Kulusuk Football

Kulusuk football

Taiga, steppe, tundra: when I was at school, geography was my favourite.

It was the right time to dream on the green and brown pages of the world atlas, on the strange and fascinating words of the textbook that reminded me of  the adventures that one day I would live.

Tundra, steppe, taiga: the sound of these words repeated in my mind gave me almost a physical sensation, the harbinger of a smell that I imagined was typical of those places.

Anyway, tundra doesn’t smell. And it is also very quiet: no trees, no leaves, no obstacle for the wind, our feet trample on the soft and slippery moss. With a little attention you could hear your own heartbeat.

The scenery is fascinating: streams and lakes, a few patches of snow in a weird silence.

We are almost at the end of the short Arctic summer. The thaw has created new, temporary rivers, the water flows down from the rocky ridges, floods the plain and eventually goes to the sea. The trail is often interrupted by these fatuous streams, which can lengthen the time of the walk because you have to find a suitable place to ford.

Here in Greenland, they say, you can drink from any stream, it’s all pure water from centuries old melting glaciers.

We already think of the first refreshing sip and we are in front od the surreal sight of a soccer ball that floats incongruously in the middle of the tundra, miles away from any human presence except for the two of us. Who knows what was the journey of that ball before keeping floating in this silent nothingness. Or – more simply – who knows where are now the guys who have lost it while playing and how much they miss it: a leather ball in good condition must not be a very common object in Kulusuk.

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