South Greenland - Day 3 : Tough, warm and mosquitoes
This day would be my first full day of hiking. I needed to climb much right away. Besides my GPS I carried a detailed map, but it was still difficult to judge in advance how tough certain sections would be. It was also pretty warm and filled with mosquitoes. I started climbing 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, I had started climbing a few hundred meters too soon. 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 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 existed in real life but not on the map. Because the landscape looked pretty much the same in all directions I walked a bit off course over several hours, but still headed in 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 my intended route. First I needed to cross some hills. Everytime I crossed one I thought I was back on the route, only to discover that there was an even higher hill behind it. Eventually I was certain 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 my tent was pitched it was already filled with the flying bugs. This day had been very tough, partly due to some navigation difficulties, but mostly because this was the section of my route with the most height difference. 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.
The next day, the route would be more level 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 home I would have developed a strange habit of moving an invisible mosquito net aside every time I tried to take a bit.
The mosquito net was necessary