After 4 days in Grise Fiord, Maurice managed to get documentation to dock the ship in Qaanaaq, Greenland. Jessica and I wanted to continue our individual trips around Greenland; we checked our passports with the Canadian Immigration Authorities before going on the boat. 

The trip was shorter than expected. I couldn’t believe that Greenland was so close. However, it was scary as the conditions outside were super severe, and the currents didn’t help us a lot. Maurice was about to turn the boat back a couple of times.

Jessica has to leave her bike in Grise Fiord as it didn’t make any sense for her to bring her to Greenland. From Qaanaaq, it is impossible to get to another city by land. So Jessica kind of performed a goodbye ritual and gave the bike away to a 12-old kid who promised that he would use it to go to The Andes when he was an adult. 


Jessica cried and smiled. I was marvelled watching her.


I was super excited being in Greenland. Everything was so similar to Nunavut, but at the same time so different. People there spoke a variation of the Inuit that was even harder for Amaruq to understand. Most of the people didn’t speak English, some of them tried to talk to us in Danish. Thank god we had Amaruq because not even Google Translate was working there.

The town was similar to Grise Fiord but with a larger minimarket and a different currency, the Danish krona. Jessica and I were rushed to take a flight to Kangerlussuaq the following day because the weather “would be fine.”

The rest of the crew stayed only a few hours in Greenland. It was terrific to see Charlie, the toddler, amidst this fabulous adventure. I think he will never forget, and I will never forget his smile. 

I thanked Martin a lot for introducing me to his friends, and we added each other on Facebook. I hope we will meet sometime. But in my experience, the travellers’ life is like this. You meet fantastic people, but you cannot bring them with you, so you have to enjoy them at the very time you are with them. 

At Kangerlussuaq, we hiked, saw the Russell Glacier, and kayaked on Lake Ferguson. We spent the nights together. They were three ridiculous days, and if they had been longer, I would have fallen in love with Jessica.

Thank god she decided to stay fat biking along the Arctic Circle; meanwhile, I took the first flight to Nuuk.

This was one of the first few times I wished to stay with a person. I think I was so proud of not being the guy who started another biking expedition with her. I am not. I am Benjamin Gunst, an independent traveller, graphic artist and writer. Maybe I should plan a trip to the Bahamas next year.

Well, I haven’t talked a lot about the crew members; everyone has fantastic stories. Most of them are fearless travellers that aren’t scared to bring a baby (that is so mature, though) to the trip.

Jessica arrive from The Bahamas Biking

There is one girl that I believe is fantastic, Jessica. She is from The Bahamas (I was also surprised when I discovered it) and she’s travelled here biking.

Jessica started her trip from Nassau two years ago. She was stuck in a Digital Marketing job that she hated. By the time her ex-boyfriend asked her to go on a trip together biking around the US.


She said “yes.” 


They took the ferry to Fort Lauderdale and started biking around the east coast, heading north. One of Jessica’s dreams was visiting Cinderella Castle in Disney, so they detoured and stayed a few days in Orlando. The guy proposed to Jessica in from of the Castle, and she cried in front of everyone. It was her happier day in life so far.

After Orlando, they continued to Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, Charlotte and then Durham and Raleigh. 

Jessica’s best friend lived in Durham while doing a master’s degree in Duke University and her ex-fiancĂ©’s “political uncle” in Raleigh. So they decided to split for a couple of weeks to visit their loved ones. Jessica thought it was kind of weird he chose to go solo for a while as he was overprotecting her the whole trip. In addition to that, he never mentioned that uncle in The Bahamas frequently. Maybe a couple of times, but she didn’t think he was too relevant to spend two weeks separated. 


Long story short, there wasn’t any uncle in Raleigh, and he was just staying in a hotel where Jessica’s former best friend sneaked to spend the night (and the weekend) with him. When Jessica found out, she was heartbroken and put all her anger into the bike’s pedals, and she biked for hours. When she noticed, she was in the middle of nowhere in Virginia. She spent the night in a cheap B&B and the next day was in DC.


She arrived there shocked. She locked herself in a hotel for a week “only to cry.” She had lost all of her strength biking to DC alone and didn’t have more energy to even take a cab to the airport and flight back home. She ordered room services the whole week. Her enlightenment came after the third day of crying. She determined to take therapy online and received enough energy after a couple of sessions to forgive herself for being in love with such a wicked guy and continue the trip by herself. 

Later on, she crossed the Niagara Falls border a few days before the first lockdown and the beginning of the Pandemic. She has been in Canada ever since. How? She has a Canadian passport since her mother was born in Montreal but never lived here or visited before. This trip has let her discover herself in the north. That is why she biked for such a long time, and now she doesn’t want to stop. There are more compelling details in this story, but I am not in position to reveal them.

I can say that I am happy, and I also can say that this trip has been fantastic. But still, I am disappointed. It took us several days to go up to the Kennedy Channel while all of us had the illusion to reach Alert, the northernmost settlement in the world. But the universe didn’t want us to get to Alert. 

