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Huskytrekking around the Ontoj채rvi lake - a week long tour from cabin to cabin Test Tour 3rd to 10th June 2012 www.routatravel.fi


A hiking tour that takes you out in the nature and Finnish culture with the lovely Siberian huskies. We hike around the Ontojarvi Lake which is one of the biggest lakes in the area, with many sandy shores and beautiful views. Our tour is mostly on older paths and forest roads; partly we follow the road sides. Accommodation is in a lake side wilderness hotel before and after the trekking. During the hike we stay in small cottages and log cabins. One of the highlights of the tour is a day when we with the huskies are being transferred by a boat to an island. There we will have a lunch by the fire. You will have your own husky hiking with you the whole week. Extra luggage is transported from the cabin to the next, which means that we only carry small back packs during the days. The tour is a testing and photographing tour with the idea of organizing good photographing possibilities for a journalist joining the group for 2-3 days.


Day 1: Arrive at Kajaani airport, transportation to the Hotel Kalevala (approx. 1½ hours), dinner and accommodation in double rooms. Day 2: After the breakfast you will meet the huskies. Usually the huskies make the decision who starts with whom. They are very human-friendly, it won't take long to make friends with them. You will be provided with special husky trekking gear; a shock-absorbing leash between you and the dog and a comfortable belt on your waist. Then follows the information about the safety issues. When the dogs have their harnesses on we are ready to go. We first hike through Kuhmo village, and then follow roads and trails bigger and smaller to Paloniemi camping base. The hike is 19 km. Accommodation is in the renovated houses, 2 bedrooms in every house half (double rooms mostly possible), toilet, shower and kitchen shared with 2 rooms. Dinner is in the main house dining room or in one of the houses. Late in the evening we can sit together by the lake around the fire.


Day 3: The longest hike of the week, 23 km from Paloniemi to Myllyläntorppa. You have possible already noticed that hiking with huskies is more intensive than normal walking as the dogs are sometimes very eager to study the surroundings. As the dogs have way better senses than us, they also help us to see and hear better what is happening in the nature. We will have our picnic lunch in the forest and also some other small breaks during the day. There are interesting things to study, like an old bridge and an osprey nest high above the lake, on a power line mast. In the early evening we arrive to our accommodation - an old mill farm, Myllyläntorppa. A special place with special atmosphere.

Day 4: Our extra guide with his boat waits us on Lake Ontojärvi shore. We hike there 1 km and start our adventure on the lake. Huskies also enjoy the scenery and the cool wind. We will have a nice lunch break on an island by the fire. Then we again take our places in the boat and travel to shore. A small hike of 2 km to our next accommodation, Syväjärvi cottages.


Day 5: Day tour from Syväjärvi cottages, around the small lakes, guided tour 5 km with picnic lunch by the fire. Possibility for a longer tour alone/with group, maps of the area available. In the evening sauna and dinner. Day 6: Hike from Ketola to Syväjärvi log cabins, about 16 km. Accommodation in old small log cabins (“aitta”). Day 7: The last huskytrekking day, 12 km, back to Kuhmo. Just before the village we visit the beautiful rapids of Pajakka. 5 more km together and we are back by the hotel. Time to say goodbye to your loyal four legged friends, as they will go to their home in a husky trailer. You will have one more possibility to relax your muscles in a Finnish sauna, to swim in a lake and enjoy the dinner made out of local ingredients. Day 8: After the breakfast transfer to Kajaani airport.


Duration:

8 days

Group size:

5-6 persons + journalist 3 days, guide, second guide some evenings, boat guide 1 day

Tour date:

3rd to 10th June 2012

Place:

Kuhmo, Finland

Price:

350 â‚Ź/person (normal price 1 530 â‚Ź/person)

Includes: Guided husky trekking program for the whole week, accommodations with full board (breakfast, lunch/picnic lunch, snacks and dinner daily), transfers of extra luggage from cabin to cabin. Airport transfers from/to Kajaani Not included:

Flights, personal travel insurance

To participate in this husky trekking program one should be reasonably fit and not have any back and/or knee problems. Maximum day tour is 23 km, which usually takes 5-8 hours depending on the weather and the length of the breaks. For the tour you need normal hiking shoes or trainers and suitable outdoor clothing. It is also good to have a small daypack and a water bottle. The tour date is still spring summer, lots a day light and many birds singing day and night. Great possibilities for late night and early morning photographers looking for special light. We reserve the right to change the route and accommodation places.


