Narsaq, icebergs and a glacier camp


There are not many populations, and less to a certain extent, of the Greenlandic territory. Narsaq is the city with the most inhabitants of southern Greenland and barely has 1500 people. Of course, located in a beautiful plain, its surroundings are a conglomerate of marine life, including whales or seals. Although the best moment of the day has been the arrival at the impressive Qaleraliq camp called "Fletanes", where I have fallen silent at the foot of an immense glacier and with the rumble of icebergs falling into the water

I am in a natural spectacle without limits where any adjective falls short and any planning sounds absurd, although in this isolated place we will stay the next nights and try to convey its beauty

Crossing the Tunulliarfik Fjord, onion operation

Just breakfast and with the 70l backpack ready and a handbag of around 20l with cameras and other technology, which has given me "Paula" special for the occasion (which I love, I'll tell you about it in some review), we have climbed to the semi-rigid that will take us deep into the fjord in which we are (here yes, do not skimp on shelter since it is necessary -the fat anorak and the lifeguard give them there in each navigation, they should not be taken-)

I can not help my head back in time with certain moments of the adventure. I remember my first love discovery of the "onion operation" that became a ritual in my first polar experience and that described that day we disembarked in "Cuverville Island and Orne Harbor in Antarctica".

In Greenland maybe everything is easier, because although the first layer (socks, mesh and thermal shirt) and following layers (fat socks, shirts and sweatshirts, anorak) nobody takes away from us, not needing water boots, leggings Neither snow pants makes us look more "natural" when walking and nobody looks at us strangely.

RECOMMENDATION: From today we will be almost 3 full days without electricity To charge batteries. Those more photographers or who have other energy needs, should consider carrying replacement batteries for these days. If you do not want to carry all your luggage for these days, in the hostel they will provide you with a backpack so that you can get what you need and the rest you can leave in a small warehouse waiting for your return

The route we will take today will be something similar to the following:

He Tunulliarfik fjord (in times of Scandinavian colony known asEiriksfjord) is the estuary of a river that flows from the glacial lake inside these lands in search of ice domains. A glacial valley flooded by the sea millions of years ago, which is sometimes almost inaccessible, surrounded by mountains that are lost on the horizon before our eyes. Do you remember our visit to Norwegian Fjords? The essence is basically the same

To cross its waters in this first hour of journey from Qassiarsuk to Narsaq, to ​​caress its throats, to feel that sensation of pure isolation… it is something difficult to transmit with words. It is the most unaltered and unadulterated magic that can exist in the world

Shortly after leaving we observe the fjord to which it is attached from the northeast, its tributary the Qooroq fjord, and a little further south the samemo of a peninsula where Igaliku is located, both reserved for future days but we already begin to intuit that they are going to leave us beautiful icebergs in the next few days. Our first goal is below, in Narsaq Peninsula, a large arable lowland where one of the most important settlements has grown

Narsaq, the city of the plain

Narsaq is a small town embedded between large valleys whose name in Greenlandic "Kalaallisut" means "plain", which says a lot about what we are going to find.

As soon as we disembark, we observe that mosquitoes return to our lives although it can be passed without a mosquito net, we also see the second Tourism Office (The first tourist office was next to the airport on our arrival) where to have a coffee (DKK 20), buy some souvenirs or throw some postcards (DKK 30), get some maps and even charge batteries (since in the camp there we can do it). Here you can also book boat trips from cities but at this time of travel and also seen prices, I think they are definitely not a viable option to optimize visits because they are rigid, inflexible and slow compared to the semi-rigid boat (although this be something cooler and have to go warm)

They are currently around 1,500-1,700 people who live here seasonally and, it seems, is a settlement that was already inhabited for thousands of years, but not continuously.

Close to it is the Fish market, another essential to understand the life of a Greenlandic, although today it is closed so we will look for that life at fishing port.

Saving distances, Narsaq reminds me a lot of that orderly disorder that was Longyearbyen in Svalbard, perhaps more because of the colors of the houses and the landscape that it leaves at this time of year, not because of their typology.

In Greenland almost everyone has a boat for their self-supply (salmon, cod, halibut ... ) and it is not surprising to see even a seal or whale in this small fish market because we are at one of the points where more marine life congregates from the south of the territory

Some fur stores, a hunter's market and the backdrop of mountains coveted by the best geologists in the world for their extraordinary minerals, are some of Narsaq's claims.

Narsaq has never really been an especially tourist place, initially dedicated to seal hunting and gradually transforming into a fishing village as early as 1914 and even entering one of its supermarkets we realize that important brands have already reached isolation.

Miriam has taken the opportunity to come with us on the boat, since the medical Center most important is here too, just like some church and a heliport of communication with the main cities of this area, including the capital Nuuk

Going now to the north side of Narsaq, and before climbing, we observe a small school for the smallest "Inuit". Of course, if I had to live in Greenland, this place could be one of the chosen ones, although Ramón Larramendi should be asked how his winters are

The last visit that our guides Daniel and Eva have accompanied us has been to a local craft workshop, Only opportunity of the whole trip (except the tourist office near the Airport and some details in the Leif) where to take some souvenirs. I personally loved seeing how the antler, bone or ivory carvings are made.

