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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Greenland

GREENLAND | Thursday, 14 June 2007 | Views [3304]

Kulusuk

Kulusuk

I would like to tell you about the second day of my Icelandic journey. Again I got hardly any sleep last night because of the long daylight hours. I woke up at like 2:30 and couldn’t fall back asleep. I went downstairs and relaxed for a bit, and then took a picture of the light at 3:30 AM. I then went upstairs and took a shower. I don’t care if the hot water stinks. I went back to my room and fell back asleep. I’ve hardly slept at all; I’ve basically taken naps. The desk attendant woke me at 7:00 AM. I packed my bag and went downstairs to get breakfast. I sat with this girl form Sweden and talked with a young couple from San Francisco. For breakfast I ate jelly on toast, and cereal, and then two cups of tea. An interesting thing I’ve noticed is that people mix yogurt and cereal together. I also talked to this lady form England, and she’s here to go trekking. She said she wants to go to New Zealand on her next trip, and that she’s also gone trekking in Japan, Nepal, and Peru. At 8:30, I put my backpack on and started walking toward Reykjavik Airport. There was a light drizzle and it was very gloomy. Icelanders love to talk about the weather. They say that if you don’t like it, wait 5 minutes, and it will probably get worse! I walked along Tjörnin and saw the ducks. I got lost a little trying to find the domestic terminal, but I got there at about 9:15. I checked in and then got a Coca-Cola Light for 250 kronur (about $4); something that would cost me a dollar back home. I then went through security and waited. I had to stand at the security counter and drink my soda because I couldn’t take it past the checkpoint and I didn’t want to throw it away. There were a lot of older people flying to Greenland, including one lady who has traveled to 73 countries! I’ve only been to six. At 10:00, we all boarded the plane. I got a photo of me as I walked up the stairs into the plane, to symbolize it as my flight to Greenland. At 10:10, we took off and I got to see the wheels go up into the wheel well. Reykjavik is such a beautiful city from above! I made note of how I’m like the only person of my age range on this tour (because it was mostly older people). There was a family from the U.S. (of Indian heritage) and they were taking their young children to Greenland. I really commend them for that because I couldn’t even get my parents to take me to the Grand Canyon or Hawaii, let alone Greenland. It was really cloudy and I couldn’t see much. A short while into the flight, the attendant passed out lunch. It was a ham and cheese croissant. I also ate crackers and got a Coca-Cola Light (there’s no Diet Coke out here). After eating, I got to see the pilots in action in the cockpit. I never thought I’d get to see that! I was hoping the pilot would fly above the Arctic Circle. I just relaxed before seeing the beauty of Greenland as the plane was descending. It was really amazing! I kept thinking that I’m probably going to use a whole memory card while taking pictures. The beauty of Greenland was still amazing as we landed on the dirt runway. There were beautiful snow-covered mountains and glacial lagoons. After getting off the plane, our guide took us through the shop. I saw polar bear skins and carvings made from reindeer antlers, but I didn’t care to buy anything. We had to walk to the town of Kulusuk (the town is on the island of Kulusuk), which would take about 40 minutes. I couldn’t stop snapping pictures along the way. The two families with young children were pushing strollers on the dirt road, and I help carry them in places where it got rocky. The buildings are very colorful, just like in Iceland. On the way, I filled my water bottle with snow, so I could drink the water later. We stopped at Kulusuk’s newer cemetery about 30 minutes into our walk. The flowers are plastic and there are no headstones; there are simple wooden crosses. We then got to Kulusuk a few minutes later. Our guide showed us where the residents get their water, because almost none of the homes here have running water. He then showed us “downtown” Kulusuk, which had the post office and grocery store, and then we had some free time. I walked up the road a bit and took photos of the glacial lagoon. Everything in sight was absolutely breathtaking! While there, I saw some sled dogs. I headed back to meet the group at the souvenir shop. There, they had a polar bear skin that costs $2,000! However, I got a picture holding it since I didn’t have the money to buy it. After hanging around for awhile, our guide took us to the church in Kulusuk. It is really tiny! He told us that part of the church was built from the wood of a wrecked ship. The church also had beautiful stained glass windows. After that, it was time to go see the kayak demonstration. The kayaker was an Inuit man named Pele, and he is the mayor of Kulusuk. The kayak was invented by the Inuit, and I learned that few people actually know how to paddle a kayak and even fewer know how to build them, so it is a dying tradition. I watched him paddle gracefully around the ice and show how he throws his spear when he hunts. It looked so peaceful, and it reminded me of kayaking in Milford Sound last year. We then walked up the road to a house to see our last demonstration: the Inuit drum dance. The lady was wearing beautiful seal skin clothes. The drum dance was very interesting. It was like nothing I had ever seen, and I got a short video for part of it. By the time she was done, we were really short on time, and the lady’s husband offered us a ride to the airport. He took the families first while we started walking. I snapped some photos along the way back and we were picked up a short distance from the airport. The plane was ready to leave and I didn’t even have time to get a postcard. I got on, realizing how much I’m going to miss Greenland. I definitely want to spend more time in Greenland someday. At 2:00, we were up in the air. I couldn’t take my eyes off the ice! A short while into the flight, the attendant passed out lunch. I ate chicken and crackers and then had a candy bar. I then got to ask the pilot if we were crossing the Arctic Circle, but he said we didn’t and that we weren’t going to. Kulusuk is the farthest north I’ve ever been! Our guide then came around and stamped our passports with a collector’s Greenland stamp; it has a polar bear on it. A short while later, we were back in Iceland. An interesting thing I learned on this flight is that we only fly at like 23,000 feet because this was a turbo prop. I thanked our guide and said good bye to that nice family. I started walking back into Reykjavik and took a different route back. I stopped at the Internet café and emailed everyone about last night and today. After 45 minutes at the café, I kept walking and saw these guys playing chess on a giant chessboard. Icelanders are avid chess players. I played a game with a young man from South Carolina and won, and afterward got a photo of me in the middle of the chess board. I then walked back to the Salvation Army because I was feeling really tired. I lay on the couch for like an hour and then talked to these girls from Australia and these guys from France. This one girl, Sasha, was really cute! But, she just seemed to ignore me. I then booked another night here because I don’t know where the hell my bags are! I’m basically stuck in Reykjavik until I get my stuff. I then went up to my room. So, tomorrow I hope to meet up with Ísak and go to Þingvellir. Well, I’m really tired and I have another special day in Iceland tomorrow. Good Night!

Tags: culture

 

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