Traveling from Jokkmokk, where we spent our first night, we met Helena Lanta of Sapmi Ren Och Vilt. Helena is descended from a Sami family (the nomadic indigenous people from this part of Northern Sweden), who have been herding Reindeer across the mountain ranges for many generations.
Today her family still keep a small herd of Reindeer and we visited her family home where she invited us into a Lavvu (Sami tent) to sample some traditional Sami food (dried Reindeer, Brown bear sausage, flat bread and hot Lingonberry juice) whilst she talked about the Sami culture and way of life.
Continuing our journey South, we crossed the arctic circle and drove to Sörbyn. This small village is located on the Råne River, about 35km upstream from the Gulf of Bothnia. Here dense forests are interspersed with wetland areas made up of lakes and running streams which are rich in flora and fauna. The area is an ideal place for nature-based activities such as fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits.
After checking in at the Hotel Sörbyn we were met by Love from CreActive Adventure who specialize in outdoor adventure activities. After putting on our winter overalls we started with an exhilarating ride, in a snowmobile drawn sleigh, across a frozen lake and up into the forest. From there we fitted on show shoes and followed a trail up into the woods to where Love had a prepared a delicious outdoor lunch. We tucked into this whilst sitting on Reindeer skins and enjoying a stunning view out over the Råne River Valley.
After lunch we carried on our walk through the forest, taking a circular route back down to our starting point. Another trip in the sleigh and we were back at the Hotel Sörbyn ready for our next adventure. This time we took a short trip to Lassbyn where we were met by Richard from Isdimma with his team of pure bread Siberian Huskies. Once more we were taken out onto a lake where we enjoyed a peaceful dog sled journey through the frozen wilderness.
In the evening we were treated to a sumptuous meal at the hotel. Sörbyn has received awards for the quality of its menu’s, all of which use mouth-watering local produce: Game, salmon, Kalix bleak roe, mushrooms, berries and the delicious Vasterbotten cheese.
Then after a long day, at 1am in the morning, the ‘icing on the cake’ was a half hour display of the elusive Aurora Borealis or Northen Lights. Needless to say we slept well after that!