August 25, 2015
Hello Fellow Rider,
Over the years, I have been fortunate to travel the world using a variety of animate and inanimate conveyances.
I have flown on many fixed-wing aircraft, both propeller and jet, from a Boeing 747 to a Boeing DC 3 to an Embraer 190.
But today, something new.
I have sailed on ocean-going cruise ships, and inter-island ferries, and river rafts where the operator used a shore-to-shore pulley cable or just a long pole.
I have paid my fare on the Japanese Bullet Train and the Chinese long haul from Jishou to Changsha.
I have hopped aboard VIP double-decker coaches, and sardine-packed, shock-absorber-less, retrofitted, discarded, foul-smelling vehicles.
As a child in New York, I was privileged to ride the “clang-clang” trolley up Ogden Avenue in the Bronx. Non-polluting trolleys were replaced, on the advice of General Motors. Now across the world, cities boast of their “choke-choke” buses.
I have driven automobile models from a Jaguar V-8 sedan to a PT Cruiser. The PT Cruiser I rented had no cruise control!
Almost every day, I hire a motorcycle taxi to navigate around and through congested city traffic. On rare occasion, I negotiate a tuk-tuk. The tuk-tuk drivers are, shall we say, “smiling” businessmen.
Bicycle? The last time I peddled one I fell off and almost endured a separated shoulder. Skate board? Not! Roller blades? Not! One day I’ll give a try to one of those new Segway gizmos or maybe the latest heart-healthy contraption called a Hoverboard.
I have ridden atop an elephant in the jungle, trekked astride a camel across the desert, cantered aboard a horse in the hills and straddled a sure-footed donkey up a mountainside.
Aboard a donkey on a very narrow path, halfway up the mountain in Petra, Jordan, I peeked to the side of the path and observed only air between me and the valley below. No doubt with a look of alarm, I turned to the driver. “Don’t worry, sir,” responded the Bedouin man. “The donkey knows where he is going.”
Now, at this very moment, unlike the donkey, I don’t know where I am going. I don’t even know where I am. Yes, I am somewhere in Greenland - at an airport having just flown here from Iceland. But where am I going?
What I do know is how I will get there.
For the very first time in my life, I will ride a helicopter!
I have to admit, that when I booked this Greenland tour and read the details of the itinerary, I was just a bit anxious. Helicopter? Probably one of the reasons we tourists were required to purchase a health insurance policy with an evacuation rider.
Anyway, I survived the twenty minute flight.
Fortunately I had a window seat. I took some shots.
The clearly visible Greenland landscape and seascape below:
Bleak. Black. White. Jagged. Frigid. Intense. Brilliant.
The helicopter ride?
Even better than the donkey.
Keep on riding,
First video - before the flight.
Second video - from the helicopter window.