GREENLAND’S Jumping Rocks and Socialist Medicine

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Way back on our first full day in Greenland we went for a 7K walk to the kayaking bay. It was sunny and rocky and green and sheep-friendly. Our informative, skillful and funny guide Norah led us along at what I think of as a briskly-moderate pace. Life was good…until we reached the valley of the jumping rocks. From which Celia and I emerged ever so slightly the worse for wear.

As the two of us are extremely graceful and agile individuals I’m pretty sure we didn’t just stumble into and onto the extra-hard and knife-sharp rocks of Greenland. The only conclusion we could come to regarding our extreme-adventure injuries is that Greenlandic rocks are inhabited by the spirits of brave hunters long passed who resent the intrusion of little oldish ladies onto their wild and dangerous sheep pastures. Every now and then one of those resentful rocks shoots up and bangs your head or sometimes leaps into your hand with its sharp edge finger-directed. In fact one did manage to hit, at practically concussion-velocity, Celia squarely on her forehead; another mischievously tried to slash my little finger off.

As you can see from these photos Greenland is treacherous terrain with ferocious animals abounding.

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Now comes the really scary part. I wanted more attention for my finger than Celia was getting for her head so the next morning I went to the only medical facility open in the local villages. There, a kindly Danish gentleman who was either the doctor, nurse, bookkeeper or custodian stitched up the gash and refused to let me pay! Right there you see the horrors of socialism. What would have cost me and my insurance company back in the states at least $500 was free. That is just so damn un-American. Why, in any self-respecting American medical facility, the gauze alone would have been $250 with the tape adding another $75. Okay okay I’ll stop. It’s just that it was all so civil…and affordable.

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Now, about a jeep we met. So Celia and I have some stiffnesses around and about on our well-used—but, we declare, strong and fearless bodies. After all we walked 14K, at least half of that on unreliable rocks; climbed in and out of all manner of boats; and slept on bunk beds of the hostel variety. The jeep however was one adventure too far—a jeep being a vehicle very high off the ground—an issue for stiff knees or awkward-when-tired-muscles. Let’s just say there were some fine Laurel and Hardy moments between the pulling and pushing, lifting and leaning, slipping and sliding it took to get us into that vehicle obviously designed for mountain goats. All to take a short ride to the dock where we could start the process all over again, although it’s always easier to go down than up, isn’t it? May I just say that, while we were all good sports, Celia wins the big prize for being even-tempered, brave enough to try anything, and always always maintaining a sense of humor of the highest order—actually her good attitude was just a little annoying, making it very hard for me ever to let my evil surly twin appear.

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2 Comments on “GREENLAND’S Jumping Rocks and Socialist Medicine

  1. Brave folks. l like to walk, but not hiking in the Tundra inhabited by some kind of rock throwing invisible angry Norse people. Many years ago a friend was in Paris and had to see a doctor. The visit included a prescription of some sort…total charge to an American with no insurance….$ 5.00 nasty socialism. How do you expect those medical types and pill makers to make a profit? so unamerican, really.

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  2. You would love it actually. Even the awful socialist part! I guess we swim over to the island to see Misty don’t we? That way I have a reason to go to REI for water gear.

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