Just seeing if anyone else out there has booked onto the Dogsledding departure (Sun 25 March) in Finland?
Really excited about it already! Looking forward to long days of sun, lots of snow, time with the dogs and time in the hot tub!
If you're coming along, let me know, it's always good to know a few names before you get there.
Yes we're comming too, just booked up! My girlfriend Anna and I will be on the group flight.
Really looking forwards to it, all the photos look fantastic!
Hi Karen & Steve, I've just provisionally booked and will be flying from Manchester as I live in North West. I've used Exodus before (mountain biking in Morocco). They were really good so hope this one is too. Have either of you done dogsledding before?
Hi Tony, no dogsledding is a new one for us, though we are used to being out on the mountains in the snow. Looking forwards to the three extra days of dogsledding, just have to survive the Easter rush at Heathrow! We've been with Exodus a few times between us and its always been fantastic.
Hi Tony and Steve
Good to hear from you both and find a few fellow 'mushers'. I'm pretty well travelled with Exodus now, having done about 5 trips with them in recent years and I've only ever once had a minorly disappointing trip. Fingers crossed this is one of the good ones. I'm sure it will be! I normally do the Exodus thing on my own but this time I'm travelling with two friends - both of whom I met on different Exodus trips in the past!
Never done the dog sledding before and I normally don't do the snowy type of holiday either so this will be a new experience all round for me. I'm hoping for some sight of the Northern Lights as I'm a keen photographer and want to see if I can capture the notoriously difficult spectacle on film! That'll be lots of late nights in the freezing snow for me then. Ah well.
Looking forward to it - just need to buy some thermals in the January sales.
Hi Tony, Steve & Karen!
I've just booked this as well. This will be my first time using Exodus and generally seem to hear good things about them. I'm travelling alone and really looking forwards trying the different activities.
I am booked on this week on my own and really looking forward to it. I normally ski in the winter, but this is one of the things I want to do before I die (hopefully not doing it though!) so I thought I'd better do it sooner than later. Looking forward to the snowy landscapes. Must learn how to say "Stop" in Finnish before letting the huskies go!
I have just seen the picture on your profile and read that you went to Jordan last year on 13 Feb - I was there a week earlier! Did you see the Johnny Depp lookalikes in Petra? I had a great week with Khaled the guide.
Is anyone travelling from the North West? I'll be on the Manchester flight to Helsinki
Sorry Tony, I'll be coming from Heathrow
Thanks Karen, no doubt we will all meet up in Helsinki for the 2nd leg of the trip.
Hi Mark, my only other trip with Exodus (in Morocco) was excellent and all others agreed so I think they are a good outfit and you should enjoy it with them.
Sorry, last message should have said Jackey not Karen.
Hi all and welcome to Jackey and Mark - nice to have some more solo travellers on board!! All the good things you've heard about Exodus are true Mark - they are brilliant and you are sure to have a great time. Look forward to meeting everyone - am already counting down the days. Time to hit the sales and get some thermals I think.
Jackey - my Exodus trip to Jordan was amazing - one of my best trips ever with an amazing group of people, one of whom is joining me in Finland as we're still good friends. We had Yousef as our guide who was brilliant. Didn't see the Johnny Depp look alikes in Petra but did meet one of the locals there who spoke English with a comedy cockney accent as he'd learnt the language from a Londoner. Petra at night was amazing too. So many good memories - I'm sure Finland will give us just as many.
Take care all - see you soon.
Hi Karen - if you check out my photos, Johnny should be on there. He was in a cafe run by a lady who married a bedouin who later died and she stayed in Petra. She wrote a book about it. Looking forward to meeting the huskies but I thought thermals were provided on this trip?
Hi Jackey - see what you mean. Love the cheesy grin. I heard about the woman who married the bedouin but didn't get to go to her cafe while we were there.
Re: thermals - yep, they are provided but I didn't fancy wearing underwear that had already been worn by someone else!! Outwear yes, but underwear, nope! There are some great 2 for 1 deals on at the moment so it's not too expensive and they'll be useful for my trips to Scotland too!!
