PRICE TRAVEL: from 2715 €Greenland, Greenland
The Ammassalimmiut, on the east coast of Greenland, formed part of the last Inuit group that had contact with the «white man». It happened when the Danish explorer, Gustav Holm, found them in 1884. This is about the last direct descendants of the Dorset and Thule arctic cultures.
Its relative isolation and strong ties with the past have led to an enormous maintenance of their cultural and survival traditions: even their dialect is archaic compared to the greater part of Greenland’s population. Our goal will be to get submerged in this unique Inuit culture, learn from their skills, and be first-hand witnesses to their adaptation to the environment.
The name «Tunu» means: «the opposite side, back, back side», since it is precisely the largest human concentration that is found in the other part of the island, on the West Coast. And so, this region constitutes «the other face of life, the other face of Greenland».
03/09 – 15/09/2018
(1) Places – 8
Indigenous and trekking
In this expedition we will fully experience their living off the land techniques in an extreme natural environment, as well as learning their culture, history and current life. Most Inuit live today between modern and traditional terms, as their culture is in danger and disappearing as a result of climate change and the process of globalization. This expedition aims to teach useful skills and knowledge and protect this very special and unique culture.
During this trekking tour we visit traditional populations while we live together with the Inuit, we will learn their ancient methods of hunting and fishing, while enjoying the spectacular views of the fjords, glaciers and icebergs of this wonderful Greenlandic region. The possibility to observe seals, whales (basically sei and narwhals whales), polar bears and arctic foxes, and also the majestic Northern Lights makes it one of the most complete experienced to be able to live in Greenland.
Traditional Inuit games Learn from the history and culture of the Inuit through the people themselves, or the X-Plore guide and specialized anthropologist in the Inuit culture, Francesc Bailón Talks along the trip: History of Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland. Environmental pollution and climate change The future of the Inuit. Tales and legends of the Inuit around the fire.The religion of the Inuit: between shamanism and Christianity. Minik. The history of an Eskimo that lost its identity. The Ammassalimmiut, residents of the east coast of Greenland. Arctic expeditions stories: the tragedy of the expedition of Sir John Franklin and the conquest of the North Pole Learn to navigate through the Arctic and to recognize the signs of nature Learn to prepare and cook the local foods Learn some words in Tunumiutut (the local dialect) and in Kalaallisut (official language of Greenland) Observe the traditional methods of hunting and fishing Observation of the Northern Lights
Accommodation in a guest house (shared room) and in a hostel with double or triple rooms and in tents.
In this expedition, there will be no cook traveling with us, so the preparation of the food will be a team work. The provided lunches will be dryfood and picnic food style, although varied, due to the lack of infrastructure in this area, and also because the activities at the time that we may be doing. European food will be mixed with local food, and will be prepared by the group.
Francesc Bailón, an anthropologist specialized in Inuit culture and X-plore specialist guide during the trekking.Note: The guide will adapt the program and activities in function of the group. The participants will obtain material about the Inuit and Ammassalimmiut cultures, and the residents of the east coast of Greenland. The indigenous experts will accompany us to show us more about the Inuit way of life, and will give us explanations along the excursions and a visit to the museum, the cemetery and the fish market. There is also the possibility to observe the Inuit in activities such as traditional hunting or fishing (there will not be any organized hunts for us, but the ones that are being carried out by them and that could happen during the boat trips). The order and contents of the expedition may vary. We will adapt the route and its contents depending on conditions and options that may be offered to us in each moment Along our stay in Greenland's towns, there is the possibility of attending local festivities and other events, but it always will depend on the time and the realization of such. Along the expedition, the cooperation of all participants will be crucial. Although we will learn a lot about the traditional life of the Inuit through direct sources, we should keep in mind that their way of life has changed quite a lot. They do not dress in a traditional way, and they also use modern technology. In one way or another, they live in a harmonious balance between tradition and modernity.
Day 1: Flight Reykjavik (Iceland) - Kulusuk (Greenland). Arrival to Kulusuk, traditional town located, on an island that has the same name. Luggage pick up and transfer to the guest house. Free afternoon to take a first impression and do some contact with this majestic Greenlandic region and its residents. Lunch and dinner cooked by ourselves. Accommodation in a guest house with shared bedrooms (sleeping bag).
