Posted by: travelrat | October 4, 2013

Reindeer Ride


Alta: 23rd March 2013.

The reindeer ride wasn’t quite what I expected. Certainly not the snugly-wrapped jaunt of Christmas cards, with mince pies and a slug of glühwein at the end. Or Santa’s laden sleigh. Just a wooden framework, holding one … or, at the most two people.

But, it was still an experience not to be missed … although, unlike the dogs, I was unable to actually take any video during the ride, for I was too busy concentrating on survival.

As the handler launched me on my way, the handler said:

‘You can go on your own!’

Eh? Did I look like I could, or something? My sole experience of this sort of thing was fifteen minutes at the controls of a one-horse buggy, and that was with an experienced coachman beside me.

But, I managed, for one of several reasons:

The reindeer understood English (doubtful)
The commands ‘Walk on’ and ‘Whoa’ are the same in Norwegian, or the language of the Sami (unlikely)
It doesn’t matter what you say, it’s the intonation that counts (maybe)
The reindeer are so accustomed to this circuit that they stop and go when required, whatever you do (most likely)

Just a circuit of the paddock, but an experience to be added to the list certainly. And, I look forward to the more upmarket kind of sleigh ride … if it exists!

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