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West Greenland - Day 17

In the morning I walked for a few hours along the shore, with again many nice smelling herbs and blueberries, but also many lose rocks and height difference. There were a few boats passing in the distance. At some point I had enough of all the climbing and continued in my packraft. The sea was relatively calm, but there were some waves. I kept a close eye on the weather as the wind was picking up and it became foggy later on. Luckily, I was sheltered by several small islands that acted as a breakwater. The shore was also more level, which would have made it easier to get off the water if I had to.

greenlandic bay

After several hours of paddling I reached another bay. From there I entered into an even smaller one which lead to a third one. There were a few cabins, but nobody was home. The water was perfectly flat and it was so quiet I could hear the blood flow in my ears. It was really peaceful there.

At the end of the last lake I packed my packraft and, after lunch, continued by foot. I had a nice view over the next fjord and wasn’t far removed from the place where I had started my hike 16 days ago. I had agreed with Johannes he would pick me up on a nearby peninsula, about 6 km away. For a moment I considered changing plans and trying to reach my starting point about a day away. However, this would involve crossing two more large fjords near open sea and as the weather was getting worse I didn’t want to tempt fate. 

arctic fox bones
hiking in maniitsoq

After another hour I could finally see it, the end of my hike! It was just a barren rock, but after looking at it on the map and at home on google earth for several months it felt awesome to be there. This journey had been spectacular and although there had been a few dangerous moments nearly everything had gone as planned. I contacted Johannes to suggest he would pick me up the next morning, as I liked the idea of camping for one more night. However, he had to work tomorrow so offered to pick me up right away.

About 45 minutes later a boat arrived, but I couldn’t make out if it was Johannes and the man in it couldn’t see me against the backdrop of the mountains. Eventually he noticed me and it was indeed Johannes. He had been kind enough to bring clean clothes, but I said it wouldn’t make much sense to put them on before showering.

I had expected to just catch a ride back and then spent the remaining 2,5 days camping somewhere around Maniitsoq. That wouldn't be ideal, but the hotel in Maniitsoq was crazy expensive and I didn’t want to risk hiking until the last minute and then being trapped by bad weather. Instead, Johannes invited me to his home to shower, gave me some of his clothes, and then drove me to his parents where his mom had cooked me a warm meal. He also said I could stay at his home until my flight left. That was really amazing.

hiking near maniitsoq
eating musk ox

It felt odd to so quickly be among people again and eat and be clean, but not in a bad way. The meal included musk ox from an animal Johannes had shot in the valley where I had seen them a week before. After two servings I was just getting started, but didn’t dare to ask for more.

Later Johannes drove me around the village and we visited the hospital where I saw Lene again and her colleague Anne. They gave me some hand cream, as she remembered my hands being sunburned and mosquito bitten. In the evening Johannes and I watched some movies before I went to sleep all clean and in a real bed.