Hiking in rain and fog is not for everyone
When following social media feeds with hastag Senja it´s all about incredible views, blue sky and sunshine. But there is another kind of Senja to experience as well. Senja is like a charismatic and surprising person who wants to keep her audience excited and interested.
I attended a hiking trip of one week in July in Senja, Norway with a group of 11 persons all together. I am happy I got to know Senja’s diverse beauty and the power of nature.
We had five hiking days in northern part of Senja peaking the following fells: Husfjellet, Flobjörn, Skinnkollen, Barden and Förste Svanfjellet. At the end of the blog post you’ll find a video summary of our hiking destinations. You also find some practical tips about how to reach Senja and tips for responsible travel.
It was not only about hiking but also about spending time together, laughing, swimming and having nice conversations. Some of us had a morning swim in Northern Atlantic and we did have an afternoon swim couple of times on the beach you can see in the picture above.
When I met the group for the first time I was asked to tell my expectations for the week. It was easy to answer; I was happy to break away from everyday life and have an active week outdoors – no matter the weather.
The first and third day were quite rainy and foggy – but we had couple of beautiful days as well. Honestly, it´s not all about sun and blue sky while hiking, but also about so many other aspects to experience. For me hiking is one of the best ways to get connected with nature, calm down and get a kind of peace of mind. I tend to be social and talkative person but there are two situations when I prefer to be in silence: while walking in nature and when taking the sauna. Hiking in group, the discussion, however didn´t disturb at all.
The attitude and vibes in our group were very good; maybe the bad weather even made the group become more closely. Roope, our tourleader and host made good plans considering the weather. We didn´t hike so many kilometres per day (7-11km) neither the peaks of the fells were very high, but the balance of hiking and doing other things were very well planned for our group.
Solo travelers, new luxury and glamping
Glamping is where stunning nature meets modern luxury. Experiential travel is an authentic way to connect with nature. Some call it luxury camping. Some call it glamorous camping.” One can stay the night over in tentsiles ( a kind of mix of hammocks and tents ), in stylish tents, treehouses or in modest but innovative cottages. In our hiking trip we had a cosy house with magnificent views where we had comfortable beds to rest.
There are more and more solo travelers all around the world willing to combine the sense of freedom to the possibility to share some experiences with like-minded persons sharing the same values. Outdoor activities are good example of gathering travelers with same interests together without to be forced to spend all the time together.
Some tips for Responsible Travel
You will find plenty of general information about responsible travel in my blog, starting from here: How to be responsible Tourist followed by several articles of hiking trips in Finland and in Spain.
All the dimensions (ecological, economical, social, cultural, ethical) should be taken into account while travelling.
As I have got feedback that the prices and time spend while travelling by public transport are interesting points to know as well, I will now publish them here.
My travelling schedule, routes, time spent and prices were the following:
19.07.2020 outward journey
Train Hyvinkää – Tampere – Oulu – Rovaniemi: 8,5hrs | 75€ (daytime)
One night stay in Rovaniemi Hostel Koti Café 73€
Bus Rovaniemi – Nordkjosbotn by Eskelisen linja: 7h 45min | 92.70€ ( 11.40 – 18.25)
Lift to Skaland by Reino 🙂
26.07. || 28.07.2020 return journey
Lift from Skaland to Kilpisjärvi by Niina 🙂
I stayed two nights in Kilpisjärvi Retkeilykeskus 214€
Bus Kilpisjärvi – Rovaniemi by Eskelisen linja: 6.5hrs | 75,90€ (11.00 – 17.25)
Train Rovaniemi – Riihimäki – Hyvinkää: 10hrs 40min | 158€ night shift, sleeping cabin
The price for transport was all together 480€ (+ accommodation, food and beverage).
The price for the package organized by Moln: 2700€ ( including accommodation, all meals, transport and guided hiking tours)
The most challenging part in this journey by public transport was the distance from Nordkjosbotn to Senja as the timetables from one bus to another were not well synchronized. I was lucky to have a lift by the other group members and shared the cost of gasoline (100€).
Counting the emissions was a bit complicated but to get an idea, the emissions by plane Helsinki – Tromso – Helsinki would be about 240kge and train & bus Helsinki- Rovaniemi – Tromso – Rovaniemi – Helsinki would be about 74kge. The average annual emissions of a Finn are about 10,000 kge (shouldn´t be more than 3000kge by 2035)
Other responsible observations during this trip were such as respecting the nature by following the marked routes, not disturbing the animals, not collecting flowers neither leaving footprints in nature (eg. assembling stones). You can read more about ecological responsibility in blog post with shared ideas of my friend and colleague Javier Pedrosa:
Don´t leave footprints…
Economic and social responsibility
This trip was organized by MOLN – a Finnish agency specialized in outdoor activities mostly in Northern countries. As we all have been reading news about the difficulties small companies have been facing this year because of Covid-19 crisis, buying services from enterprises instead of travelling without spending money is a good way to support. Hopefully travelers will buy services and spend money from here on – also while travelling at home.
Local community should always get benefit from tourists visiting the area. In this case I trust Moln company co-operates with the local enterprises and respects the locals in all decisions. When travelling by my own I do have more contacts with locals than in this journey but all the trips don´t need to be the same.
The main aim is to do more good and less harm while travelling. With responsible choices we all can influence.
Hiking tour in pictures
I continued my hiking trip in Finland
After crossing the Finnish border in Kilpisjärvi I still had couple of lovely hiking days in Saana fell and in the border of Finland, Norway and Sweden.