SNOWSHOEING IN FINLAND
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Never having been to this part of the world in winter, the whole experience was inspirational. Highlights were the Little Bear trail (longest day walking) and Riisituntri with it's snow-laden trees. Also the optional activities of cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
What did you think of your group leader?
Leader for our week was Meiju, who was truly excellent. She looked after the group very well and kept everybody together without being overbearing. She also has excellent knowledge knowledge of the flora and fauna around. I must say that all of the staff we came into contact with (and there were several) seemed equally good.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
We found the snow shoeing very easy indeed, much more leisurely than moderate - the longest walk was only 4 hours or so and the stops were frequent. The only time we felt we were working was when cross-country skiing, which we did our day off. Returning to base for a hot lunch most days (packed lunches were avalable) was a bit of a surprise as we would have hoped to spend longer on the walks, but had it been much colder then maybe we would have thought differently. You need to buy your lunch every day - the only choice is buy it at basecamp or go without, as there is no choice of venue everybody we spoke to felt that this should be included in the price tag, even if that is then correspondingly higher. Boots - we took our own but didn't use them. Don't bother, the ones supplied are much lighter and much warmer. Clothes - apart from one occasion where we wore a basecamp outer jacket, we used our "winter walking in the UK" gear. Yes, they supply everything (and it's all washed before handing to anyone else) but I'm usually a Medium size and had to take XXL to get the sleeves long enough.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Food at basecamp was universally excellent, and special dishes for special diets were no problem at all. The hideously late flight home meant taking 6 days off work for a one week holiday - I would look for alternative flights another time. And Gatwick is just about the least convenient airport to use when you don't live in the London area.