“We are losing our roads and soon will have nowhere to go…”

Published on 07.05.2009 - Hubert at the Humboldt

With the arrival of The Spaniards from Tierras Polares, the trek of Larry Hunt and Alain Hubert comes to an end. They will be flying back to Qaanaaq together and, in a few days, they will be home.

From Larry Hunt's blog:

Facts and figures:

  • There are 56 000 people living in Greenland, the same amount than in my home town of Greenwich, Connecticut. The difference being that none of the people living in Greenland work on Wall Street or for a hedge fund.
  • I walked (about) 65 000 steps/day, totalling 1 million steps over the whole trip, pulling my sled. Alain has longer strides and therefore only totalled about 850 000 steps (see the kind of stupid things we talk about when we have too much time to think).
  • There are 40 words in the Inuit language for snow, I guess we compensate by having more flower names.
  • Greenland is twice the size of France and must import its cheese and wine.
  • It was called "Greenland" by a Viking, Erik the Red, to entice potential settlers form Iceland to move there.
  • Owning 5 dogs at home, I thought I had a lot of animals. But the average family in Qaanaaq has 18 dogs (human population is 600, dog population 2,500).
  • Last week-end, the temperature difference between my home town and here was over 100 degrees F, or about 35°.
  • In Inuit language, the word for "year" is the same as for "winter".

Days 15 and 16:

The 4 Inuit hunters will take us to hunt seals and track polar bears. Their sleds can be turned into tents, allowing them to go hunting for weeks. Unfortunately, they tell us that none of their children come with them to learn the skills because there is not much hope for work in the future. They tell us: "Our roads are the seas". This is where they travel and hunt with their dogsleds. Since the sea ice is disappearing more and more every year, "We are losing our roads and soon will have nowhere to go..."

We reach the end of our trip, our equipment has performed beautifully, the strict diet was incredibly energizing and the human machines behaved naturaly - thanks to regular injections of yoga energy oil administered by Heather and Toni. We get picked up by a Twin Otter, the 12 seater plane which dominates the Arctic and which is chartered from Iqualuit, Canada. It will take 4 days to get home.

The arrival of the spanish team, totalling 9 people and 52 dogs, put an end to our isolation and moved our mind into "home" mode.
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