Inset is a tiny hamlet in northern Norway, well inside the Arctic Circle, and when I say tiny, the central area has four buildings, and three of them belong to Regina and Bjorn who own and run the Husky Farm.
Go in December and as you touch down in Bardufoss, 60km or so from Inset, you will notice as you leave the plane that you are walking not on tarmac but on a solid sheet of gritted ice. The first thing you feel is the cold, as suddenly the reason so many brightly coloured Puffa jackets peppered the plane becomes clear. Ask a local what the temperature is, "15 C" they will reply - to have to say "minus" every time would just be a waste of breath.
When you turn off the two track road that leads all the way back to Oslo, you leave street lights and civilization behind you, and enter the astonishing black of the arctic night. One hour later and you pull into the Husky Farm, a warming glow permeating through the little windows in the wooden buildings whose roofs are covered with grass; a chorus is there to greet you as the 70 or so husky dogs howl to mark your arrival.
Bjorn and Regina have an amazing log cabin which you can rent by the week. It is entirely made of wood and has a wood burning stove which must be permanently lit as the flue travels through the bedroom and kitchen making sure the heat is distributed around the whole building. It is a picture of comforting isolation, nestled in a valley with hills becoming mountains on either side, snow drifts come up to the windows. There is no sound other than the dogs and the wind, and no light bleeds into the sky, so undisturbed views of the aurora borealis are possible. Indeed on the second night of our visit I opened the front door and saw beams of light coming from behind the mountains and flooding the sky with dancing hues of blue and green. The lights performed for me for 20 minutes and then disappeared, quite suddenly and quite mysteriously.
The few hours of twilight that the sun offers at these latitudes must be used to the full. If you book for the Husky Farm Holiday you will get to experience leading your own team of dogs as you sledge over the frozen lakes into the abyss of the arctic landscape. The sky is one hundred colours at the same time, the light is ethereal, and the seclusion is absolute. You come to trust and rely on your dogs as only they hold the key to unlocking some of the secrets of the scenery and beauty of this most remote of locations.
If you are looking for glorious isolation, and some private time with nature, look no further.
Inset, Bardu, Norway
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