The Final Push to Sisimuit
The final 12km leg of our Arctic Circle Trail hike was an easy downhill walk from our campsite at a col high up the trail to the coastal town of Sisimuit.
The night before, we had been camping in very windy conditions. We spent the night re-pegging our tents and checking for weather damage. Despite the conditions, my MSR Hubba NX tent held up remarkably well and was unharmed in the morning light. We left camp early, eager to leave behind the unenjoyable campsite and head into town.
Sisimuit is the second-largest city in Greenland and the largest Arctic city on the North American continent. It is located on the coast of Davis Strait and has a population of around 5500. As we made our way to the Sisimuit Youth Hostel, we passed through ‘Sled Dog Town,’ where many huskies were barking away incessantly.
The Youth Hostel was a welcome respite from camping on the trail for the last 13 days. The venue has wifi, which is unsurprisingly painfully slow and costs about £2.50 for a 30-minute voucher code. We stayed in Sisimuit for a couple of days while we waited for our overnight ferry to Nuuk, Greenland’s capital city.
That evening, we had dinner at Hotel Sisimuit, an upmarket tourist hotspot that was very different from our hostel. Having been wearing the same set of clothes for the last week or so, I felt slightly out of place. We had burgers which were very expensive at about £50 each. Adrian tried the Musk Ox burger, but he didn’t seem particularly impressed. Nevertheless, I was just happy to be having a sit-down meal after backpacking 200 kilometres!
Our total distance travelled since arriving in Greenland now stood at 219.5km with 4702m ascent. Looking back, we realized that we could have completed the trail several days faster than we did. Our plans to detour and summit the mountain of Pingu over a couple of days would have almost certainly have been achievable. But, in the end, it wasn’t about how fast we could complete the trail, but rather the journey itself. We learned to appreciate the simple things in life, like clean water and warm shelter, and we connected with nature in a way that’s hard to replicate in our everyday lives. If you are considering hiking the ACT, I would wholeheartedly recommend it!
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