We are almost half way through 2018 and I can already tell you what the highlight of the year is, one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life, dogsledding in Finland.
Although many tourist flock to the Nordic countries, such as Finland to mainly is the Northern Lights, there are many activities to do during the winter season, and the one I was most excited about was visiting the huskies and trying out dogsledding for the first time in my life.
On the second day of my Finnish Wilderness Week tour, I was definitely ready to experience this. I woke up early and went to the collect all the clothing I would need to wear for our dogsledding day. Myself and the rest of the Exodus group got on a bus and left Oulanka Basecamp onto Riisitunturi National Park, where all the huskies were waiting and where the fun would begin! After a short drive, we arrived at the kennels where all the huskies were running around, I was already getting excited. Once we got through the gates I was insanely launched at, receiving hugs, kisses and excited howls from my furry new friends… and who can resist those beautiful blue eyes… These dogs crawled into my heart to become my new favourite animal and also proved once again why dogs are just so much better than cats(no offense to all you cat lovers).
We were then met by the husky handlers who demonstrated how to handling the sleds with a few safety tips including how to use one foot to brake and both feet to stop completely. We were then told stories about the dogs while me enjoyed a lunch of warm soup in the hut. I started to get nervous and asked if people had fallen off the sleds before. It didn’t help when they assured me that this happened all the time..
When I got to the sleds all the huskies were already tied up and starting to howl with excitement. My sled was pulled by six huskies and I gave them each a little met before climbing onto the back. The howls started getting louder until one of the leaders untied the rope and after a jolt we were off following the leader and the rest of our group on our sleds. It was a little scary but even more exhilarating. I slowly took my foot off the brake as I became more confident and enjoyed watching the huskies run. It wasn’t only great to watch them but also to be able to admire the natural beauty of the Riisitunturi National Park. l was truly in the wilderness, with everything covered in snow.. A once in a lifetime experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.