Day 2: Kulusuk (Kap Dan) - Sermiligaaq. Last minute preparations and shopping. Boat trip along with the Ammassalimmiut towards the town of Sermiligaaq, located 50 km from Kulusuk. Along the journey, we will pass by numerous islands that are strategic entry points for the Inuit themselves, in their usual search of food for their subsistence. Workshop: during the way, we will learn how to observe and understand about the terrain, on how to be guided by the Arctic, and to recognize the signs of this wild and unpredictable nature. Arrival to Sermiligaaq, an active and efficient settlement for traditional hunting and fishing. Free afternoon to visit this ancestral town. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by ourselves. Picnic lunch en route. Accommodation in a Inuit houses with shared rooms.
Day 3: Sermiligaaq - Kârale and Knud Rasmussen Glaciers - Kuummiut. In the morning, we will go over to Sermiligaaq, straight to the impressive array of glaciers of the Kârale and Knud Rasmussen, located 20 kilometers away. This is one of the places where we can observe with greater clarity the retreat of the glaciers as a result of the planet's global warming. We will continue our trip through the Ikateq Fjord and visit a former American military base, Bluie 2, abandoned in 1959. In the afternoon, we will arrive to the traditional village of Kuummiut, located 40 km from Sermiligaaq. Today we will hold a workshop: we will submerge into Greenlandic cuisine (the traditional Inuit diet is considered as one of the most healthy and balanced in the world) and we will learn how the food is cooked in an indigenous style. Dinner with an Inuit family. Breakfast will be prepared by us. Picnic lunch en route. Accommodation in a guest house with shared rooms.
Day 4: Kuummiut - Qenertivartivit - Tasiilaq. After breakfast, the morning is free to visit the village of Kuummiut. We recommend a visit to the fish market and the salted fish factory, the only factory of fish of the district and where the majority of catches of this region are processed. At the appointed time, we will continue with our navigation through the stunning Ammassalik Fjord until we reach the town of Tasiilaq, located 40 km away, the capital of the Tunu region, and for many, the most beautiful city in Greenland. During the trip, we will make a stop to visit the abandoned town of Qenertivartivit, which is preserved as its inhabitants left it. Breakfast will be prepared by us. Picnic lunch en route. Accommodation in a hostel with double or triple rooms.
Day 5: Tasiilaq. In the morning, we will visit the town of Tasiilaq. First, we will go to the local museum, which is one of the most important and visited in Greenland. There you will see an exhibition about the history of the east coast of the country, which includes a display of masks, sculptures, antique photographs, and so on. Then we will visit the Potato House, reconstruction of a traditional Greenlandic house made of stone and peat, and then we will go to the Citadel, a building constructed in 1894 by the first Danish missionary, Revered Rüttel and his wife. We will also see the house of the missionaries, built in 1895, that served as a church, a school and as a hospital. We will visit the Trade Manager's House, a building constructed in the 20s, destroyed in the 50s, and reconstructed later. It was occupied between 1932 and 1933 by Knud Rasmussen (father of esquimology), when he came to make the film «Palos Brudefaerd». We will make a stop on the trip to have a Picnic and enjoy the beautiful views of this village. In the evening, and after dinner, we will go to the Krostuen, one of the two places in the city that are focused on the local nightlife. Accommodation and breakfast in a hostel with double or triple rooms.
Day 6: Tasiilaq. Free day to walk around the town of Tasiilaq and observe the daily life of its residents. It is recommended to visit Skaeven o Stunk, which is the House of the Craftsmanship, one of the most important places in Greenland to contemplate the traditional Inuit crafts, especially the manufacture of masks and tupilaat. Also, we recommend you visit the Kalaaliaraq, the town’s fish market, where hunters and fishermen bring their daily catches in order to be bought by the residents of Tasiilaq. Also, you could visit the house of Service of the Philately of Greenland, created in 1988 and with a lot of prestige in an international level. Finally, we suggest that you visit the church that was built in 1985, where in its interior we will be able to observe the religious syncretism that the Inuit have come to accept, called Shamanic Neocristianism, and that combines the traditional and the modern Greenlandic art. In the evening, and after dinner, we will go to the Klubben, one of the two places in the city that are focused on local nightlife. Picnic type lunch. Accommodation and breakfast in a hostel with double or triple rooms.
