TRAVEL DIARIES . LONG HAUL |
If you are planning a winter trip to Tromsø or other areas in Northern Norway, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by a big choice of outdoor activities. Dog sledding is one of the most exciting things you can do in Tromsø in winter. It's exhilarating, it’s fun and unforgettable…
My friend Sandra and I booked a self-drive husky sledding tour and I would definitely recommend it, as it allows you to experience both the thrill of being a musher and enjoying the scenery.
Every self-drive sled has two people in it – one driving and one sitting in a sled. You both drive half the time and the group stops half way to let the drivers switch.
Also, if for whatever reason you decide you don’t want to drive the sled anymore, you can always switch back with your friend.
And if you are traveling solo, well... it’s a fun way to meet new people!
Our tour started with a short introduction on how to operate a sled and there were so many instructions to remember that my friend and I got slightly anxious at that point thinking that we would mess it up and embarrass ourselves big time!
But we were also very much excited and having both a rush of adrenaline...
We geared up with their special windproof jumpsuit (that made us both look like sumo by the way) and in just a few minutes we were set to go.
our mushing adventure
Once we headed to the sleds, the dogs instantly started barking and jumping with excitement when they saw us!
The moment you meet the huskies, you will be amazed at how enthusiastic they are and how much they enjoy running. If you have any concerns about the well-being of the dogs, all your doubts will go away when you meet the huskies and theirs mushers and see how they interact.
Getting to know the dogs before the ride ...
Ready, Set, Go!
Dog sledding happens in a group.
The calmer, most experienced dogs lead the group and the experienced mushers are driving the first sleds. The other dogs just follow the lead.
Once we jumped in our sleds, they untied each team one by one and off we went!
The dogs were running so fast! They were incredible!
We never had to encourage them to run; on the contrary, we had to slow them down and basically had our feet on the breaks almost the whole time!
They seemed to be having the time of their lives, and so were we…
Funny thing! They are even skilled to run and poop at the same time LOL
Not as easy as you would expect!
They say that driving a dog-pulled sled is pretty straight-forward but it is not as easy as it looks like.
The dogs are well trained, so they do most of the work for you. However you have to steer a bit and help the dogs by pushing the sled when it goes uphill. And if you have overly enthusiastic dogs as we did, you have to use the breaks once in a while or almost all the time in order to avoid passing other sleds as this might be a bit dangerous.
At some point on our ride, the dogs got all tangled and wouldn't run, so we got stuck for a moment and waited for someone to come and help us.
One of the instructor who probably wasn't having a good day, was telling us off in a roughly manner but after I kindly reminded her that it was our first mushing experience ever and we obviously had no clue how to untangle the dogs, she calmed down and apologised.
My friend Sandra and I were a bit shocked to be honest. We are both fervent dog's lover and not in millions years we would have got ourselves carelessly stuck there, just for fun, or even compromise the dog's wellfare.
The scenery with the snowcapped mountains was simply spectacular.
I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of the drive itself and was positively surprised that the actual sledding time was much longer than I expected. I thought we would just make a short tour of 10-20 minutes as it’s often the case with tourist-oriented activities.
But in the end our ride took over 75 minutes and I loved every single one of them.
All in all, I found my first mushing experience was incredible and memorable even though it got me exhausted!
Now selfie time with the dogs! and a last cuddle before saying goodbye and meeting the puppies...
meeting the puppies
At the end of the ride we return to the camp where you got served some hot chocolate and Norwegian treats.
We also met the puppies warming up by a cozy fire.
They were the cutest thing! And as a dog lover, I could not take my eyes and hands off them.
Without any doubt, dog sledding was one of the most unforgettable experiences I have had.
I highly recommend it!
If you visit Tromsø in winter, don’t miss a chance to tick this off your bucket list.
Dog sledding has now been ticked off mine, but I can’t wait to go back and do it again.
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR