It’s snowing like crazy. Yet somehow your trip to see the whales is not cancelled. You drive to a dock on Kvaloy. Johnny, your captain, is full of good cheer and stocked with warm clothes. You zip everything up, feeling like a toddler in your onesie and mittens. You get on the boat; it’s a small inflatable speedboat. The water is surprisingly calm. Your first thought on the water is not about whales but rather how much the scenery around you looks like a christmas card. Snow covers all of the surrounding mountains. The lights from the few houses along the coast twinkle. You’re in a fjord; not surrounded by green but white. The beauty is breathtaking.
Your plane is landing in Tromso. You’ve been told to keep your eyes open as you land and you half-heartedly look out the window. To your great shock you see a band of bright green across the sky. The northern lights have appeared to welcome you to Tromso. As your plane lands you see more streaks of pale green in the sky. You can’t believe your luck. On the night of your arrival, the skies are clear enough to see the northern lights. You look out your hotel window and there they are. You take an easy drive to Ersfjordbotn and find the lights again.
Your first task of the day is to get a harness on the squirming dogs that you’ve been given. The dogs are barking and just want to get going. they seem far stronger than you and getting a harness on them turns out to be difficult. You look at your friend wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. The trip begins. The ride is surprisingly smooth. The road up the mountain is strenuous. You help the dogs a bit by getting off and pushing. You start to get the hang of it. It’s kind of like snowboarding. Bend your knees, pedal to help the dogs, lean when you’re taking a turn.