When you’ve been checking the weather maps for days before your trip, which forecasts rain and cloudy skies for the entire weekend; you’re not expecting much. Even more so when the evening of the chase arrives, it’s about 5c and you can’t see a single star due to the blanket of cloud overhead. Low expectations equal a lovely surprise when you and accuweather are proved wrong.
Chasing the Green Lady
When planning my trip to Tromso I looked at both Northern Lights chases and the typical bus “safari”. The price difference is about £50, but my considerations were; do I want to go to a single spot with up to 80 others on a bus? Or would I prefer a quieter experience with a few others and have the opportunity to chase clear skies with the hope of a better view; okay so this is a no-brainer.
I booked my chase with a company called Greenfox, mainly due to their good reviews on Trip advisor and because I could book online. As it turned out, I went with Anna from Wild Nordic, a Norwegian who’d previously worked for Greenfox and was taking some of their extra bookings. This was a true blessing. Anna’s heart is full of music and light, a perfect match for the dancing lady Aurora.
When we left Tromso it was seriously cloudy, I wasn’t holding out much hope to see the lights but was happy to search for the stars in the sky which would indicate a gap in the clouds. Much like the numerous game drives I’ve been on in Africa and India, the thrill of the chase is one of the reasons for being there, and if you happen to get lucky then it’s a bonus.
Anna was constantly in touch with other guides and her secret weather gurus to work out the best spot to try first. The aurora activity forecast was good, we just needed a break in the clouds at the right time. We drove south-east for about 90 minutes and arrived at one of Anna’s secret spots just as some stars appeared. The area contained some lovely abandoned lavvo frames (Sami tents). We lit a fire and waited.
We didn’t have to wait long. At first it’s difficult to see the changing patterns in the sky, but when your eyes become accustomed to the darkness, the green lights really do dance across the sky. As the lights appeared Anna played a traditional drum and sang to Aurora to encourage the show. This is Wild Nordic’s unique selling point; Anna has an outstanding voice and the folk songs she sang were stunningly beautiful….and they worked. The lights continued to appear across the sky and directly overhead time and time again, offering different patterns and flow.
We cooked lamb sausages over the fire and toasted marshmallows. It was warm for March but polar suits are provided (I still needed a lot of layers); along with assistance with camera settings and a tripod if you don’t have your own.
We spent about 3 and half hours with the dancing lady which was one of the most peaceful nights I’ve ever spent outdoors. There’s something about the Aurora aside from being a bucket list item for many people to just “tick off”, it captures the heart and soul. I should probably also mention the moose…but that’s a secret 🙂
If you’re heading to Norway I can thoroughly recommend Wild Nordic for an Aurora chase in Tromso.