I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
By John Baker, United Kingdon
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Sledding down to 'Mud lake', about 40 miles south of the main lodge after w'd spent the night in the wall tents (they are about half way between each!) and then having lunch! And this wasn't just a sanwich affair either; we got a decent fire going and our guide kari got some sausages on the fire goingm, plus she brought the mustard too! Apart from lunch the views that day were absolutely amazing becuase of some lucky weather; and the route gave a few challenges too so made the sledding worth every mile.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you go early feb or before then take lots of middle layers; jumpers etc. It went down to -47 at night and can be quite chilly on any outhouse visits too; but even more so theres a risk of frost bite so everything has to be covered. This is where gimp masks and neck protectors etc come in; ski goggles are a good idea even though they will mist up.
As a note; if it's too cold then the dogs can only run for a few hours or they literally freeze so you may experience some shorter days at these temps but even so just a few hours with these amazing dogs was enough; and a nice hot cup of tea was needed either way!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
All my flights went through major airports so there were no special flights and all were pretty much full.
Yukon is strangely not that popular around this time apart from the Quest dog sled race so any extra tourism does give a nice boost to the locals who are all more than happy to help and chat to you about what you're doing, where you're from and about local stuff going on.
Dog sledding itself is very good; no snow mobiles are sent ahead or behind the dogs. The guides cut trail (go over powder covered trails) if needed and do most of the time; the snow mobiles are only used if needed and generally not at all. All rubbish is collected and returned to Whitehorse and any rubbish at camps etc is collected and brought back. Supplies are brought up every few days but these generally coincide with guests arriving and leaving so carbon emissions are kept to as few trips as possible. All the guides and staff make sure the focus is on the environment and the dogs which is happily accepted by the guests.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Simply amazing. There's is no question that I'll be going again to Canada if not Whitehorse and the same ranch I went dog sledding. Plus it's even planted the seed of me thinking about moving there; so must have been a good trip!
The local people in Canada and even in Vancouver were all really friendly, the guidesmore so and had some fabulous food and receipes there, nothing to miss home about thats for sure!
There was one hiccup which taints the journey; my Air Canada flight to Vancouver was cancelled and I eventually had to fork out for a new plane ticket to London as it made me miss my connections that would get me back to the UK. However, the Air Canada staff at Whitehorse did all they could and got me on the next available flight (even though it was operated by Air North) so it wasn't through lack of effort just bad luck. If anything I'd say avoid KLM/Horizon Air/NWA as their check-in staff just didn't seem to care I was stuck in their airport!
However, thats nothing to put me off Canada or going back for another dog sledding adventure!
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