Eqi glacier, somewhere on the west coast of Greenland

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August 13th 2012
Published: August 19th 2012
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An unexpected surprise today. Originally we had a nine hour boat trip planned to Eqi glacier. A different glacier 100km or so north of Ilulissat. The front of the glacier in Ilulissat is invisible on account of all the icebergs in front of it. Eqi calves into an open bay so the face of the glacier is visible.

Unfortunately the boat had broken down the previous day, stranding that day’s passengers so nine hours of boat ride were avoided and swapped with a Sikorsky helicopter ride to the same glacier. The inside of the helicopter was like an airplane and except for the noise it was remarkably smooth and steady.

Eqi is truly remote. (There are no roads between towns in Greenland.) This trip wasn’t on the tourist menu (but it should be). 25 minute flight up over the coastal scenery – ice bergs, isolated coloured homes/summer houses. Amazing craggy mountain scenery. We land at Eqi where there is a little glacier retreat that people can have an outdoorsy experience at for a few days. Basic catering but the scenery makes up for the lack of facilities. The helicopter landed and we had a wine in front of the glacier. Because of the lack of boat we didn’t get close to the ice but the scenery from across the bay was dramatic. Upon return, the pilot took us up and over the front of the glacier and gave us a bird’s eye view. No calving events but a fantastic, unexpected highlight.

Upon return to Ilulissat we were free to wander. It is a dusty little town but quite endearing. The shops are modest – plenty of souvenir shops and local art and craft shops. A couple of reasonably well-stocked supermarkets, three or four sports shops selling every brand you care to name. But not a huge amount to keep us busy.

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