Friday, January 01, 2016

Norway - Tromso Winter Trip Part 2 (Dog-Sledding)

Norway Tromso dog sledding


Continuing from Part 1 of my Norway - Tromso trip where I saw the Northern Lights, we went Dog-Sledding the next day!

The reason why we decided to go dog-sledding is because we were afraid that we won't get to see the Northern Lights during this trip and it would a lame trip. Like we spent so much to fly and stay there ya! So we decided to try some other arctic activity as well and we decided on dog-sledding.

Reservation and Cost

We made a reservation with http://www.activetromso.no/ as the company is affiliated with Lauklines Kystferie (the accommodation we stayed in by the fjords) and hence are able to fetch us from there. It cost 1300 NOK per pax (approximately S$200) for a 7 hours activity, and we are required to make full payment on their website via Paypal. I made the reservation about 2 weeks prior to our arrival via email. As with everything, it would be better to reserve earlier since they only have one slot a day and can only accommodate 5 pairs. I think is is pretty worth it for the duration!

Attire

I borrowed their pants and boots because my boots and jeans just cannot make it. They have coat as well, and they rent them out at no extra cost. Not the best smell though. Hahah. It is recommended that we wear long underwear as well as fleece because it can get really cold!  I must say their boots are really superb. Super slipped proofed! I can run on the snow/ice and climb up/down slopes with no issues. (Step aside timberland). 

So that morning, I woke up at 8.30 to prepare breakfast for Mr Gan and also to prepare some sandwiches to bring there. The guide will be picking us up at our accommodation at 9:20am. We decided against bringing the DSLR because we foresee that there is high chance of us damaging it. LOL. Luckily we didn't! I think if we did, there will be no more DSLR. But that also means you all got to bear with my super cannot make it iPhone photos.  The low light situation didn't help as well.

Upon reaching there, we were promptly asked to change into their winter gears if needed. Remember to use their washroom before heading off! There's no washroom in the wild! After all 10 of us were ready, we were ushered to the back of the house, down a slope to where all the dogs and sledges are. The sun started to rise then. 10am there looks like 6am in Singapore.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Most of the dogs were still sleeping when we reached. But one after another they woke up.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Oh and this activity is super not suitable for people who are afraid of dogs.

I think the experience is really amazing! It started with the guide teaching us how to prepare our sledge for the activity. There are 5 dogs to a sledge, arranged in the formation 1,2,2. The one right infront is the alpha dog aka the leader of the pack. Not all the dogs can be one! (Just like in human world). After the introduction, the dogs all woke up!

Norway Tromso dog sledding

We then followed the trainer to fetch the dogs to the sledge.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Here's the trainer demonstrating how to put on the harness for the dogs and connecting it to the sledge.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Here is two of our pack!

What is dog-sledding about

For this dog-sledding, there is one rider and one passenger. Dog-sledding is about teamwork. When going uphill, the rider got to get off the sledge and help the pack by pushing the sledge. When the sledge is going too fast, the rider got to step on the brake and guide the pack to slow down. And finally the person sitting inside got one thing to do. That is to to hold onto the anchor and throw it out of the sledge when the rider loses control of the sledge.

I'm not sure whether this applies to all dog-sledding out there, I know some only allow you to be a passenger than a rider.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Bonding with the dogs. SUPER CUTE AND CUDDLY LUH THEM. Both Mr Gan and I love big dogs. Awww. 

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Then we were told to get into position!!

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Mr Gan was the rider and I'm the passenger. To be honest it is quite cozy inside. I just dumped everything inside and held on to my phone.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Here we are, waiting for the rest to get ready.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

Getting ready! 

Norway Tromso dog sledding

And off we go!!!

Within the first few minutes of the ride, our sledge went over some humongous tree branch and that threw Mr Gan off the sledge and me running off with the pack without the rider!!! 

And because I couldn't see what's happening at the back, I only realised it after I heard Mr Gan's shout and the sledge picking up speed. I remembered what the guide said and quickly threw the anchor out to stop the sledge. But I guess I threw it wrongly and that didn't stop the sledge. LOL

Finally the sledge stopped after hitting the pair infront and the guide and Mr Gan caught up. Oops. Luckily never bring DSLR yo! And luckily never butter finger throw out the phone instead hahahhaa. 

Norway Tromso dog sledding

It was really an enjoyable ride apart from the occasional tree branches poking your butt from below. But well cushioned from the thick attire.

Then an hour into the ride, this happened,"I need to pee."

Usual troublesome and lousy bladder me. I didn't know how or whether there will be a stop station later or what. So I couldn't enjoy the ride very much.  Finally I decided to tell the guide when we stopped for the rest behind to catch up.

So how? Answered nature's call in the nature. Behind some sparse bushes and on the ice. LOL. Anything that will make me comfortable. Super happy after that! But quite troublesome cause too many layers.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

We reached the midpoint about 2 hours later and I decided to switch place with Mr Gan. Just to try being a rider! Experience yo!

Norway Tromso dog sledding

It was really fun and enjoyable!! Much more things to do than being a passenger. But after an hour into the ride, I began to feel really tired. And it was my turn to fly off the sledge and send Mr Gan running off with the pack. Not once, but twice. 

Super lousy me also got stuck going up the slope. LOL. Thankfully one of the other riders got off his sledge and help me push the sledge up. That was when I decided to give up and switch places with Mr Gan and be a passenger instead. It is also easier for the pack since Mr Gan can help push the sledge more.

Norway Tromso dog sledding

And because I kept removing my gloves to take photos, my hands got frost bite. LOL. Better get a gloves that can use phones! Damn raw and painful T.T

After the end of the activity, which is at 3pm or so, the sun has set. LOL. We hugged our pack and directed them back to their kennel. Ended the activity with coffee and biscuit with the group before going back to our accommodation for another afternoon/night of camping for northern lights. But we won't so lucky the second night.

I'm glad everything turned out well and we were able to see northern lights and try out dog-sledding!

Higher recommended to go Norway - Tromso to see the northern lights and try dog-sledding!!!

Will definitely go back to Tromso again!!!