Pioneer of the Month: Heljä's Pioneering Kayak Adventure!

Photo: Heljä Lumme

Welcome to our “Pioneer of the Month” series! Every month we will feature individuals that were inspired to take the road less traveled and ventured to Greenland with us to discover the powerful nature, colorful culture and pure beauty of this country in the arctic. Just like the first explorers from centuries past, our “pioneers” experience Greenland as an adventure of a lifetime on pristine and untouched landscapes.

This month, we tell the story of the Heljä, a globetrotter from Finland who literally pioneered a new kayaking tour with our expert guides in East Greenland, and she’ll be back with her fiancée whom she met on just such an adventure! This is her story from Greenland. 

 

What motivated you to visit Greenland?

I'm a dentist, and I have a colleague who has been working in Greenland as a dentist. He gave a presentation about Greenland and I got a lightbulb that said “yes, I want to go there!”. He showed us some wonderful photos, he has been there three times working now.  The same year, I bought my own kayak so I thought I would take a “simple” trip somewhere!

How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?

It was just Ella, Rob and I. They were designing the trip and they took me along! So this was the first trip! 

I was away for a week.

Photo: Heljä Lumme

Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?

First, I asked Rob if he had done any trips there. He said he had not organised a Finnish team, but he said that we could join him. I had plans to go there alone, just me, but then Rob said they were going to have this trip so I could join that trip!

What is your favourite thing about Kayaking?

You are just so close to nature. It's so quiet and it's amazing. It's the closeness. It’s also the smallness of being next to these giant icebergs. I have been kayaking now a lot in Finland but this was something else, this was so amazing . The sea is so different, the ice, the big mountains and everything was just wonderful. Everything is just so huge, the space is huge. We saw some people in the village, but otherwise it was just the 3 of us. 

Photo: Heljä Lumme

What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?

The whole scene, that is was so huge! It’s difficult to articulate. You just just feel so small in this giant landscape. I have travelled a lot, all over the world, but  this was something so different. And I only saw a little, little piece of it. I would really like to go back there. 

Just before I was in Greenland, I was in France for caving, and I met a man there, and now we are getting married next summer! So he is also interested in going to Greenland together. I promised we would go back!

Photo: Heljä Lumme

If you had more time in Greenland, what else would you like to see and do?

I can't wait to come back to Greenland and go dog sledding. We (my fiancée and I) must come back for that!

Photo: Heljä Lumme

What tips do you have for people that want to visit Greenland?

If you have an opportunity, just go! If you go in summer, be prepared for mosquitoes! Take a head net because they bite! When you are kayaking they are not there, but as soon as you get onto the land they swarm over you!

Photo: Heljä Lumme

What adventure are you off to next? 

We are going to India! There is a caving expedition close to Bangladesh, and we are trying to find new caves, and map them! Underground, there are a lot of new places to check out! Last November, I was in Mexico for cave diving, so that is also  on my list. My future husband likes caving too so we will be caving together!

Have you been to Greenland with us and would like to be featured as a “Pioneer of the Month?” Feel free to email us at joseph@mountainguides.is or call +354-522-4934.

Start planning your unforgettable winter adventure in Greenland by browsing our tours here.

 


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