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South Greenland - Day 8 : Caught in the rain

I woke up, the sun was shining and I felt rested. While packing it was getting cloudy and I noticed my legs weren't as rested as I had thought. The descent back to the river was not too bad and after 1,5 hours I was back down. My plan had been to follow the river by packraft, but that wasn't going to happen. The river was flowing much faster than I had expected. My boat is pretty sturdy and stable, but if I would flip I would be soaking wet and all my gear might drift away. I had no choice but to walk, which wasn't the end of the world. This side of the river was still indicated as a black (very difficult) route, but as soon as I would cross it, it would turn into a red and slightly easier one. I had a hard time finding a place to cross. At one point I also couldn't follow the shore anymore, as it turned into a vertical cliff. However, there was another option. According to the map it was possible to climb steep up the mountain before descending to the river at a later stage. It took 20 minutes before I even found a safe spot to climb up.

crossing rivers in greenland
valley in greenland

After another tough climb I reached the top of the hill. It was getting windy and started to rain. I quickly put on my jacket and send my location home. Now I needed to descend for a few kilometers along a small stream which would bring me back to the main river. The river quickly got larger and the weather took a turn for the worse.

horn of a greenlandic sheep
camping in greenland

At reaching the river I walked a few kilometers along the water until I arrived at the point where I was supposed to cross. The water itself looked relatively calm, but with the intense rain and wind it would be asking for a flying boat and wet clothes. The past 1,5 days had also been pretty tough. Despite it being only 17:00 I decided to stop and take shelter. Pitching my tent wasn't easy, but luckily I was experienced in setting it up in high winds due to my hike in Iceland. I placed the heaviest rocks I could carry on all pegs and spread out the luggage inside. Then I got enough water for the night and crawled into my sleeping bag.


At 23:00 it was windy and raining like crazy. I still hadn't made dinner because I had been busy securing my tent and writing this story. I really hoped the weather would be better the next day. I again didn't see anyone (day 6). The first few kilometer of the next day would pass through a valley where 3 routes meet, so there was a chance of meeting someone. Afterward that, I would walk through the mountains for two days before reaching Narsarsuaq's fjord again, but now on the opposite side of the village and airport.

I figured that with some luck I would reach 8 days of solitude. I was slowly starting to look forward to seeing other human beings again, although I hadn't really missed it yet. Back home everyone thought they wouldn't like being alone this long and had asked if I wasn't worried I would start talking to myself. 
I hadn't done that yet, but every time I heard some white noise, like the buzzing of mosquitoes or a river flowing, I thought I heard sirens or people talking in the distance. I also expected to have many philosophical thoughts, like I did in Iceland. However, I was too busy paying attention to where I was walking. I did have a lot of imaginary conversations with people who weren't there, basically telling them about my day. Whenever the route was getting tough I started to get annoyed about how I imagined they would respond. Hearing imaginary sirens and getting angry at people who were 3000 km away weren't exactly signs of good mental health, but then again I usually also did those things during my cycling trips. 

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