Day 5: Husky Safari (Day 1)
Ivalo Travel Blog› entry 6 of 10 › view all entries
April 8th, 2010 – by: edsander
Around half past ten Simo gave us our overalls, boots and mittens and took us to our sleds for a briefing. He explained how we should use the brake, which was basically all there was to it. Stand on it with one foot to slow down or with both feet to come to a complete stop. The brake is made up of two hooks that would dig into the snow.
Paul and I had our own sleds and each of us got five dogs. My dogs were Nipsu and her four year old daughters Cia and Cissi, plus two males, Fart (the youngest dog in my group, fortunately not named after his behaviour) and Faura, one of the oldest and biggest dogs of the farm. Paul's dogs were named Caru, Hapro, Esa, Ruossa and Jammu. I immediately fell in love with my dogs, especially young Fart and Cissi, who was enormously anxious to go and was yelping away as if her life depended on it.
Simo had explained that we could help the dogs by pushing on steep stretches. This was something that we definitely needed to do every now and then.
As you can imagine this resulted in some hilarious situations. At a junction a herd of reindeer passed us and my dogs immediately took a wrong turn, going after the reindeer. There was nothing for me to do but stand on the brake and wait for Mika to return. There was no way I could get the dogs to turn around now that they'd picked up the smell of reindeer. Later I would pass Paul who was lying face down in the deep snow, having been thrown of his sled.
Around one o' clock we arrived at Lake Kuru, where Mika prepared us a nice lunch with hot juice, coffee, ginger cake and fish soup. Kuru means valley and the lake is named that way because it lies closed in between a number of fells. When we were on our way again we had some of these fells to climb and it was hard work. At times the dogs would stop and look back at me a as if to say 'could you get of the damn sled please and help us push!'. It was exhausting but the view on top of the fells were breathtaking. Snow, pine forest and other fells as far as the eye could see. The sky had cleared up and it was sunny when we proceeded.
Still, we were absolutely knackered when we arrived at Nangu Lake at half past four, where Mika's Kirsu Cabin was located (Kirisa meaning dog snout). The main cabin had a kitchen, living room and accommodation for 6 people. There was another cabin for larger groups, a funny little toilet and a separate sauna hut. We took the harnesses of the dogs and locked them to the nightline.
In the meantime Mika had prepared us a nice dinner of meatballs in tomato sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetables and we had a cozy dinner by candle light, swapping stories and laughing about all the crazy situations of the day. After dinner we paid the sauna one more visit and spent the rest of the evening chatting with Mika. When it was getting close to midnight we climbed up to the attic and got into our sleeping bags, although they weren't all that necessary since the cabin had warmed up to a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
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