INUIT EXPERIENCE: DOGSLED EXPEDITION WITH ANTHROPOLOGIST
The Ammassalimmiut of the east coast of Greenland were the last Inuit group to come into contact with the «white man», when Danish explorer Gustav Holm located them in 1884, and are the last direct descendants of the Arctic Dorset and Thule cultures.
Their relative isolation and strong links with the past have meant that their cultural and traditional means of survival have remained largely unchanged – even their dialect is archaic compared to most of Greenland’s population. We will aim to become immersed in their unique Inuit culture; learning from their expertise and witnessing their techniques at first-hand.
Whilst living with the Inuit, we will be taught their age-old methods of hunting and fishing, travel by dogsled, eat traditional food (seal, halibut, cod, etc.). We will stay in tents and hunting cabins, whilst enjoying spectacular views of fjords, glaciers and icebergs. We can expect to see seals, polar bears, polar fox and the majestic Northern Lights. Conferences concerning Inuit culture while traveling and visit local villages of hunters and fishermen to watch the traditional life of the Ammassalimmiut.
DAY 1: FLIGHT REYKJAVIK (ICELAND) – KULUSUK (GREENLAND)
Arrive at Kulusuk, and transfer to the guesthouse. Self cooked dinner. Lodgement in guesthouse, shared rooms (sleeping bag).
DAY 2: DOGSLED EXPEDITION
Meet your guides, the Ammassalimmiut hunters and their sled dogs. Preparation of kit, instructions, loading of sleds accompanied by Inuit hunters and moving toward northern direction. Along the way, we will learn to observe and understand features of the Arctic and its nature. Workshop: learn to build snow igloos. Overnight in tent or snow igloo.
DAY 3: DOGSLED EXPEDITION. ARRIVAL AT SERMILIGAAQ
Learn to drive a dog sled: theory and practice, how to make a harness and whip and use them correctly. We will explain how to build a traditional Inuit sled and you will have to learn some words in Tunumiutut (the local language) to direct the sled dogs. We’ll also look at Greenland cuisine (the traditional Inuit diet is considered one of the healthiest and most balanced in the world) and learn how indigenous foods are cooked. Arrival at Sermiligaaq: Sermiligaaq is an active and well functioning fishing and hunting settlement. Workshop: arctic safety and camp skills. Overnight in tent (optional sleep in local house, 300 DKK or € 40, per night and person).
DAY 4-5: DOGSLED EXPEDITION. GLACIERES KÂRALE AND KNUD RASMUSSEN
We leave Sermiligaaq and head for the Kârale and Knud Rasmussen glacier system. The landscape is one of the most impressive of the entire east coast of Greenland and the route will allow us to enjoy the Arctic environment (about 22km). In the afternoon we’ll look for seals on the ice and, if we are lucky. Overnight in tent.
DAY 6: DOGSLED EXPEDITION. OBSERVATION AND HUNTING TECHNIQUES IN QIANARTEQ
Dogsled to Qianarteq. Workshop: Fishing for arctic char. It may also be possible for us to track the following animals: arctic fox, ptarmigan, weasel, arctic hare, fox and even the king of the Arctic, the polar bear. Workshop: Learn how to hunt seal on the ice and ice fishing with long lines whilst following the traditional Inuit over the frozen sea. The seals have been and still are very important in the lives of the people. Overnight in tent or snow igloo.
DAY 7: DOGSELD EXPEDITION. POLYNYA OR ISKANT (ICE LIMIT).
We’ll continue scouting the area to find animals while heading south along the fiords and sea ice. Workshop: advanced techniques with the dog sled. Workshop: accompanying the hunter as he hunts seals. The seals are located near the Iskant (ice edge), where the ice is usually good. In the afternoon we will return to Kulusuk. Self cooked dinner. Overnight at guesthouse with shared rooms.
DAY 8: KULUSUK
Reserve day in case of adverse weather conditions. With so many emotions accumulated during the dog sledding expedition, after breakfast, we will have the opportunity to trek through the wonderful and impressive surroundings of Kulusuk enjoying a unique environment. There will also be the possibility (voluntary activity) to practice ski trekking or simply observe the daily life of the Inuit hunters and fishermen of this traditional town. Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by ourselves. Overnight at guesthouse with shared rooms.
DAY 9: KULUSUK
After breakfast, we will take a walk around the town of Kulusuk, whose inhabitants still live by traditional hunting and fishing. We will visit the local school, museum and church. We will end our visit in the cemetery to observe the eponomic ritual and also the religious syncretism, between shamanism, animism and Christianity, to which the Inuit have come. We will also hold a workshop: we will practice traditional games of the Inuit and we will learn the Tordlut , formerly what the Inuit used to resolve conflicts within the community. Optionally it’s possible to see an exhibition of the traditional drum dance (paying a separate supplement) and we will also have the option to meet local artists who make the famous tupilaqs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by ourselves. Overnight at guesthouse with shared rooms.
DAY 10: FLIGHT KULUSUK-REYKJAVIK
After breakfast, transfer to airport. Return to Reykjavik (Iceland).
- Flights from Reykjavik – Kulusuk and Kulusuk – Reykjavik
- Transfer luggage on snowmobile airport – Kulusuk and Kulusuk – airport
- Accommodation in guesthouse (shared rooms)
- Accommodation in camps or hunting cabins
- Full board in Greenland
- 1 specialist guide – an anthropologist specializing in Inuit culture
- Activities according to program
- Workshops as per program
- Local hunters and dogsled
- Arctic safety / security equipment
- Telephone SAT, Spot
- Permits and tickets
- Tents, cooking equipment, first aid kit
- Flights to / from Iceland
- Airport taxes (€ 140)
- Personal expenses such as drinks, tickets, phone calls, etc.
- Travel insurance
- Excess baggage
- Individual clothing / equipment, sleeping mat, backpack, cold-weather clothes, etc (contact us for advice)
- Any service in Iceland
- Satellite phone calls (€ 2 per minute)
- Anything not specified in the “INCLUDED” section.
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