Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Valimaa - the 2nd Husky Farm

Spend the last two days in Valimaa or Darwin, which is the other Farm that we work on...

I am beginning to like this Farm even more than Hetta, although living here is very, very basic but improving with the time and effort people invest, here. The dogs are great and the basic task here are the same as on the other Farm. Also, I have begun shooting videos and pictures and if I have some spare time I will try to upload them.

However, it's my day off, tomorrow, and we are driving to Tromso, to have a look at the city and to pick someone up from the airport. I will be back in Valimaa, then and don't know how long I'll be staying there.

The sun is finally coming back over the horizon and it won't be long until it might actually get dark again for a few hours. Slept in my hammock, the last two nights and it's really cosy. Not outside, though, as I was keeping an eye on two dogs, which needed to be chained and kept inside - away from trouble!

So, I am in my second week of training and really enjoying the work. There's nothing, so far, that bothers me and I'm quite surprised of how well my body and mind cope with the high amount of learning and working - I guess the army really changed my attitude towards hard and sometimes annoying tasks that I sometimes might not understand the purpose of, yet. Also being out in the wilderness - more or less - is really nice again and I really get to appreciate small things, again. Like a clean, hot shower or a beer, whilst sitting outside reading a book and listening to the dogs howl.

Stay tuned ;-)

Sunday, 23 June 2013


I'm still alive!!!! Only didn't have the chance to access the internet over the past six days.

Last I wrote I was in the train to Stockholm and that's where I will continue ...


Arriving in Stockholm at 22:10, I just had to sprint across the platform to get the 22:12 night-train to Boden C. All my journey so far has been full of delays, just hope I arrive at the Husky Farm tonight with no further surprises.

I met Jasper on the night train with whom I was going to share the 3-bed cabin. As soon as the train started its engine, we hit the food wagon and got ourselves a beer. Really felt good, after such a stressful day…

Slept really well on the train - it is my favourite way of travel, from now on - better than the plain, ferry, car or others. I think I have never covered so many kilometres while asleep, as on that night-train.

10:30                Arrived in Boden C, and when leaving the train I saw Nadia, getting out of the Cabin right in front of me. Some good incident.

We got on the next train to Kiruna C and should arrive there for about 14:35… should have some time then for some food and have a look at Kiruna. Then we will have to find the Bus to Karesuando and hopefully, when we arrive there at 21:30, somebody from the Husky Farm will be waiting for us.

Can’t wait to start working with the dogs; looking outside of the trains during my journey, the landscape as continuously been changing and we are now driving through very remote forests and over lakes, it’s nice and warm outside and the sun has been shining since about 4 a.m.. I have been surrounded by several different languages since I left Hamburg and the people around me have changed noticeable, too.

Also, bag-packing people seem to be a very helpful and extroverted community. So far, I have noticed that bag-packers look out for each other and quite often get together in groups without knowing each other, and simply accompany each other for shared parts of their journey.

Tervetuloa Suomi!!!!


First day of work over and I really enjoyed it.

I was introduced to all the volunteers yesterday evening and got to see the Valima Farm, the more remote and smaller Farm of the two. Work today was primary on the Hetta Farm; I was introduced to the different list of tasks and details on the dogs and how to work with them. These lovely animals are soooo strong. We did some pooping, watering and feeding and I got to train a potential lead dog in obedience training which work pretty well. A more unpleasant sight was the six dogs that were being neutered. That really was something that was not on my bucket list. The weather was alright and the mosquitos weren’t so bad – it’s really just about 5 stings in the face and about 3 or 4 on the hands. We had some good food and are now relaxing, reading and taking care of the male, nut-less dogs. 


My day off, today! Working on the Farm is still awesome and I have finished my first week of training on the Hetta Farm (the bigger one) and will go to the other Farm (referred to as Darwin or Valimaa Farm), to learn the different processes there! It is an even more remote place and the dogs need more training....going down to catch some feed on video and hopefully will post it soon...

Stay tuned and be patient !!!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Half way there - and I already had several adventures

Almost in Stockholm now...

Let's start at the beginning.

Woke up this morning with quite a giddy head - no wonder after spending two nights at my cousin's place in Hamburg....Thanks to Jasper, Thore and Carlson- what great two days.

