I don't want to get kicked of TravBuddy. ;-)
Posted on: Mar 20, 2010
Biedjee says:
why no photos of you in the thermal underwear?
Posted on: Mar 20, 2010
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A dream cherished for 12 years abo…
A dream cherished for 12 years ab…
I wonder if the Easter Bunny comes…
I wonder if the Easter Bunny come…
photo by: eefab