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Senja, Arctic Norway - Cheap Accessible Adventure

Scandinavia is so accessible to us in the UK with and with the ‘last wilderness’ in Europe it really is a must for anyone loving the outdoors. Arctic Norway is even more accessible than most of Scandinavia through the gateway town with international airport Tromso. I’ve flown through Tromso before, heading over to the high Arctic islands of Svalbard but on this occasion I was keen to see what was there to do with only one or two weeks to spare.

That’s where we discovered the island of Senja and spent six days traversing the island, hardly seeing a soul. So if you’re competent in wild camping, love hiking and can read maps in low vis. (and like that sort of thing) then this is really awesome trip. Plus, it’s a super cheap trip if you play it right.


From Tromso, you can take a ferry, that takes only a couple of hours, that drops you to the tiny little crossroads of Silsands and from there you’re on your own. Heading straight up into the hills of the interior you have the entire island to yourself.


Water can be scarce in the high interior where there aren’t many rivers and if you’re lucky enough to have fabulous weather, like we did, then that means that the small streams that exist will be very low. So make sure you have plenty of water containers to fill up when you do find a water source and enough fuel to boil away water taken from less than perfect sources.


Hiking across the interior takes you over a mountain pass. Despite it only being around 1,000m high, being this far north means that you will have to pass over snow slopes and it can get bitterly cold with the weather exposure even in mid-August.


Despite not seeing another person, we did see plenty of reindeer. Having spent a fair bit of time in Scandinavia I know how common reindeer are and that they don’t really fear humans at all. Many a times I’ve woken up in my tent to the sounds of a herd of reindeer walking straight through our camp. As well as not being scared by humans they are also not bothered or interested in us. But that was different on Senja, clearly not seeing humans that often they were enthralled by our presence and kept on hiding behind the next rise to see us before running off to try and sneak up a different way to get a view. We were completely bemused and we enjoyed turning around every few minutes to find a couple of reindeer following us. They will stop in their tracks, frozen like a children’s game and start again when we turned back around.


Depending how quick you go, you’re looking at 4-8 days to get to the southern side of the island where a ferry leaves fairly frequently. Be sure to check out the days and times and make sure you’re there on time. You cannot bet on the weather but you can bet on the ferry times.

At a push, if you’re well organised, you could do this on a week’s trip, ideal for those of us with limited holiday. We took two weeks out and spent the second week exploring Tromso and other parts of the Arctic.

If this does inspire you to get to Senja send me over a photo. Happy planning!

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ETHIOPIA: Episode 1 - Of Mountains and Monkeys

It's been an absolute privilege to travel to some of the most incredible places on the planet.  One of these is definitely Ethiopia, a country that has always been there in the back of mind to want to visit.  This year I got the opportunity and I'm so excited to share our journey across this ancient land with you via our eight part film. 

Here is episode 1, taking us high up into the Simien mountains, an enchanted world Of Mountains and Monkeys:

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A New Year's Stomp in the Brecon Beacons

Happy New Year from the Brecon Beacons. Enjoy this little video of our first few days of the year!

The Brecon Beacons national park in Wales is one of the UK's foremost national parks. This New Year's we celebrated the calendar reset in these magical hills.  This video was filmed only on an iphone.

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Ski Touring in the Indian Himalayas

During my six month travels through India I saw and experienced many things. I was heading into the Himalayas to partake in a 10 day silent meditation course but as soon as I saw the mountains I yearned to be on them.  Check out my little stint on a pair of skis in my newest short video:

Two stories about the meditation that happened soon after:

After the Vipassana and The Darkness of the Mind.  Find them in the stories section.

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Ski Touring in the Himalayas

The shock is almost as pressing on the mind as on the body. Travelling from the tropics of the Andaman Islands into the mountainous regions of Himalayan India is a change worthy of planetary distances. The change certainly took its toll on my health: I immediately came down with a cold and a rogue sand fly bite on my ankle got so badly infected that I couldn't walk. Alas all that mended and I was right as rain (if not a little cold) for a ski touring exped I had organised. When organising such trip it always comes down to a roll of the die if you end up with a good group, of people that get along, of the right fitness and skill level. I rolled a six! Our group consisted of the Swiss/French guide and owner of the company, a Quebecoise and myself. Two cooks made up the base camp staff and looked after all our affairs leaving us free to only contemplate the mountains. I've never taken part in a 5* all inclusive camping trip - but I bet it doesn't get any better than this... one day there was a steaming hot pizza waiting for us as we descended the last slope into camp.

Before I start digressing too much, the mountains were free of any tracks, of any people and we had it to ourselves for the four day expedition. We reached our maximum altitude of 4300m on the third day. Absolutely amazing!

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