Although among masks, drums, amulets, decorative candles and necklaces, the one that has caught my attention is the Tupilak, a type of mythological creature of the Inuit culture represented in the form of a monster very common in the ancient practice of witchcraft or shamanism. They really represent an essential collector's item for any traveler, made of narwhal fang, wood and / or caribou antlers, and that as this story is published, it is surely part of my collection of private memories (in addition to some things for me " Pauli "-total 100 EUR after haggling- and can be paid in DKK or EUR but not by credit card)

After a small picnic near the new hostel that has Tierras Polares in this town (I'm still amazed at the incredible logistics of the agency) we have been at 17'00 at the jetty to return to the semi-rigid and complete the last part of the day's route.

With this free time, together with Jose Carlos, we have approached the supermarket, to the famous Artic Blue bar (which opens after 18'00), we have met some unmistakable Inuits (drunkard, a nice little girl) and we kicked the town from top to bottom ...

... until we have decided to take some coffees at the Narsaq Hotel which is at the top and catch some WIFI after several days (74 DKK). It goes without saying that in 30 minutes the phones are almost blocked and I begin to seriously think that one of the great added values ​​that Greenland has as a destination is that "mandatory" disconnection that "rejuvenates".

We have left for the end, due to its location next to the A34 port, theNarsaq Museum Fully dedicated to Inuit culture. I'm still fascinated by everything I read and now I see in the museum. I find it a fascinating and surprising town from old photographs to its way of hunting in the fjords decades ago. Obviously everything has changed already, but surely in the next few days I have a lot to tell you

Time to leave? With punctuality "Greenlandic" (we must recognize that everything is being millimetric) we set course for our final goal of the day, a very particular camp

Qaleraliq, the Glacier Camp

If you read Greenland guides, you can see clearly that there are no settlements in the lower course of the Tunulliarfik fjord.THE SERIES "TRAVEL TO GREENLAND" NOW IN YOUTUBEA trip like this deserved the best AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCE in ourYoutube channel. You can see here the COMPLETE SERIES and then the chapter of this day without leaving the article you are reading (the best way to "feel" what it is to navigate this adventure) ...

It is the moment when navigation becomes more complicated, with a fjord full of icebergs and important background rumblings.

The group begins to be aware of the place where we enter and to know why I have chosen Polar Lands among the options valued

We disembarked almost open-mouthed by the place where we are going to base the next nights, a camp (Fletanes) in front of three languages ​​of a glacier in the Qaleraliq fjord, prolongation of the inlandis (Greenland's infinite ice)

Without a doubt, located on a beach of fine white sand, I dare to say that I am in one of the most spectacular landscapes I've ever slept in my life

Above, protected from detachments in the form of floating icebergs in the fjord of the glacier (serac) and that will be the background music that we have in the form of impressive rumbling only heard before in the Antarctica, there is a lunatic valley where we will shelter in a dome-type tents that form the camp that they mount and disassemble each year and that Jorge manages. Exclusive. Only. Magical

And what makes us Spaniards unique? That we are capable of moving air, earth and fire, in order to enjoy !a beer! Thus we have achieved, almost for the first time in the camp, that in one of the transports a box of 20 beers approach us. He has to climb them, look for 2000-year-old ice from a nearby stranded iceberg, also raise it and cool them ...

Although we will talk more about the camp, say that the "social" life is mainly carried out in the dome-dining room.

Here every sunset around 20'00 or 20'30 Jorge (which we will also talk about these days ...! A crack!) Serves a "perolo" of food. Today he has played chickpeas, but usually combines with other days of pasta or rice. At the end of the day we are many to cook and Jorge is dedicated to managing everything, unlike Rafa in the Leif.

It is also a good time to collect photos, chat about the day or what awaits us tomorrow and even have those laughs that with Ida, Antonio and Jose Carlos fall every day (and almost every hour)

But Fletanes, as I said before, is magical. Fortunately I have been in many wild and authentic corners of the world where man has been able to put little hand and Qaleraliq would undoubtedly be in an imaginary top ten.

Sitting there, while the group is already resting waiting for a new day, a beautiful sunset I say goodbye while I think how lucky I am. A glacier, three languages, a "lunar" base and pure nature await a night that does not arrive at this time of the year, but which is capable of leaving beautiful colors on the horizon

We will be here two nights and, if the weather permits (and it seems that it will continue to behave) we will try climb one of the glacial languages ​​as well as try to climb to one of the nearby peaks in search of the best viewpoint to the infinite desert of the inlandis. We'll be able? I'll keep telling you ...

Isaac, from Qaleraliq (Greenland)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 124 DKK (approx. 16.26 EUR) and GIFTS: 100 EUR)