Thought I would log on and say hello as I will also be on the trip. Getting really excited now and like Karen have invested in thermal underwear :-) I am fortunate enough to know Karen, however can't wait to meet you all to share this brilliant experience.
Hi all, wow lots of new posts on here since the last time I looked, glad to know we wont be the only ones looking lost around Helsinki Airport! :) Is anyone considering taking any of there own winter gear (except thermals)? Just feels a little weird not travelling with anything and trusting they have the right size boots etc!
See you all in 10 weeks & 4 days .. not that I'm counting!
I'm booked to go on this trip too on 25th March. I did a couple of exodus trips last year and really enjoyed them so I thought I'd try this for a change and to celebrate (or is it avoid?!) my 50th birthday on 27th!
Agree re the thermals, I'll be bringing my own too....Anyone travelling from the South West to the Heathrow group flight? I'm in Bristol/Bath area.Will be great o meet you all...
Steve - I don't have any winter gear of my own beyond the thermals as I'm more of summer holiday kinda gal! In fact I haven't done a snowy winter holiday for about 10 years - I expect I'm going to find the cross country skiing and snow shoeing very tough on my poor stumpy little legs. Hopefully sitting down on the sleighs and lots of long dips in the hot spa bath will be a welcome break for the muscles.
Welcome to the group Wendy - great to have a birthday girl in the group. Even more reason to down some hot toddies!
Still counting the days - not that many more sleeps to go.
Hi Karen I'm not yet "snow-fit" either but working on it now as don't want to miss out on anything. Not sure we'll be sitting on the dog-sleds as we'll be driving - but will be lots of fun anyway. Will bring something celebratory with me as I've heard alcohol is v expensive over there.Not long now so I'm off to the gym!Wendy
I'll be coming up from Exmouth. I haven't quite decided how to do the Heathrow journey yet as it's an early flight. How are you getting to Heathrow? Let me know if you think of a sharing situation and I'll give you my contact details. A nice way to celebrate your 50th - looking forward to it already.
Steve - you were asking about clothing. I've done many Exodus trips before, including a wonderful Arctic cruise, where they supplied outer clothing, which was excellent. I'm sure the clothing they supply on this trip will be OK. They run these trips all the time and they don't want to lose any guests to hyperthermia, so they would supply the right clothing. I agree that your own thermals are preferable, and take some light warm layers if you are in doubt.
Would be lovely to organise a lift/room share with you to/from Heathrow - there are lots of hotels within reasonable distance which have included parking and cheap/free transfers, I usually travel to airports by coach but as you say it's going to be a fairly early start.I'll check out the hotels with parking if you like and let you know?? Little bit twitchy about publishing my email address here and not sure if this forum offers private messaging - are you on Facebook?
I have had a look around myself and have decided to go with the exodus policy. When I have read other company's T&C's there is so much small print in the type of injury and how the accident occured depending on cover. There are some competitive rates out there but the coverage is less. I think in this scenario i've decided to go with exodus as it is their trip and when I read their information it appeared to cover everything adequately.
Hi all, thanks for answering the question about gear. Well were comming from Worcester way and after looking at the prices of hotels near Heathrow I decided it would be better just to get up early, at least the roads will be quiet!
Exodus single trip insurance cover is the best option in my experiance. :)
Did everyone get the mail from Exodus today about our trip? Nothing in it really, just a 'hope everyone's ok' message. But I read the FAQ and there was a bit about boots that worried me. I assumed that they would be providing all gear including boots for going outside but in the FAQ it says you should bring waterproof walking boots or insulated boots with ankle support. I don't have either as I prefer low cut shoes for hiking/walking coz the high ankle supports hurt me too much.
What about others out there? Have you got that sort of kit? I'm a bit loathe to buy anything as I won't use it elsewhere.
I've got some waterproof walking boots from Cotton Traders which live in the car for emergencies as I too prefer more ease of movement in the ankles for walking - I've been wearing them in specially and will have to travel in them due to their weight. I would drop an email back to Bethany and see what she says. Would probably be a useful one to clarify on the f.a.q.s. for other travellers.
