Greenland!

A wonderful Greenlandic woman named Heidi recently described Greenland as a dose of vitamins. You go to Greenland, and every day your body fills with vitamins. When you leave Greenland, your body starts to use those vitamins, and eventually, they’re all gone, and you have to return. When she told us this, I couldn’t help but smile, because it’s true, and it was time for our Greenland vitamin fix. For both Mark and I this was our fourth trip to Greenland, and the second together. This time the destination was South Greenland, and six clients joined us for Greenland or Bust’s South Greenland Expedition, which included 13 days on the water and 300 kilometers paddled.

The "team" before heading out on day one.

The “team” before heading out on day one.

Wind had driven ice into the harbor, which turned our launch site into an obstacle course.

Wind had driven ice into the harbor, which turned our launch site into an obstacle course.

In fact we had lots of ice to maneuver through on the first day.

In fact we had lots of ice to maneuver through on the first day.

A short crossing to some ruins gave us the opportunity to get to know the kayaks.

A short crossing to Qassiarsuk gave us the opportunity to get to know the kayaks.

Then we headed out into the ice.

Then we headed out into the ice.

Paddling amongst ice is a magical experience.

No two icebergs are alike.

Oded takes in the spectacular scenery., which is paddexperience than where h

Oded takes in the spectacular scenery.

Every iceberg takes on a personality of its own.

Every iceberg takes on a personality of its own.

More ice.

More ice.

And still more.

And still more.

This seal bravely hangs out on a piece of ice.

This seal bravely hangs out on a piece of ice.

Greenland's landscape can feel very vast, and what looks to be a short crossing often isn't.

Greenland’s landscape can feel very vast, and what looks to be a short crossing often isn’t.

At times the ice moved in a solid flow, but we were always able to pass.

At times the ice moved in a solid flow, but we were always able to pass.

Drinking water was easy to find, and filters weren't needed.

Drinking water was easy to find, and filters weren’t needed.

We had three portages throughout the trip. This ramp helped out a lot.

We had three portages throughout the trip. This ramp helped out a lot.

The top of the land bridge.

The top of the land bridge.

The journey down was the best part.

The journey down was the best part.

The second land bridge wasn't quite as much fun… up a rocky beach, a short paddle across a murky pond and down a rocky beach.

The second land bridge wasn’t quite as much fun… up a rocky beach, a short paddle across a murky pond and down a rocky beach.

Our final portage took us, our kayaks and our gear across four kilometers in the back of a flatbed truck.

Our final portage took us, our kayaks and our gear across four kilometers in the back of a flatbed truck.

Many of the best landing beaches had Norse or Inuit ruins. Here the group stands in an old Inuit earth house.

Many of the best landing beaches had Norse or Inuit ruins. Here the group stands in the remains of an Inuit earth house.

This pile of rocks is an Inuit grave. Over time many of these graves have opened up, revealing bones from long ago.

This pile of rocks is an Inuit grave. Over time many of these graves have opened up, revealing bones from long ago.

This day our "camp" was a little tricky to get to.

This day our “camp” was a little tricky to get to.

But getting to the top was well worth the trip. This "space pod," as we named it, was unlocked and ready to provide shelter.

But getting to the top was well worth the hike. This “space pod,” as we named it, was unlocked and ready to provide shelter.

Norse ruins line the hillsides. The "space pod" was likely placed for researchers to study the ruins that are not easily assessable.

Norse ruins line the hillsides. The “space pod” was likely placed for researchers to study the ruins that are not easily assessable.

Many of the ruins were in very good condition.

Many of the ruins were in very good condition.

We visited active villages as well. Here Gennifer buys pastries from an Inuit woman in Narsaq.

We visited active settlements as well. Here Gennifer buys pastries from an Inuit woman in Narsaq.

Our lunch spots and campsites were always scenic.

Our lunch spots and campsites were always scenic.

Sunsets were always spectacular.

Sunsets were always spectacular.

Piles of rocks are a common site in Greenland.

