Two Horse Race? Arctic Challenge Day Six

On the upside, I had a new turbo powered team of huskies for the morning. On the downside, my team got changed in the afternoon for one that wasn't quite so turbo charged. They didn't like hills. After a while they decided that they didn't like flat either. By the end of the afternoon, I felt like I had been carrying the poor dears, and the sled, most of the way.

I also got a groin injury. I thought you had to be a footballer to get one of those. It seems not though. 
Towards the end of the day we had a bit of a Ben Hur moment. I was having problems with the dogs on the hills, and Jenny Willott's dogs kept trying to pass me. I had a flash of "it's a two horse race" pass before my eyes. Lucky for both of us that we were in the Arctic and not a Roman circus!

I really don't like igloos

I couldn't believe it. The first thing I saw when I woke early Monday morning was the ITN camera crew asking me how I felt! Woke is an bit of an overstatement, as I never really got to sleep.

I felt terrible. I was awake from 2am until 4.40am, at least. I spent the time listing all the things I hate about igloos.

In protest I refused to open my sleeping bag for the camera crew and did the interview with my head still inside.

Only bloody mindedness kept me in the igloo all night. I can guarantee that I will never do it again.

Dog sled Rusuvarri to Kilpisjarvi

The day will include more fabulous scenery and hilly terrain, but fortunately the last 20km of the day will be more easy going.  On arrival we'll prepare an evening meal before heading into the town of Kilpisjarvi.

There are many threats to the sacred sites and culture that has been so important for the Sámi for thousands of years.  There has been the need to adapt to oil exploration, mining, dam building, logging, military bombing ranges and other development.

All the different uses of the land mean that the future of important reindeer calving and seasonal grazing lands are in danger of being lost.  I am told it is estimated that a third of traditional grazing lands have been lost.     
Over the past 40 years the Sámi have been reclaiming their language, culture and ancestral rights. In 1968 a national anthem and flag were created by the Sámi.   Even the use of their name ‘Sámi’, which means ‘the people’ is important to them, instead of being called ‘Laplander’.

The increasing environmental problems have made others consider the Sámi’s ways of life with increasing interest.  There there is much to learn from the Sámi culture and the knowledge they have from living in the arctic wilderness.


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