I had contacted Janne of Northern Lights Riders by email with an enquiry about a trip and he had written back with an idea that sounded like such an amazing fun packed day that I just had to book it. We arrived at our meeting point in Ivalo where Janne was waiting for us. He took us by mini bus to near Lake Inari where we boarded his military vehicle.
The vehicle is a 28 year old, impressive looking 300 hp roller truck! The kids found it hilarious fun bouncing around in the back while the adults got to have a go at driving through the deep snow and dodging trees as we went! The vehicle can drive in thick snow with ease, it was amazing. We drove in the military vehicle down onto the picturesque Lake Inari where we all got out.
It was ice fishing time. Janne showed us how to drill holes in the thick ice using an electric drill and set us all up with holes, seats, rods and bait to do some ice fishing.
All the time Janne was telling us stories and interesting information. He was incredibly patient with the kids and made us all laugh trying to remember everyone’s names. He showed everyone how to fish and kept checking we were all ok. When there were no bites he drilled us all new holes a little way away to try again.
We fished a while but didn’t catch any fish. We didn’t mind as it was a great experience anyway. It was time for some food so we re-boarded the military vehicle and drove it off the lake to where the snow was deeper. Janne set up the wood and kindling to make a fire in a hole in the snow and let my son light it.
Janne then gave us all sausages and special sticks so we could cook them over the fire. The kids loved cooking their own food. We also had some delicious sweet bread and hot juice, tea and coffee.
When the children had finished eating they had a lot of fun throwing themselves around in the waist deep snow.
Next, it was time to have a go at snow shoe walking. Janne helped us all to put on snowshoes and gave us some sticks to help us walk. We were free to try walking through the deep snow. It was great fun, although quite hard work. We all thought it was brilliant! We laughed so much every time someone fell and got stuck in the deep snow and at one point Janne had to practically swim through the snow to rescue us. Snow shoe walking turned out to be hilarious and hugely enjoyable!
After we had finished accidently burying ourselves in the snow the kids played for a bit while I had a go at driving the military vehicle a bit too fast and a bit too close to the trees!
We then all travelled back up to the mini bus so Janne could drive us to our next destination. He took us to a place he used to go as a child, with a crazy sledge hill in the middle of the forest and gave us all a sledge. The sun was starting to set and the view from the hill was incredibly beautiful, I found it hard to choose between throwing myself down the hill or sitting at the top of it and watching the sunset, so I did a bit of both.
After a while, I was sat at the top of the sledge hill talking to my daughter when she suddenly shouted that she had seen Santa walking down the path. We quickly slid down the hill to see. Janne had arranged for him to come and see us all! He spoke with us for a while and had presents for everyone including the adults, and some very amusing presents for Janne. He even remembered meeting us last year near Ruka and spoke about how we had met him with Mrs Claus. He knew all the children by name and even how old they were and gave them age appropriate and thoughtful gifts from his sack. It was a lovely surprise for the children and they were so pleased to see him!
When Santa left we had enough time for a couple more goes at hurtling down the hill before we had to make our way back to where we started.
We spent over seven hours with Janne on an action packed, exciting adventure of a day and we loved every minute. We all agreed that this was one of the best adventures we have ever had. Janne put every effort into providing us with a tailor made and brilliant day. He had all the time in the world for us and put his all into helping us enjoy our trip.
If any one is visiting anywhere near Ivalo in Finland I would highly recommend getting in touch with Janne to arrange a trip. He can tailor make trips to suit his visitors and puts his customers enjoyment as his main priority. He puts a lot of effort into making it the best experience he can for his guests, and it works!
Taking a child with Autism on a trip with Northern Light Riders?
Janne will tailor a trip to your families individual needs and requirements.
Trips can be private so no crowds or strangers.
Snow is the most calming environment for my son.
Janne was very patient with the children and made them all laugh.
There is no need to stay out for as long as we did as shorter trips are available. The longer trip and variety suited us.
Northern Lights Riders have many trips available and can also tailor make private trips for you. Northern Lights Riders is based at Petsamontie 1, Ivalo, Lapland, 99800 Finland. For trip enquiries or bookings, Janne Tervaniemi can be contacted by email at or by ringing +358458887399.
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