Hiking week with huskies, from cabin to cabin, around the lake, Information FLIGHTS / AIRPORT TRANSFERS, TRAINS, BUSSES The tour includes transfers from Kajaani airport to the first accommodation and back to the airport from the last accommodation (first and last accommodation in Hotel Kalevala) Transfers are organized on Sundays from / to the following Flybe flights (www.flybe.com): Arrival 3rd June 2012: BE5677 HEL – KAJ 17.15 – 18.35 Return 10th June BE5676 KAJ – HEL 13.25 – 14.40 Please notice that we normally organize only one airport transfer for each group on arrival and departure! Train: Kajaani (from Helsinki about 7 hours). Schedules and prices: www.vr.fi, Bus: Kajaani www.matkahuolto.fi/en Please contact us if you choose to come by train or bus and want to join the transfers! We try to organize it. ACCOMMODATION Guests mostly get twin/double room accommodation expect for the 2 nights in log cabins of Syväjärvi, where a cabin is shared with 4 people. Cabin there for only 2 persons can sometimes be organized with extra price. 1st and last night in Hotel Kalevala, double rooms. Dinners in the restaurant. The hotel is situated in beautiful lakeside surroundings, 3 km from the town Kuhmo: www.hotellikalevala.fi


2nd night: Paloniemi Camp Paloniemi camp and guesthouse is established in a former frontier guard station, now owned by Kuhmo church. The place is absolutely one of the most beautiful by Ontoj채rvi Lake with its long sandy beaches and old pine trees. There are 3 renovated wooden double houses from the frontier guard time, later built main house and 2 saunas. Accommodation is in the renovated houses, 2 bedrooms in every house half (double rooms mostly possible), toilet, shower and kitchen shared with 2 rooms. Dinner is in the main house dining room or in one of the houses. 3rd night: Myllyl채ntorppa farm Myllyl채ntorppa is an idyllic farm which tells the old stories of grain milling (Mylly = Mill). Nowadays there are 3 small houses for accommodation. For our groups double sleeping rooms or niches are available, with smaller groups also single rooms are possible. Traditional sauna, separate shower room (not together with sauna), outdoor toilets. Mostly in summer time the coffee bar is opened, where also beer and cider can be bought. Dinner and breakfast is served in the bar or in one of the cabins. www.myllylantorppa.fi


4th and 5th night: Lake Syväjärvi Log Cabins Wilderness log cabins in a dry pine forest. Cabins are all the same size, 36 m² and close to each others. There is kitchenette, small bedroom with 2 bunk beds and living room with a sofa which can be made into a double bed. Small toilet with shower in every cabin. Big sauna building by a small lake where you can swim. Dinners and breakfasts are cooked and served by the guide in one of the cabins. Fire place in every cabin, big fire place in sauna building and a fire place also outside. Tea/coffee, biscuits, bread, butter, sausages and mustard available in every cabin for your late evening/early morning snacks or for your sauna visits if you want to grill your sausages there.

6th night: Ketola farm. Old traditional Finnish farmhouse. Bedrooms are in different old buildings, small barn-like log cottages. In most cases possible to have double/twin or even single rooms. Outdoor toilets. Traditional lakeside sauna is heated. There are no showers but washing in the sauna is possible, there is hot water available. Dinner and breakfast is cooked by the guide and served either outdoors or in a dining room in an old barn. Possibility to cook tea/coffee.


HUSKY ACCOMMODATION AND CARE The dogs are happier to stay outside and in most of the accommodation places it is not even allowed to take dogs inside. Huskies stay either in their so-called stake-out chains or in some cases their trailer is brought for the night. You can join the guide taking care of dogs, giving food in the evening and water in the morning. Guide sleeps close to the dogs and is always ready to check them if they are noisy or nervous. Usually they sleep silent the whole night, only some by-passing animals (like frogs) may make them bark. Late in the evening you might hear their beautiful wolf-like howling, which they sometimes sing after the feeding. SAUNA The traditional Finnish sauna is available every evening during the hiking tour. Finnish people traditionally do not go in mixed groups or wearing swimming suits. Sauna is thought to be a holy place where both body and soul are washed. Guide and hosts organize the sauna visits – usually in Finland ladies go first, stay about one hour, and then the men go together. With smaller groups sauna can sometimes be done for 2 people only, then about ½ hour for each couple. It is also possible only to wash yourself in the sauna – there is hot water available. Some new saunas have also separate rooms with showers. If you for some reason do not want to join the sauna together with other people, a private washing possibility (sauna or shower) can anyway mostly be organized. FOOD The tour includes full board starting from the first evening when dinner is served. Breakfast, picnic lunch, some snacks and dinner is served daily. Finnish breakfast consists of bread, butter, ham, cheese, porridge, cereal or muesli, yogurt, milk and juice. The picnic lunch is often cooked by the fire, is mostly something easy, like soup, or sometimes “takeaway” from the breakfast table, sandwiches etc. The drink bottles/thermos bottles can also be filled in the morning. The dinner is the main meal of the day. There is usually meat or fish, some vegetables, potatoes, fresh salad, bread, butter and some dessert, often berries. In case of any special diet (vegetarian, gluten-free etc.) is required please inform us in advance. All the food is cooked lactose-free. There is no possibility for shopping during the hiking week but the second guide who transfers your luggage can sometimes bring you extra things you need.