Piles of rocks are a common site in Greenland.

Watching icebergs from shore can be fun, especially when they put on a show by rolling or shedding smaller bergs.

Watching icebergs from shore can be fun, especially when they put on a show by rolling or shedding smaller bergs.

Gennifer shares some whale, which she'd purchased in a town and cooked up as an evening treat.

Gennifer shares some whale, which she’d purchased in a town and cooked up as an evening treat.

I'm not sure there's a prettier place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

I don’t think there’s a prettier place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

Mark cooks up some tasty falafels.

Mark cooks up some tasty falafels.

Camp always had a very relaxed feel.

Camp often had a very relaxed feel.

Iceberg chair.

Iceberg chair.

We spent a night camping at some hot springs.

We spent a night camping at some hot springs.

Every team member had the opportunity to plan part of the route. Here Jack tells the group the plan.

Every team member had the opportunity to plan part of the route. Here Jack tells the group the plan.

We stayed in Qaqortoq for two nights and a full day to experience some of the Greenland National Kayaking Championship.

We stayed in Qaqortoq for two nights and a full day to experience some of the Greenland National Kayaking Championship.

Kampe and Dubside greeted us upon arrival.

Kampe and Dubside greeted us upon arrival, and it was great to catch up with them.

Heidi teaches Greenlandic during breakfast at the hostel.

Heidi teaches Greenlandic during breakfast at the hostel.

A sealskin akuilisaq is ready for the competition.

A sealskin akuilisaq is ready for the competition.

This avataq is complete with feet.

This avataq is complete with feet.

A father teaches his son how to roll.

A father teaches his son how to roll.

Kampe coaches Heather (a visitor from Canada) on the ropes.

Kampe coaches Heather (a visitor from New York) on the ropes.

This boy competes in Greenland Rope Gymnastics.

This boy competes in Greenland Rope Gymnastics.

The rolling competition is always a great spectator event.

The rolling competition is always a great spectator event.

This boy is ready to roll. The tuilik that he is wearing is made from sealskin.

This boy is ready to roll, and he’s wearing a sealskin tuilik for the occasion.

This boy prepares to do a norsaq roll.

This boy prepares to do a norsaq roll.

This man is ready to do the avataq roll.

This man is ready to do the avataq roll.

These proud fathers embrace after their sons compete in the team rolling event.

These proud fathers embrace after their sons compete in the team rolling event.

Canadians James and James embrace after competing in the team rolling event.

Canadians James and James embrace after competing in the team rolling event.

There are many types of races in the Championship.

There are many types of races in the Championship.

And just about everyone got a medal or two.

And just about everyone got a medal or two.

More winners.

More winners.

Sealskin kayaks are displayed in the museum.

Sealskin kayaks are displayed in the museum.

After the expedition we had a traditional Greenlandic dinner in Narsarsuaq.

After the expedition we had a traditional Greenlandic dinner in Narsarsuaq.

Muktuk, or whale blubber, is a delicacy.

Mattak, or whale blubber, is a delicacy.

Greenlandic Coffee is a special treat… and a very good one.

Greenlandic Coffee is a special treat… and a very good one.

Mark and I are well stocked up on our "Greenland Vitamins." We'll be back though… would you like to join us?

Mark and I are well stocked up on our “Greenland Vitamins.” We’ll be back though… would you like to join us?

 

 

2 Responses to “Greenland!”

  • Luisella says:

    What a beautiful ship in Greenland! Beautiful photos. A choice that tells a lot about the experience really interesting and joyful and vitamin …!
    I’m fascinated by the Avataq sealskin … the paddle on Qajaq (and not in the water side of the Qajaq as I know) before the standard roll, from Kamp smiling and reassuring, Mark and Helen a beautiful couple who radiates love and happiness ! Thank you for having shared with us!

  • Michael H. Morris says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip and a good stretch to unwind and relax. Beautiful photos and looks like you had pretty good weather. Hope the rest of the summer goes well.

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