Some people don’t dare to dream because they fear disappointment. The optimist argues that you have to dream, otherwise how will you ever have a dream come true?
It had been Andrew Ditton’s life long dream to see the Northern Lights, or to give the phenomenon it’s correct name the Aurora Borealis.
As if to feed the Aurora dream, the display is never guaranteed. The Lights will only come out to play on their own terms. You can improve your chances of capturing The Aurora by selecting a remote location in the Arctic Circle that offers dark skies, far away from the light pollution of towns and cities. Choose a night when clear skies are forecast, and check that the moon will not be too large or bright. Apukka Resort in Finland opened its doors for the first time in December 2017, offering guests a variety of unique Aurora-centric experiences. One such experience for one or two people is a peaceful night alone in the wilderness enveloped in the warmth and luxury of a very special ‘Aurora Wagon’. What is an Aurora Wagon? It is based on the wonderfully cute Adria Action. Action’s unmissable shape and gorgeous curves make it a modern style classic. Funky design, luxury specification, solid quality, superb insulation, and, of course, that fabulously huge roof window, all combine to make this caravan the perfect choice for the Apukka Resort.
Converting the Action into an Aurora Wagon involved wrapping the caravan in Apukka-themed branding, then replacing the wheels with skis. Basically, an Aurora Wagon is an Adria Action on skis. Me, I have always been a huge fan of the Action. I love good design, but only when it is matched with useable practicality. Ten years ago I spent the entire summer touring in a 361LH, and now we see this classic reimagined. It was in Düsseldorf that I first met the Action 391PD, and it was Love at First Sight. ‘Love the New Original’ invited the publicity. Love it I did. So imagine my delight when I was offered the opportunity to chase my dreams, visit the Apukka Resort in Finland, and spend a night in an Aurora Wagon based on the Action 391PD. After a warm welcome at the intimate resort, the friendly and enthusiastic Mikko coupled up my Aurora Wagon to his snowmobile and we headed off into the forest wilderness. Soon I was alone in the Aurora Wagon enjoying the hot berry juice and snacks left by Apukka. In order to keep things simple, cooking is not permitted in the Aurora Wagon and the water tanks.
For two silent hours the Aurora teased and played with me.
(other than the toilet flush tank) are not filled. Flasks of boiling water and bottles of drinking water are instead provided, as are an emergency mobile phone, emergency sleeping bags, and of course a fully-charged battery and a full cylinder of LPG for the heating. Outside, the temperature dropped to 20 degrees below zero, yet the Action remained warm and toasty thanks to the efficient Truma heating. I lie quietly on the bed in total darkness, staring intently out of the huge roof window. To be lying in complete silence, in splendid isolation, alone with my thoughts, admiring the starry sky, and being in complete connection with nature while remaining in a warm and comfortable space, was a truly magical experience. Occasionally I would see a dim green glow on the horizon. The glow would increase in intensity… and then fade. Later it would reappear, and fade again. For two silent hours the Aurora teased and played with me.
Finally, at about 10.30pm, the glow continued to brighten and I noticed through the roof window a faint green streak right across the sky. This was it! Hastily I put on some warm clothes, grabbed my camera and tripod, and went outside. For the next 90 minutes the Aurora Borealis treated me to the Greatest Natural Show on Earth. At one point, the lights literally danced. Tears filled my eyes as pure joy filled my heart, so deeply moved I was by the overwhelming experience.
At midnight I retreated to the warmth and luxury of the Aurora Wagon where I slept soundly under the blanket of stars twinkling down through the roof light. As I now reflect on the experience, my eyes fill with tears once again. Not only had I realised my lifelong dream of seeing the Northern Lights, but I had done so in the best way possible, in my dream caravan from the Adria range. Allow yourself to dream, and do whatever you can to make it happen. As I discovered for myself, dreams really can come true.
The night passed so quickly, after the light show I had a great night’s sleep in the adorable Action, such a comfy bed too. I woke to the most amazing sunrise, opening the door to a remarkable vista and I had to pinch myself that I was really here. Time for a quick cup of tea before the Apukka people came to “rescue me”, not that that’s the right term, as this was really glamping luxury and this caravan was the perfect host.
“As caravan adventures go, this one is truly memorable and we managed to pick the best night of this year for the Northern Lights too. Put this trip on your bucket list, now!”
Andrew Ditton is a widely-respected British leisure journalist. At the age of 14 he inherited his first caravan, and has been touring ever since. From a small tent in Canada to a large motorhome in New Zealand, he travels the world in search of unique camping experiences. You can find out more about Andrew at andrewditton.com