Tinja Myllykangas the dog whisperer of Inari and her rescued Huskies

THE BLONDE DOG WHISPERER

We had overnighted at the Korpikartano, a one time primary school by Lake Menesjarvi in Inari with guest lodgings. Now we were on our way to meet the woman the locals call the 'dog whisperer' and the 50 or so huskies and horses she keeps at her home. Tinja Myllykangas greets us outside 'Siperia' a small clapboard house without electricity or running water standing at the foot of Muotkatunturi fell . She's flanked by men standing in a rather formal line like the servants in Downton. With alabaster skin, grey blue eyes and blonde tressess hanging falling from her ear flapped woollen hat she looks more like a Philip Pullman Dark Materials character than a modern day husky musher. All around her are dogs; strong Alaskan Malamutes retired from the Finnmarksløpet a 1000m endurance race, slighter Siberian ones, Wolf hounds and Greenland sled dogs, many more or less abandoned before Tinja found them and to ok them in. All are anxious to be picked for a run and howling with impatience. We help harness the dogs up in teams of six although our 'help' was something of a misnomer; more of an indulgence as we struggled with the firm strength of the dogs. Once harnessed up we were off and a silence settled over us as we mushed out across the sun sparkling frozen lake. I often talk of 'the sound of silence' when north of the Arctic Circle where the background noise of urban life is no longer. Inari is the spiritual home of the Sami people and the islands on the Lake where they once buried their dead to the sound of Joiks and the Shaman's drum. As the tall pines swish by you to the sound only of the dog's paws padding in the snow it's not hard for your mind's eye to conjure up the sense of an ancient Sami spirit. We cross frozen lakes, climb up the side of fjells sometimes following a clean straight trail and at others clambering around and over moguls. Occasionally we stop whilst a set of dogs are untangled or switched from one team to another. Concentrating on our newly acquired skills, time evaporates in the chilled air and suddenly it's all over. Back at Siperia we unharness the dogs and wallk them back to their pens feeling slightly guilty at taking leave of them with little more than a perfunctory and valedictory cuddle. Tinja is the woman we sneakingly all harbour to be: independent, strong willed, eschewing the modern world's temptations without self regard. Her dogs are testimony to her life's work. Inari is beauty in the snow. You may not want to emulate her but for a short taste of her life we have 3 day ScanAdventures next winter with her as the centrepiece.

Velkommen, velkomio, tervetula: welcome to ScanAdventures. With a 25 year pedigree in designing holidays and Travel Designers who are all Scandinavian by birth, we modestly lay claim to an Experience second to none. It’s that that lies behind each and every one of the holidays featured here and turns them into something of an adventure. And if you can’t see something to fit your personal purse & passions, who better than a native to design you a bespoke holiday arrangement, whether under the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. In Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland or Lapland their individual and our collective experience will make sure your holiday is something of an adventure. Enjoy.