Heard from Exodus who have said that boots will be provided and given to us on arrival. So you just need shoes to get to and from the airport and for wearing around inside in the evenings. Phew! Means I don't have to go shopping for and breaking in new boots. Bit of a relief!
Counting down the days now - less than 60 days to go!!
Hi Karen - can't have too many Karens I say. ;-)
I'm afraid that despite my best intentions to get all winter fit, I've failed completely and am as unfit as ever! Am a bit worried that I'm going to find the cross country skiing and the snoe showing a bit tough as my stamina's not great at the moment. But I'll give it a go and if I'm the last one in the pack every time then so be it. I'm hoping all the routes they choose will be relatively easy for those of us who are beginniners in these fields. Might try and go for a few long walks in the next couple of weeks to expand the old lungs though!
Hope everyone else isn't super fit otherwise I'll really feel like the weak link!!
Not long left ... two full weeks and counting.
Hi Karen, Im far from super fit, so your OK! :)
That's a relief, wasn't sure what "moderate" meant. Will continue to do a bit of cycling before we depart!!! Getting really excited about it now.... must start getting togther what I've got and what I haven't....
Karen (the other one!)
Has anyone been watching the repeat series of Ice Dogs on BBC4 with Benedict Allen? I hope our huskies are a bit friendler than his and that we can learn the Finnish equivalant of "Stop right there before we go into that crevace"! It was a really good series and gave a real insight into the dynamics of the dog teams and looking after them. He was on his own in the Siberian wastelands.
Not long to go now. I'm sorry to admit that I have been working on my fitness level, as the last time I went snow shoeing in the Pyrennees I reached a point where I just wanted to crawl into a snoe hole and die as we had been climbing mountain for about 4 hours and were all on our last legs. I'm sure it won't be like that on our trip.
Lord, I hope we're not snow shoeing up mountains!! From what I could read, the course they teach you on is 'basic' so I imagine it'll be a little flatter and easier. Fingers crossed anyway.
I've missed the Ice Dogs series - might have to iplayer it this weekend, in between learning how to photograph the aurora borealis. Anyone with an iPhone - there's an excellent app that forecasts the aurora. It's simply called 'Aurora Forecast' and is free. I've been keeping an eye on it and it's been mostly 'moderate' with a few peaks or high activity. Let's hope the highs are still around while we're there.
See everyone in a couple of weeks.
Well, just spent two days in Helsinki for work and theres lots of lovely white snow everywhere for us all, air is cold and crisp and not a cloud in the sky. Kept my eyes peeled from the plane window and the place looks flat as a pankake. Transfering at the airport is easy if we get our onward flight boarding passes at London, just a passport check and a long walk / run to the other gate!
See you all soon!
FYI - a friend who's been on this trip before warned me to be wrapped up for the flight out as apparently you have to queue outside the airport at Kusaamo in the cold! So maybe have your thermals on already and a warm coat at least.
Thanks for the tip abut wrapping up. Am currently sweltering in the Spring sunshine! Don't forget to put clocks forward on the Saturday night!
Was speaking to Ollie from Exodus today who has done this trip. Asked about thermals and he suggested Skins (it's a brand apparently) and is good quality but not cheap. I've had a look on Amazon but might be leaving it a bit late for delivery so might try Snow & Rock or Ellis Brigham (10% Exodus discount I believe).
Also, I'll be departing from Manchester but getting the same connecting flight from Helsinki so will be looking out for those Exodus bag labels on the rest of the group.
Thanks for the tip Tony... can never have enough Thermals :-)
Can't wait to meet you all...
Looking forward to meeting you all.
I booked the trip in January, but have only just got round to looking at the departure lounge - I've only done one Exodus trip before (Svalbard), but I've done quite a lot of Arctic (and Antarctic) travelling with a variety of other companies. Did a bit of cross-country skiing before (long, long ago), but not been dog-sledding before and looking forward to it.
I can feel the tension and excitement building!! Really looking forward to meeting you all and to working with the dogs.
Will keep an eye out at Heathrow for Exodus travellers.
Hi All, I'm sure you all know, but just in case, you can log in to Finnair www.finnair.com and check in online and print your boarding passes out which will save time at the airport. See you all tomorrow. Tony
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