Cruising the Norwegian Arctic in search of the Aurora Borealis. This is a vanlife dream!
Words & Photos: Carlos www.vanandbreakfastexperience.com
Article published in Advanture Magazine issue 01: Pilot Issue
After more than ten years of travelling around the world, Norway remains the most spectacular and wild country I’ve been to, as well as the one I know best. I love Aurora Hunting In The Norwegian Arctic. I once had a video shoot which took me up to the arctic and is where I discovered an amazing and fascinating place, hard, inhospitable, magical and so much more.
I think that all of Norway is fascinating but it’s the Norwegian Arctic, the region surrounding Tromso, which is especially exceptional. So it really is the icing upon the cake when one finds out that it’s also one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights. Originally from the south of Spain, I now live and have a business in Norway where I take people from all over the world on photo tours to see the Aurora Borealis. My guests benefit from everything that I have experienced, lived and learnt from two years living in this wonderland, packed into 4 or 7-day trips.
The unique angle of my tours is to venture out in a camper. The Norwegians keep their motorhomes for the summer and many would never even think about taking them out in winter! Temperatures plummet to lows of -25c in the deep winter, but this is when the winter shows its fortune. For me, spotting the night sky lighting up with elements of the camping is what triggers me.
“In this wild land you feel free,
and that the world is yours.”
How is it not going to be incredible to be able to see that night sky comfortably from your bed, warm and enjoying a tea? You can come and go from this home on wheels at your will, among a small group of adventurers with total freedom to follow the auroras wherever they are on any particular night.
This trip is a special and intense experience, so you need to have an adventurous spirit and be willing to undertake this journey with people from other countries. Enjoy the weather – it snows, shines and everything between. However, chasing natural phenomena we can’t always be lucky, so it is a good thing that we provide so much which will take your mind away from that. Photography and filmmaking lessons are the focus, but we can also go dog sledging, taste a delicious dinner in a Norwegian cabin with the local delicacy of moose meat, and absorb nature while walking through incredible landscapes, frozen lakes, and mountains. Maybe we’ll be luckier on the night we are taking an outdoor jacuzzi, and out of nowhere, the sky fires up in an ecstatic dance. You soon enough learn to let go as you are blown away by the pristine vistas.
Of course, you can easily fly to Norway and rent a car or take the tourist bus. But, I had tried those types of things when I was visiting Tromso, and quickly saw what was really lacking. This personal project of mine, aurora hunting in the Norwegian Arctic, is everything that I believe an advanture camper needs to experience.
In this wild land you feel free, and you feel that the world is yours. You see those mountains diving into the ocean, it is an overwhelming beauty. The roads are breathtaking too, allowing us to cruise through the snowdrifts, away from the lights, and into the dark night. One of my favourite things to do is pull over for a campfire, whether it is just to warm up or cook an alternative meal. It’s these elements of camping that I mentioned earlier, which keep me excited, just as much as the auroras. Sitting by the fire with people from all over the world to share stories within this vastness, how beautiful. You’ll really notice how good we are set up when you spot the first tourist bus unloading, a few quick pictures snapped, and then everybody packs back in before it turns around to return to Tromso.
We might decide to stay at this campfire spot for the night, we’re relaxed and there isn’t really a reason to move. After all, I can guarantee that waking up out here tomorrow is going to be something you will never forget.
Find out more about the tours with Carlos www.vanandbreakfastexperience.com