What another fantastic trip to Nellim, northern Finland!
On the 10th March six WAS members returned to Nellim, on Lake Inari, in what is fast becoming an annual "aurora watch" pilgrimage.
This was our 4th visit to The Wilderness Hotel and it didn't disappoint. Comfortable, warm rooms, excellent food, the addition of the aurora bubbles and enclosed aurora sledge (where you are towed out to the middle of Lake Inari by snowmobile, in a heated, Perspex domed sledge - with bottle of wine and goodies if you so wish) made it another unique holiday. The hotel has also added a bird table just outside the dining area....something so simple but a great idea! Red squirrels, arctic and "normal" redpolls, Siberian Jays and Pine Gross beaks to name a few, were all observed!
The weather for the week was superb and could not have been any better, blue skies and sunshine every day. The temperatures were mild (like last year) but unlike last year there was much more snow!
The clear days turned into clear nights and the aurora was seen every night....all seven of them. Some nights better than others but still.... Two nights were superb displays - very active and dynamic auroras in green, red and violet colours. We were also fortunate enough to see a corona in one of these displays. The unfortunate thing though, was that it was blowing a gale this night so the photographs do not do it justice. In fact it was so windy that my camera and tripod took off! This was on Pattsjoki Bridge and for those of you who remember, it is a particularly beautiful setting so seeing the aurora here this night was wonderful.
During the day we went walking, snowmobiling and husky sledging. The huskies have moved now to a location across a lake from the hotel. This makes the hotel quieter, no barking dogs to wake up to, but in a way I missed this. Our day with the huskies was epic, covering some 80 kms. We left at 10.15am and got back after dark; lunch of reindeer tortillas cooked over an open fire and an amazing sunset made this a truly wonderful experience.
Nellim 2016? Well I have been asked to organise another trip so if you are interested email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed! (though I cannot guarantee you will see the aurora).