8.2.11

Day 1 - Nuuk-Kulusuk-Tasiilaq:

We got up at a leisurely quarter to eight and with a lovely display of the sun burning through the mist.
Packed the last few items in the camera bag and suitcase. Zipped up both with the usual prayer that whatever forgotten will not turn out to be important.
Had a great breakfast of fresh grinded coffee, homemade bread and pineapple, not a bad way to start the first day of our Adventure on the Greenlandic East Cost Louise and I are equally excited and chats energetically about the adventure and what to expect.
Louise has spent 3 weeks in the Tasiilaq area before, but it will be my first visit to the Greenlandic East Coast.

We are off to the airport and just before Noon the brand new Air Greenland Dash 8 streaks into the sky and we are on our way to the small settlement Kulusuk, essentially a dirt runway and a tiny settlement of hunters.
From here a helicopter will lift us the last 15 minutes to Tasiilaq.
The trip over the Greenlandic Inland Ice is dull, a thick cloud cover just below us and nothing to see, but a very smooth flight with excellent service from the efficient Steward.
The decent to Kulusuk takes us into some heavy rain and wind, but nothing unusual for Greenland.
The small terminal building is packed with people, but somehow the staff manages to make everyone more or less at ease and keep people in a good mood. I was really impressed by them.
We are booked on the last helicopter to Tasiilaq and as the hours run by, the Bell 212 airlift people to Tasiilaq in a Steady pace. at shortly before 5 in the afternoon the last helicopter takes off ferrying the two us and one of the Airport workers home to Tasiilaq.

A foggy but smooth ride between misty, tall and dagger like mountains towards the Airport in Tasiilaq.
First sight greeting us is the dump yard and it really hurt our eyes to see this beautiful landscape littered with garbage spilling directly from the junkyard and into the fiord. Granted, the rain does not make it any better, but to my untrained eyes they seem to have some environmental protection issues to address.

Arrival at the airport shows the familiar colourful houses and the tiny heliport where an A350 helicopter is parked.
We are picked up by a guide or guest house worker from "the Red House" one of the local Bed and Breakfast in the settlement.
We drag out luggage through the pouring rain up the stairs and into the main area of The Red House.
As I turn around to close the door I see a sign saying;
"DANGER! – POLARBEARS! - PLEASE ASK THE STAFF BEFORE LEAVING THE RED HOUSE!".
A fair reminder that we are in an area where polar bears sightings has gone from nearly non existent to common in just a couple of years.
Here we are shown to our room, the size of a walk in closet and told that dinner is 220DKK for the four course traditional menu (nothing else to choose from) and that Breakfast is at 8:30 the following morning.
A quick install in the "walk in closet" We decided that our weatherproof jackets should be more than enough and off we are, into the rain to catch the first glimpse of the settlement of Tasiilaq.

Louise is somewhat prepared, but I totally adore the settlement, even in pouring rain, it is an adorable mix of apparent weatherworn houses, the occasional sled dog, children playing in the rain. It just seems so Greenlandic to me.
There is a but though, the entire town seems very dirty and with litter all over the place and that is likely something that will put a dent in my adoration of the settlement.

I use my small waterproof Point and Shoot camera (thank you Pentax) to capture the first outlines of images I plan to shoot the following day that should be dry, but overcast.
We returned an hour later in time for dinner, but totally soaked. A towel and a quick change of clothes later we are ready for the traditional dinner. A dinner that, in so many ways, lives up to an impression of being in a settlement where things taken for granted in the civilized world simply does not exist.
Tired from a long journey we decide to head the bunk early, with our cup of sweet chilli tea number 200 of the day and a hopeful prayer for better weather on day 2.

2 comments:

  1. Stopped by.
    Excellent post with outstanding photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Andy.
    Much appreciated compliment.

    ReplyDelete