Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 31 2004 - Departure day

The big, big question was finally answered. Yes, the weather was excellent. High clouds in the south, but sunshine in the north. Cold outside. Ground is frozen solid.

We're calling in the weather situation 08:00AM. It will be interesting to see if there is any battery left on the satellite phone. Battery status is blinking empty, but Petter is able to make one call to Flugfelag Islands. We're told to expect the plane at 13:00PM. Now it's just a matter of waiting. Everybody's cheerful. A cold beer is high on my wish list.

Plane arrived just before 13:00PM. Both landing and takeoff went smooth. Everybody cheered when we were airborne, before we got busy taking the final pictures of the spectactular mountains all around. We arrived Isafjordur 13:40PM (Iceland time). The plane to Reykjavik did not depart until 18:20PM, so we killed time at the airport with Coca Cola, potato chips and chocolate.

No way I would put on the clean clothes I had in Isafjordur, before I got proper shower. I was traveling in my basecamp clothes, which smelled less worse than the clothes used on the trips. No sweater, though. Just the Gore-tex jacket. A de-tox with cold snow didn't take away the feeling of missing out on a shower the last 16 days, but at least I hoped that there would be no panic on the flight to Reykjavik. We were assigned to the seats in the back, and the only signs of panic were two young girls trying to protect their noses while laughing hysterically.

When we arrived Reykjavik, Ståle was missing one bag containing medicine and photo equipment. The bag was found in Isafjordur, and we asked them to ship the bag directly to Keflavik. In the meantime, the others were overloading a local taxi. The taxi driver just walked around the car, shaking his head. After a short trip, where we were drowning in bags, we arrived Færeyska Sjømannaheimilid Ørkin (missing some Icelandic letters in this text) and were assigned two rooms by a friendly Norwegian-speaking host. Jan-Frode and I shared one room without bathroom, while the others shared a bigger appartment.

They had a shower in the basement. Aaah, the feeling of running water. Underrated! After a splendid 10 minutes in the shower, I felt like a new person when I put on the clean clothes. Only the 16-day beard revealed that I hadn't fully prepared for a night on the town.

Putting the belt on was interesting. After tightening the belt, there was no hole where there should be one. I had no idea how much weight I had lost, but had to make a new hole in the belt, 4cm away from the previous one.

We had a great evening on the town. Lamb dinner on a local restaurant, drinks and warm cakes for dessert at cafe downtown. We finished off at a pub where I ordered "Screamer" for everyone. Margueritas with double layer of salt. Everyone had sore lips, but were too tired to remember at this hour. The salty drink made them remember. A good name for the drink :)

1. Distinct ridge near campsite (227KB) 2. Plane arrives (280KB) 3. Yes! Yes! Yes! (167KB) 4. No more PRRRR, or what Torstein? (225KB) 5. Airborne! (186KB) 6. Istind seen from the plane (217KB) 7. Lille Snefjeld seen from the plane (296KB) 8. Snefjeld seen from the plane (342KB) 9. More airplane views (401KB) 10. Gunnbjorn Fjeld seen from the plane (187KB) 11. More airplane views (209KB) 12. More airplane views (372KB) 13. Ejnar Mikkelsens Fjeld (422KB) 14. More airplane views (348KB) 15. More airplane views (351KB) 16. More airplane views (413KB) 17. More airplane views (384KB) 18. Arriving Iceland (209KB) 19. At Isafjordur airport (235KB) 20. On the way to Reykjavik (184KB)

Additional pictures by Petter, added Nov 2004

21. Dinner in Reykjavik (204KB)

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