Dog-Powered Vacation – Part 1

Are you wondering why I haven`t updated this blog for quite some time? Here comes my excuse – I`ve been on vacation. And I spent most of it at places far away from computers and internet connections.

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– Leaving Fame Islands, Hurry Inlet and “civilization” behind –

Normally, vacation means travelling by helicopter to Constable Point, by plane to Europe and by bus or train to a final destination in Germany, Denmark or Norway. It means drinking Café Latte, going swimming, going shopping and enjoying the luxury of living in houses with running water.

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– The helicopter, our life-line to the outer world –

This year, Ingkasi and me had made other plans. Our means of transportation were to be quite different. I had been looking forward to this vacation for many months. We wouldn`t travel thousands of kilometers to foreign countries. Instead, we`d  travel for just about 700 km, divided into 3 different journeys out of Ittoqqortoormiit. We weren`t going to use any motor-driven vehicles. Our accommodations would look quite different, too. There wasn`t going to be any running water. Instead, we would be running dogs 🙂 !

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– Most of the time, Ingkasi and his team would lead on –

The first 2 weeks, it was just Ingkasi and me travelling together, with our 2 teams of Greenlandic dogs. Our plan was to head north for about 1 week, and to go musk-ox hunting on our way home in week 2.
However, several snow-storms and heavy snowfalls in the first week made us change our plans. When the weather cleared up, we went directly into the heart of Jameson Land. Hopefully that would give us a chance to go hunting before the next storm would set in.

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– The cabin close to Kalkdal in Hurry Inlet, where bad weather forced us to stay for 3 days –

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– Our coffee table at Kalkdal Cabin –

I was glad to have brought a good book! Finally, the wind stopped and the weather cleared up. Next overnight stop was the red cabin. And there, finally, we had some sunshine!

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– The red cabin –

We continued our journey, prepared to hunt musk-ox. The following evening we camped at a beautiful spot about 24 km east of Tyskit Nunaat.

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– The dogs are resting after a long day. Far behind, we get a glimpse of the ranges of mountains at the fjord system of Scoresby Sund. –

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– A succesful hunt in beautiful surroundings –

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– There`s work to do –

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– Happy Hunters  –

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– Our kitchen –

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– Our camp from above –

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– The dogs having a big meal. They truly deserved it!! –

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– Tasting good! –

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– Our own evening meal of ribs and tongue wasn`t any worse! –

The following night brought winds more than 35 m/s. Our canvas tent was shaking badly, but didn`t let us down. When the weather calmed down the next morning, we were eager to get back to the red cabin, since the forecast had promised another storm in the days to come.

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– Ready to begin the journey home – our sledges are now a bit heavier than before –

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– Once in a while we all needed a rest. Kaju, my oldest dog and my favourite, is on guard, while everyone else is relaxing  –

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– I love this beautiful panorama, shortly before arriving at the red cabin –

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– Back at the cabin –

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– Next evening, there`s a beautiful sunset after another windy day –

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– In Klitdal, on our way towards Hurry Inlet –

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– The sledge runners have to be polished once again –

Our trip lasted for 13 days. 13 days of living close to nature, close to each other, close to our dogs and close to ourselves. Sitting on your sledge all alone for 8-10 hours a day truly gives you time to think! There was nothing to disturb us from living in the moment, from being present and enjoying every minute to the fullest. Yes, we did freeze, once in a while, we did have to discipline the dogs, we did feel very hungry after a long day, and our backs ached from slaughtering. But those moments were soon forgotten. What remains in our memory are all the good times. The land, beautiful, wild, vast. And the dogs, brave, hard-working, always in a good mood and able to adapt to their harsh environment so incredibly well.

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– Charlie, Pascal and Qaartuloq are taking a nap during our lunch break –

It felt great to come home to a warm house with electric light and other luxuries!!

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– Plenty of musk-ox meat to take care of –

But after a few days, I began to miss the closeness. And that was just fine, since we were planning to head out again soon.

To be continued 🙂

5 thoughts on “Dog-Powered Vacation – Part 1

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