Because Greenland is the largest island in the world, it makes sense that many people’s travels there are boat-based, as mine were four years ago. There is little infrastructure: roads are rare, and places to stay are few.
Being able to sleep and stay, at least for a while, near the Greenland ice cap sends shivers—metaphorically and, perhaps, at night sometimes physically—down my spine. The Greenland ice sheet, second in size only to Antarctica’s, stretches more than 1,500 miles from north to south, is nearly two miles deep at its thickest point and covers 80 percent of the island.
I am fascinated with ice because I think it is an endangered species; and here, in the pristine wilderness in East Greenland, I got to know it again. When I woke up in the morning, there were icebergs just outside my tent-cabin’s window. In some afternoons, I was able to kayak among them and peer into the crystalline waters to try to see them from the base up. In other afternoons, I could hike to a high point on the tundra and look down at them from a raven’s-eye view.
There were other advantages to staying on land. I got to experience the refreshing chills of a Greenland summer night; the intense quiet of early mornings, broken only by the sounds of slowly rolling icebergs in the fjord; and the warm heat that enters your body when you stretch out on bedrock warmed by the afternoon sun.
Roads and trails, hotels and restaurants, are still few in Greenland, I’m happy to say. In many ways, I think of Greenland as a young world, still trying to figure itself out. In many ways, I see it as a land we humans have yet to muck up.
Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,
A multiple award-winning author and writer specializing in nature-travel topics and environmental issues, Candice has traveled around the world, from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and from New Zealand to Scotland's far northern, remote regions. Her assignments have been equally diverse, from covering Alaska’s Yukon Quest dogsled race to writing a history of the Galapagos Islands to describing and photographing the national snow-sculpting competition in her home state of Wisconsin.In addition to being a five-time book author, Candice's work has also appeared in several national and international publications, such as "The Huffington Post" and "Outside Magazine Online." To read her web columns and see samples of her nature photography, visit her website at www.candiceandrews.com and like her Nature Traveler Facebook page at www.facebook.com/naturetraveler.
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