HIKING The terrain is mostly very easy to walk; there are no big hills. Hiking with the huskies – huskytrekking - is a bit different from the normal hiking. The dogs have learnt to pull, they are strong, and especially if the weather is cool, they do want to hike fast, at least in the beginning. The idea is not to run! This is why you often have the break the dogs from running. After the first day this feels like you had walked downhill the whole day. Stretching your feet a bit every evening is helpful. The hike is from min. 5 to max. 23 kilometres per day, usually 3 – 5 km per hour. The longest days take about 7 – 8 hours including a lunch break and other shorter breaks. To participate this tour it’s not necessary to be an athlete but one should have some experience in hiking. It is very important that you have good hiking boots/shoes (not new ones!) and you don’t have any illnesses or injuries (back or knee problems especially) which make the hiking difficult. BOAT TOUR SAFETY For the boat tour we get an experienced wilderness guide, Reki-Pertti, with his self made boat, Mr. Pikeman. Everybody, also the huskies, wears life west in the boat. The Ontojärvi Lake is large and if the weather is very windy the waves are big. If the weather forecast is promising windy weather, we may change the program and go over the lake earlier or later, even at night time, when wind usually calms down. WEATHER The weather in Finland may vary greatly in summer. An average day temperature is about +20°C but it can be anything from +10°C to + 30°C. At night and on rainy days the temperature can be even under +10°C. Rain showers are possible and sometimes it might even rain the whole day. Summer days are long in Finland. In June there is about 20 – 21 hours of daylight per day. Ten day weather forecast can be seen: http://www.foreca.com/Finland/Kuhmo?tenday


EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING When you pack for this tour you should remember that the weather conditions can be variable. Be prepared for cold weather and rain also! Gore-texŽ clothes are not essential as it's not usually very cold during this time of the year. It is however necessary to bring some kind of waterproof jacket and trousers for possible rainy days. You can wear hiking boots or jogging/training shoes, which ever you prefer, but you must remember to dry them out during the night if they get wet. Take also plenty of spare socks and underwear as washing machines are not available. Some people like to wear thin gloves when handling the dog leash. It is also important to have a small rucksack for carrying lunch, camera, rain clothes, water bottle (bring your own), mosquito repellent etc. Other luggage will be transported by car. Don’t forget toiletries. CLOTHING -

trekking boots/shoes long walking trousers rain clothes socks long sleeve shirts swim wear gloves

-

light extra shoes, sandals, Crocks, runners warm jacket underwear T-shirts short trousers sunhat / baseball cap


OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS - sun glasses - sun cream and lip salve - Camera - water bottle - insect repellent (it’s also possible to buy in Finland or to get from the guide) - rucksack of 10 – 20 litres (to carry lunch, rain clothes etc. during the hiking) - personal first aid kit and toiletries (guide has bigger first aid kit) Material provided by the organizers: towels and bed linen Note: Sometimes, the luggage doesn’t arrive when the passengers arrive. There are cases that the luggage has stayed in Helsinki or at the departure airport and it comes e.g. day later. This is why we recommend you to bring in your hand luggage, if possible, such clothes and shoes that you can participate the first activity day without problems even if your luggage doesn’t arrive with you. TRAVEL INSURANCE Clients must take care of the travel insurance by themselves. We recommend applying for the European Health Insurance Card which is available free of charge for the citizens of EU/EEA and of Switzerland. The holders of the card are entitled to medical care while staying temporarily in an other EU/EEA country or in Switzerland (with same regulations and co-payments like the residents of the country). More information about the card is available in internet http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559&langId=en Having this card helps a lot in the case of accident - without the card a client has to pay all the costs on spot and those can be from several hundred euros up to one thousand euros.


TIME ZONE Time in Finland is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). ELECTRICITY The electric current in Finland is 220 V (230 V), 50 Hz. A two-pin plug system, familiar throughout Europe, is used. Adapters are available in airport shops. Electricity is available in all of our accommodation places. EXTEND YOUR STAY You can extend your holiday by staying a week on the husky farm with different activities, (see: www.routatravel.fi). WELCOME TO TEST AND ENJOY THE HUSKYTREKKING TOUR!


Huskytrekking Test Tour June 2012