As you help harness the huskies and get to know their names, little do you realise just how difficult it will be to part company with them in a few days' time. After a necessarily loud safety briefing (the dogs will be making a lot of very excited noises) it's time to leave. The guide at the front will give you a sign which is the doggy equivalent of "Start Your Motors" and you are off. For the first 200m it feels like you have been fired out of a catapult... a truly exhilarating sensation and then the team settles down, paying homage to the pace dog as he or she sets the tempo for the day.
Suddenly there is nothing but the wilderness with its breathtaking combination of forest, lakes, rivers and fells but most striking of all is the silence broken only by the dogs' panting and the swishing sound of your sled. It's almost unbelievable that just 24 hours ago you were probably at a very busy European airport and now you find yourself in a wilderness setting the size of the UK where reindeer outnumber humans.
After the adrenaline fuelled departure you’ll very quickly begin to feel more comfortable, relaxed and confident and can start to enjoy the landscape. Your objective on day one is a simple wilderness cabin about 30km from Harriniva which you will reach at around 3pm. There will be plenty of stops along the way whilst the dogs rest and you can take on food and refreshments and of course get your camera out and take pictures… don’t forget your camera or you will truly kick yourself.
Arriving at the cabin it's time to settle the dogs down and feed them. Yes - they get fed first and it's you that does it all. Once settled the guide gets the wood sauna going and sets about preparing dinner.
By early evening thoughts turn to the sky above your cabin... no light pollution here so fingers (and toes) crossed for the Northern Lights to come out and play and if not that night you have another four wilderness nights to anticipate.
One last thing...when all is quiet, step outside and walk away from your cabin and hold your breath...the silence is so pure you can hear your heart beating....unless the dogs are howling at the moon of course!