Honestly,I did not do much read up on any top adventures to do when in Kiruna or Abisko,I was too busy sorting out my kids and my maids .But I knew I could trust my over enthusiastic and highly organised friends to make sure that I got the best out of it.Jordana and her company run these husky tours in Kiruna and she coordinates and responds to all your queries on email.On the stipulated day,the tour operator picks you from your hotel and drives you a good 20-30 miles away from the city into the wilderness.The temperatures drop a few more degrees here(as if it was not cold enough!).They give you really warm overalls and shoes,cap,flashlights to wear on your head(the path is not lit you see,exciting!) ,gloves and anything warm that you can think of.When you see the sledge for the first time you wonder ,how will you ever control these over enthusiastic huskies.There are about 5-6 tied to one sled.This is tricky and someone from the tour will introduce you to the dogs and also explain you how to control and manoeuvre the sledge.Both the person sitting(use your body weight) in front and the one standing at the back(press the levers)have to contribute to it or else these huskies will be so fast that you will fall off the sled.The home trail in twilight and the beauty and majesty of snow covered trees, frozen lakes and panting dogs really made you feel that you were at one with nature and, more importantly, no technology in sight!We had been given specific instructions not to cross paths with each other to avoid collision,so when we saw one set of huskies taking per us,we realised something was not right.Our guide told us to halt and while he stopped the huskies,we realised two of our friends who were on that sled,had lost balance and fallen off.Luckily,since they fell on the snow,they didn’t get hurt.Controlling the sled can be a little tricky.
Unlike the huskies,these are totally in your control and you can slow them or drive them fast as you like.But manoeuvring them was not that easy as it sounds,it took us a little time to figure them out.The snowmobiling was made all the more enjoyable with a stop mid-way through the morning for a hot drink in a wooden hut, particularly welcome if temperatures drop to below freezing. We also made stops for photos to be taken.I was super worried when we drove on a frozen lake,but really it was the same as driving on the trail,thank God!
|Feeding the huskies is a great bonding gesture|
|All Set to go on the adventure|
|Playing with the super friendly huskies|
|The little kiddo sleeping sound in this special Sled|
|Enjoying Fika with friends|
The cost of this is appx 800 SEK pp/6000 INR but totally worth it.
SNOW SHOE HIKING:
Klas, the owner and guide is a first class adventure instructor and his passion for the winter outdoors and Abisko is obvious when you meet him. I caught him humming a Swedish tune which sounded very similar to what I had heard as a kid,figured that ‘Akele,akele kaha jaa rahe ho’,is inspired by a Swedish traditional song.Then in our excitement we got singing together and were surprised that our cultures came so close.
|Klas-Our guide helping us wear the snow shoes|
|Us with all our gear.|
|The picturesque Abisko-National Park|
|Us hiking in the snow capped National Park|
The cost of a guide is 600 SEK/4500 INR(appx) per hour for the whole group.
|All set on my not-so-lean ,mean machine|