Got to the train station 5 minutes early just to find out that the train had an engine problem and would be out of order. Managed to find a train that would get me to Copenhagen and meet Tim - also bag-packing and travelling in my direction. We soon enough joined forces and helped each other find our way. We had some really interesting talks and got along really well. After arriving in Copenhagen, we had a short walk and got ourselves some coffee, while waiting for the train to Stockholm. However, as we had missed our actual train we had no reservation and as we approached the train, we got a little worried if they would let us on. After two awesome employees of SJ, re-booked our tickets and got us a pair of decent 1st class seats, we could finally relax, get some food and use the internet, where I got in contact we a few friends and gave them heads-up on my situation.

Tim might join me on the Husky Farm in 10 days after finishing his travels with his friends. At this point I want to say thanks Tim, was great meeting you and would be awesome to work side-by-side with you on the farm.

Really looking forward to my sleeping cabin on the night train to Kiruna - hope the ride isn't to bumpy ;-)

I was also on to Nadia, a fellow volunteer, who I should meet in Stockholm and travel together for the rest of the journey. She told me her plane was delayed and might miss here connections :-( . Hope everything turned out ok and I will meet here at the train station. We'll see; best of luck Nadia !!!!

Finally, my cousin gave me a lend of his Go Pro HERO 2, so I will - hopefully soon - have some great footage to share. Arriving in 20 minutes in Stockholm - damn travelling makes me tired!

Hoping for a good nights rest, really need to catch up on some sleep!

God kväll Stockholm!!!

Friday, 14 June 2013

Travel - First stop

Here it goes...

Arrived in Hamburg, yesterday, and had a great, long night out with my cousin and his friends ;-)
God, my bag pack is heavy....

Today, just gonna take it easy, meet some family and rome around Hamburg. We are probably going to end up at the Kiez anyway....
Tomorrow, at 9 am I need to catch my train to Copenhagen and then continue to Stockholm. There, I should meet Nadia, a fellow volunteer and we will then take the over-night train to Kiruna.... gonna be a long trip!

Really excited to start work on the Husky Farm and constantly telling people about it... envy is always there response.

I guess I won't have any internet on the trains, so therefore it could be a few days before I can write again...

However, any questions on what I am bringing - just comment and ask.

Pictures will follow soon !!!

Hamburg Ahoi, morgen sag ich Tschüss!

Monday, 3 June 2013



I have always been fascinated and drawn to dogs. They are my favorite animals. Some day I will have one or more of my own. During my time in the German army, which is almost 3,5 years ago, I seriously considered staying in the army and starting a career in the dog squad division. However, I soon enough realized that I had other dreams and aims in my life and that I - at some point in life - will be able to have a dog as a pet. Now that I have finished my first Bachelor Degree in International Hospitality Management and will write a second Bachelor Degree starting this winter, I decided to use my 3 months long semester holidays and try some thing I have never done before, with no direct relation to the hotel industry and combining my interests that have been neglected, so far.

On I eventually found what I was looking for - a voluntarily job opportunity on a Husky Farm in Finland. At some point later I will introduce the Husky Farm in more detail.
After several emails and after completing the very excessive but informative and  professional questionnaire, I got the message that I had been accepted. From that point on I was in very close contact with Ciara, the organizer for the volunteers for the Husky Farm, who has been a great help.

Two weeks ago, I booked the journey. I will be travelling to Hamburg by Bus (14.06) and will hopefully stay overnight at either my uncle's place or at my cousin's newly build "project". The next day (15.06) I will travel from Hamburg Central Station to Stockholm Central Station and after a four hour stop-over, the journey will continue over-night to Kiruna. I will then arrive at Kiruna Central Station at noon the following day (16.06), and get the bus to Karesuando. Once there, someone from the farm will collect me and I can hopefully have a good night's sleep before I start my training on 17 June. So excited!!!
I found most of the information on how to travel to Finland in the Husky Farm's Guide Manual and on the website 'The man on seat 61...' created by Mark Smith. Thanks Mark and all the best on your future travels ;-) !!!

Now that I have explained the 'why?' and the 'how?' people have been asking me about, and planned all my journey (which in future might be a good advise for other people seeking or planning a similar adventure), I can start packing. I already bought some gear from a near by army shop and will gather the rest of my gear over the next few days.

However, this is the plan and I will update on the packing with some detailed information and a photo or two.