South Greenland - Day 3 : Tough, warm and mosquitoes
Today was the first day hiking over my route. I needed to climb much right away. In addition to my GPS I carried a detailed map, but it was still hard to judge how tough certain sections would be. It was also pretty warm and filled with mosquitoes. I had started climbing a few hundred meters too soon and ended up in between bushes. Those were extremely thick, making it nearly impossible to walk. Only when I got a bit higher up the mountain they became low enough for me too see that I was in the wrong place. The descent back to the correct route was very steep and filled with loose rocks. I was a bit worried I might slip and break my ankle 2 hours into the hike. Fortunately that didn't happen and I made it over the mountain ridge. Now I had a better feeling for the scale of the map.
The next part involved navigation through a relatively flat terrain filled with small lakes. As the map had been made in the '80's many of the lakes had changed shape, didn't exist anymore, or where here in real life but not on the map. Because the landscape looked the same in all directions I walked a bit off course over several hours, but managed to still keep heading roughly in the right direction.
Walking through this and uphill for several hundred meters was not a lot of fun
Because of all the heat, climbing, mosquitoes, and navigation I was pretty tired at 17:00, but still wanted to walk the extra kilometer to get back on the route as I had planned it. First I needed to cross some hills. Everytime I crossed one I would think I was back, but only found out there was an even higher hill behind it. Eventually I was where I needed to be and called it a day. I pitched the tent next to a nice lake, where it of course was teaming with mosquitoes. I did have a mosquito net in my tent, but as soon as it was pitched it was already filled with them. Today had been a very tough day, but also the part with the most altimeters. I drank as much as I could and tried to rest. It was 22 degrees in my tent and as it didn't get dark I had a hard time falling asleep.
Tomorrow's route would be more flat and easier to navigate. I forced myself to eat as much as possible, during which I kept forgetting I was wearing a mosquito headnet. I figured by the time I would get back to the Netherlands I would have developed some strange habit of moving an invisible mosquito net aside every time I try to take a bite.
The mosquito net was necessary