Day 7: Tasiilaq - Qaqqartivagajik Mountain - Tasiilaq. After breakfast, we will begin to walk towards the Qaqqartivagajik Mountain (718m). An easy excursion of about 4 hours, that takes us through the valley of the flowers, all the way to the top of this mountain, with views of the imposing mountain ranges that surround the island, and where we can also observe the movement of the world's largest ice through the «Polar Stream» medium, from the Polar Basin. Picnic lunch en route. In the afternoon, we will be able to visit the town of Tasiilaq. Also, we recommend you visit the local museum, which is one of the most important and visited in Greenland. There you will see an exhibition about the history of the east coast of the country, which includes a display of masks, sculptures, antique photographs, and so on. To visit the Potato House, reconstruction of a traditional Greenlandic house made of stone and peat, and then to go to the Citadel, a building constructed in 1894 by the first Danish missionary, Revered Rüttel and his wife. Also to see the house of the missionaries, built in 1895, that served as a church, a school and as a hospital. To visit the Trade Manager's House, a building constructed in the 20s, destroyed in the 50s, and reconstructed later. It was occupied between 1932 and 1933 by Knud Rasmussen (father of esquimology), when he came to make the film «Palos Brudefaerd». In the evening, and after dinner, we will go to the Krostuen, one of the two places in the city that are focused on the local nightlife. Accommodation and breakfast in a hostel with double or triple rooms.
Day 8: Sangmileq Fjord. After breakfast, we will leave by boat to arrive to the small Sangmileq Fjord, located to the south of the Johan Petersen Fjord and two hours of navigation from Tasiilaq. After the disembarkation, we will begin our hike in order to get closer to the spectacular Inlandsis, the second largest reserve of ice of the planet after the Antarctica. A wild place, isolated, without a human trace and devoid of life. The walk of 6 hours is not difficult, but it is the most demanding on this trip. Picnic en route. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by us. Night in tents.
Day 9: Sangmileq Fjord - Inlandsis. Once we regained the sufficient energy after breakfast, we will begin a walk to get closer to the spectacular Inlandsis, to step on that desert of ice, which in some places reaches 3,500 meters of thickness and in which the Inuit themselves do not go any further due to the absence of animals to hunt. This trekking of 6 or 7 hours is not difficult, but it will take you to a barely explored and wild terrain and that on some maps it is signaled as «unexplored». Picnic en route. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by us. Night in tents.
Day 10: Johan Petersen Fjord. After breakfast and after packing our camp and prepared the luggage, we will begin trekking to the highest point of the area (350m). From here, we will be surrounded by the 20 km of helero walls that contains the Johan Petersen Fjord; a world of ice, icebergs and glaciers, that only you can imagine when you have lived it and it is better to have done so, instead of someone else telling you about it. After that, we will descend on a path of rock to meet again with our boat and the baggage that we have left and did not needed. Then, we will sail towards the Johan Petersen Fjord, and in one of its coasts we will mount our camp. Picnic en route. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by us. Night in tents.
Day 11: Johan Petersen Fjord. Reserve Day in case of adverse weather conditions. Today we will be able to have a day of active rest. We can relax and enjoy the beautiful views that are offered to us by the Johan Petersen Fjord. For the more adventurous and tireless, we will be able to explore this area a little more. Picnic en route. Breakfast and dinner will be prepared by us. Night in tents.
Day 12: Sermilik Fjord - Kulusuk. After breakfast, we will say goodbye to this world, adorned with a cold blue color and impregnated by the silence, peace and solitude. We will get on the boat again and we will keep on our navigation through the impressive Ammassalik Fjord. We will arrive in the afternoon to the traditional town of Kulusuk. We will have free time to visit this settlement and enjoy the hospitality of its residents. Picnic lunch en route. Dinner and breakfast will be cooked by ourselves. Accommodation in a guest house with shared rooms.
Day 13: Flight Kulusuk - Reykjavik. After breakfast, we will transfer over to the airport. Return to Reykjavik (Iceland).Note: The program will vary in function regarding the weather and the sea conditions, and of the drifting of ice, the presence of animals and the decisions of the Chiefs/Inuit hunters at the time. During our boat tour, along the Sermiligaaq, Ammassalik and Sermilik Fjords, there are located 229 traditional houses of stone and peat in ruins that are spread over 94 abandoned settlements.