Monday, June 2, 2014

Exploring Greenland’s Forbidden East Coast – James Dziezynski

Exploring Greenland’s Forbidden East Coast – James Dziezynski

Rating - ****

The beautiful, vast wilderness of Eastern Greenland remains almost untouched due to its harsh climate and unpredictable ocean conditions. James Dziezynski takes an adventure to see what it’s like in one of the most remote places on earth.
            His adventure starts in a kayak in the Arctic Ocean. Paddling through a maze of glaciers, he’s there at the right time to see a massive chunk of one fall off. The resulting wave is about 30ft high and almost flips him into the icy water. This is a normal occurrence at this time of year though; in 2010 a chunk larger than the entire city of Boston fell into the sea. The constant movement of glaciers means it’s very difficult to get goods supplied to the island. The largest town is Tasiilaq, with a population of 2000 people. Most are natives and are some of the best hunters and fishermen out there. The town is still mostly old fashioned but elements of the 21st century have seeped in. Internet is available at the local library, a grocery store stocks all common food items. Adventuring farther out, James finds an old abandoned US WW2 military base. Everything is as it was 60 years ago, albeit with more rust. He concludes that Eastern Greenland will remain a beautiful place out of reach and will rely heavily on tourism for its prosperity.
           This article serves as a good reminder to me of what’s still out there. It seems like in this day and age everything is moving at insane speeds towards the future. We have cars that drive themselves, we can buy groceries from our computer, and we have a way of reaching the internet at all times in our pocket. Places like Eastern Greenland are becoming more and more scarce as technology brings everyone closer. I had a small glimpse of a place like Greenland when I went camping in the Yukon. There too it was untouched wilderness, and the people that did live there worked with nature instead of destroying it to have their own way. Although I think I’ve gotten too used to the modern lifestyle to have it taken away, it’s definitely interesting to have a look into another world, and maybe even travel there someday.

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