Temperatures here as so extreme that we have to be very careful while navigating. The boat sometimes has to go slow because the ice can broke the machine, and sometimes we have to go fast for the opposite reason. The sad part of the story is that we were only 50 away from Alert and couldn’t make it.

What else could we do there? We were a bunch of strangers in the middle of the North Pole. So Sebastian (the husband) suggested going back, Elsa (how convenient name), the wife, told to go to Grise Fiord for provisions, and Jessica that was really mad at destiny, asked if she could take a flight from the Grise Fiord airport to Nuuk, Greenland.

Maurice (the father) spat his coffee when she said this.

Hans Island is located between Greeenland and Nunavut

-I think the easier way to go to Greenland is if I took you there, child. There haven’t been any flights between Canada and Greenland in years.

-Why if we go to Greenland? -I said adventurously.


Everyone looked at each other as my idea wasn’t crazy enough and then looked at Maurice. He was also sad as he wanted to reach Alert with his “brave” grandson. Maurice said: 


-If everyone agrees with me, I won’t take you to Greenland once, but two times. We are just a few kilometres away from Hans Island, and if there is no border patrol around, we even can put our feet and my brave grandson on that Canadian island.

I later learned why he said “Canadian” with emphasis. Hans Island is just at the line border between the two countries, and it has been disputed between Denmark and Canada for decades.


That is how is put my feet on Hans Island


There was still sunlight when we arrived there, and we could admire the disputed rock located in the middle of nothing. Anyhow was amazing to be with the probably youngest man in history that has stepped a foot on the disputed island.

We were only 15 minutes as Maurice was afraid of the authorities could revoke his tourist license to be there without permission.

After that, we went a bit South on the big Ellesmere Island to rest and recharge provisions on Grise Fiord. Maurice will discuss with the border patrol permission to cross to Greenland. Jessica and I took advantage of going alongside Amaruq (the tourist guide of the Inuit race) to some historical places and learning a lot about the Inuit culture.

My original idea was simply to visit the Qausuittuq National Park, but things changed, and now I am exploring the North Pole with the craziest party.


I took a flight (with a bunch of layovers) from Ottawa to Resolute with the idea of finding a soul to guide me to the Qausuittuq National Park. I wanted to do this old-school style, so I didn’t make any bookings. My mom thought I was crazy, but I always am. So she is used to this.


I think I was lucky because I met Martin on the last plane (it was impossible to not talk with the other passenger. The aircraft was so small and we got delay). Martin was planning to meet his friends there, and he was going to the South Camp Inn, and I decided to follow.


Warming up the Engines on Darcy King\'s Landa Aviation King Air in Arctic Bay.

Leaving the aircraft was difficult as the weather was freaking cold, even it was still summer. We took a shuttle Martin had booked in advance and headed to the hotel. 


I think I had survived without Martin. I mean, it wasn’t difficult. You just talk with people in the airport, and they will help you anyways (I don’t want to demerit Martin’s help), but there are less than 200 people in this frozen town. In less than one hour, its whole population would know I was stuck there, and I would have found any Canadian-friendly soul.


I met Martin’s friends the day after. We had lunch in the only restaurant town, while I got interviewed as if I was applying for a position in Google. They were eight in total, including Martin, 4 girls, 3 guys and one toddler.


-Benjamin -said one of the guys- would you like to continue travelling north? 

-Well, as I mentioned before, I came here because I wanted to visit the Qausuittuq National Park, but of course! I am open to anything. Anyhow, how north do you think we can travel? I believe this is the last inhabited town in the country.


-I mean really-really north, Benjamin. Are you sure?

-More than sure! Travelling with pals is the best!

-Would you be willing to drop your shitty Qausuittuq trip to explore the unknown north instead?

-I like adventures and I have a camera, and why not? (I was a bit disappointed with the “shitty” as an adjective, but later I understood).

-Ok, we are heading tomorrow to Alert. It might take us several days to get there. Be prepared. Martin will explain everything. We need you.


Traveling to Alert, Nunavut (Freaking North Pole)


My ears couldn’t believe what I just heard. I was going to embark on an expedition to Alert, Nunavut, out of the blue! I bet half of you don’t believe what you are reading right now.


One of the girls that I was still getting to know that night had a boat. A boat for touristic expeditions. The thing is that the company already had everything in order to launch their annual trips during the summer. After the vaccination race that happened worldwide, they believe that more tourists will come to Resolute and profit from the trips. But they were wrong; only one girl from the Bahamas signed in. They already had invested a lot. So the girl invited a couple of friends alongside Martin, the tourist guide, the father who was the captain, her husband and child, the Bahamian girl and I were the crew.


They need me because the boat owner was kind of macho, and he needed more guys in the free trip, just in case anything happened. I bet his daughter can go to Alert and back with the baby alone without any problem.


So here I am, travelling to Alert with a bunch of strangers. Would you do the same? I think it would be the best trip of my whole life.