Today is the big day and after some days in Ilulissat, I’m ready for my next destination: Oqaatsut. Together with the Captain, we drive to the harbour.

He lifts my heavy 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.

I’m ready for my next destination: Oqaatsut.

I go on the snowy deck to breathe in the famous freezing air.

The journey to Oqaatsut

The sky is so blue! I take a look inside but go on the snowy deck to breathe in the famous freezing air. Let’s sail, Captain! Oqaatsut, we are coming!!

The boat starts to move and we pass by fishing boats and icebergs along our way and after some time approach the small and quaint village. There is no harbour, just a wide ice sheet to greet us. The big boat hits the ice several times before getting over it.

The Captain brings a ladder so we can touch the snowy ground.

The only foreigner

Here I am in Oqaatsut. There are many little coloured houses, and not a sound to be heard. What a peaceful place. I am the only foreigner on this wintery day. Wow! I feel honoured to be here, to get to see this heavenly place I have long been dreaming of....

I can see a man gathering his dogs through the window of the hotel living room. They howl in their readiness to run. I don’t know it yet, but I am soon to meet Taqi, a local hunter who is about to offer me the best experience of my life!

I’m prepared for the journey and am told that if I get too cold, I will have to get off the sled and run a little bit to get warmer. I sit on the sled, hands clinging on the middle rope.

I am the only foreigner on this wintery day. Wow! I feel honoured to be here, to get to see this heavenly place I have long been dreaming of....

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....

Dog sledding from Oqaatsut

The dogs are now running, and Taqi is keeping up by my side. I am alone on the sled. The dogs are going faster, and Taqi keeps running. I look at him and wait for the magical moment when he will suddenly fling himself onto 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 fly 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.

Experiencing life through dog sledding

It’s more than a simple excursion. In Taqi’s technique there are so many stories, and so many centuries of knowledge put into practice. The whole story of Greenland is passing through my eyes and my veins.

My heart beats to the Greenlandic rhythm. 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.

Driving a 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 racing as his dogs. I am impressed!

My heart beats to the Greenlandic rhythm. The wind slaps my face, the cold hurts my eyes but I have never been happier in my life!

Letting go

I would like to capture more of this 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 nothing ever lasts. That is maybe why I want to tell you about my journey, to keep these days a little bit longer with me. These stories are also yours now.

Emilie’s trip was organised by Arctic Friend.