Winter Arctic symphony in Greenland : flavours of paradise
Episode 7 /8
Today is the big day. I packed my stuff for my new destination : Oqaatsut. Breakfast is the last meal shared with my friends. “Bye bye Julia, Gabriel, Marie-Louise and Søren. It has been a real pleasure meeting you. Enjoy your trip, keep having fun !” There is no sadness, we are in Greenland, everyday is a beautiful day !
I jump into the captain’s car and we drive to the harbour. He lifts my suitcase and puts it in his big boat grimacing in pain. I laugh. “I am going to kill you before we sail !! He laughs back. The sky is so blue…. I take a look inside but go on the snowy deck to get the famous freezing air. Let’s sail captain ! Oqaatsut, we are coming !! The boat starts to move….Ole says “hi”, he is in his speed boat and goes before us.
The cruise is amazing. Fishermen boats and icebergs are on our way. We approach the small and quaint village.
No harbour, just a wide ice sheet. The big boat hits it several time before getting over it. The Captain brings a ladder so we can touch the snowy ground. Here I am, in Oqaatsut.
Many little coloured houses, not a sound. Peaceful place.
Ole greets me to Nordlys Hotel. “In 30 minutes, Taqi will be here for your dogsled tour “. I am the only foreigner on that winter day. Wow ! I feel honoured to be here, to get to see this heavenly place I was dreaming of…. I can see Taqi through the window of the hotel living room. He is gathering the dogs, they howl ready to run !! I don’t know it yet but Taqi is about to offer me the best experience of my life ! With Ole, we walk out and get closer to him. I shake his hand and smile. The mayor recommends me to say to the local hunter if I get too cold, in this case I will have to run a little bit to get warmer. “Ok, no problem.” I say goodbye to Ole and sit on the sled. My hands clinging on the middle rope. Dogs are now running, Taqi is running by my side. I am alone in the sled. The dogs are going faster, Taqi keeps running. I look at him and wait for the magical moment when he will suddenly fling himself on the sled. Woooooooooow !
Taqi is with me now, sitting in front of me. I see his back, his face is turned towards the dogs and the AMAZING LANDSCAPES !!! Mountains covered by snow, and that intense feeling of vastness…. Space, space and space again…. No one around…. Not a single sound but the breathing of the dogs…. Nothing is an obstacle for the sled. We overcome everything, EVERYTHING ! See the big rock there ? Now we are flying over it ! Unbelievable ! The type of ground is very diverse: frozen fjord with soft powder or more compact one, rugged rocky mountain, icy lake…. I am literally astonished. The speed is exciting and my heart is smiling all the way through. I feel so lucky to be here with this local hunter. My eyes would have seen that heartbreaking beauty, it’s such a wonderful gift ! It’s more than a simple excursion. In Taqi’s technique there are so many stories, so many centuries…. The whole story of Greenland is passing through my eyes, my veins…. My heart beats the Greenlandic rythm. The wind slaps my face, the cold hurts my eyes but I have never been happier in my life ! I study Taqi’s way of driving the sled. He has no whip, he whispers words to his dogs. His voice is warm and reassuring. When the order is not followed, he repeats it firmly with the same warm voice and dogs follow the directions. There is harmony between them. Dogsled is very physically demanding. Sometimes Taqi gets off the sled, pushes the sled to help the dogs, runs with them. When I write “run” I mean at high speed, Taqi is as good at race as his dogs. I am impressed !
I scrutinize him…. When the sled takes a downhill, dogs are still very fast but we have to slow down not to crash, Taqi uses his feet as a natural brake. His feet bump into rocks, slide on ice but are very efficient. I would like to capture that magical moment but I can’t, I have to let it go and let the wild nature take it back. Nothing is mine here, but generosity is everywhere. One can catch lots of beautiful moments when travelling but as a fish they will flipp through ones fingers… Nothing lasts, that is why maybe I want to tell you about my journey, to keep these days a little bit longer with me. But I can’t… They are yours now. Fishes can jump, just like stories : from one head to another one.
Author : Food is a story