|Sarek National Park|
So here we are. Sparta, Nyx and I made our return journey to Switzerland. Home sweet home J.
There is so much going on in my head that I haven't been able to write before today. And still, I don't know where to start. I want to write. I want to share what we lived during these 21 days on the trails of the Great North. And it will come, bit by bit, topic by topic. For now, I am enjoying being back, gently finding my bearings.
Some facts and data on the past 6 weeks:
- 3'200km from our home town to Kautokeino. 7-days journey and 10 days return.
- in total we took: 7 buses, 1 train, 4 ferries, 2 shuttle boats, 1 rowing boat and drove 48 hours
- 22 days on the trails. 21 days hiked, 1 full day rest, 3 half-day breaks.
- some 650-670km hiked (exact figures still need to be checked)
- maximum distance walked: 42k, minimum: 10k, daily average 32k
- the dogs ate 26kg of food -18kg during the hike - and loads of snacks!
- 50 dried freeze meals (hunger made me eat two sometimes..), 25 home-made breakfasts (also used as afternoon snacks), 60 energy bars, 4 dark chocolate tablets
- 20 nights in the tent, 1 at my friend Ziss, 1 in Akste Fjällstation (dreadful weather conditions!)
- passed by some 25 mountain huts
- crossed countless rivers, streams, creeks and flooded areas, sometimes over bridges, mainly not, very often wetting my feet.
- passed by thousand of lakes and ponds
- worn out 1 pair of shoes
- 2 (big) blisters, not a single injury for all 3 striders (!)
- 3 pairs of socks (2 finished in the bin)
- 2 pair of pants, 3 t-shirts, 1 second layer, 1 down jacket, 1 poncho, 1 Gore-Tex jacket, 1 night outfit (recovery pants + long sleeve), 2 Buffs, 1 hat, 1 glove left, 1 lost.
- a fair number of mosquito bites
- seen many reindeers (alone or in groups) and thousands of lemmings, spotted many birds and grouses, one eagle, heard wolves. No elk. No bear. Only their droppings!
- met some amazing people: hikers from all around Scandinavia, Europe and Australia, local inhabitants and Sami reindeer herders, artists and jewellers, hut wardens.
- seen and been confronted to the effects of climate changes from inside
- discovered a land of potentialities, of amazing beauty, of incredible diversity.
I am very proud of what we accomplished the dogs and I. These two have been amazing, crossing vertiginous bridges, deep rivers, walking long hours and always with an incredible goodwill and lust for life. We handled difficult days and situations, faced harsh weather conditions, had to take decisions and make choices and not look back.
I wanted to do something extraordinary with my dogs. I wanted them to come back happy and healthy. I wanted me to enjoy myself and live an incredible adventure. I wanted to raise awareness on the interactions between mankind, nature and animal kingdom and the impact of climate changes in the Arctic. I succeeded. And I have discovered much more. On me. On people. On the Arctic. There is a lot to say. A lot to do. I feel like this is only the beginning...