Fishing in the Nakvak


Expedition to the Torngat Mountains

Day 13: Tuesday, August 21
Regret and relief

I emerge from my tent at 7:30 to clearing skies, surprised to be the first one up. After picking a cupful of blueberries to add to breakfast, I have coffee and the usual morning cereal. I wash up, go fishing immediately (today is another rest day) and catch lots of small trout up to eight or nine inches; then Lisette and I go wading downstream and start hooking bigger fish: 15 to 16 inches, and FAT. Meanwhile, Normand and Bruno go farther downstream while Vinh lounges around camp.

The two of us return to camp for lunch, then turn in for a nap. Before I have a chance to fall asleep, we hear three distinct gun shots. I dress immediately, taking along my fanny pack with my knife, distress signals and the first-aid kit. As I head downstream, I nearly run into a juvenile caribou trotting toward our camp, from the direction where Normand and Bruno had gone this morning (with the semi-automatic). I consider the possibilities for a second, then decide to check on them anyway. Yes, it was the caribou they shot at. THREE TIMES. The universal distress signal. I guess they thought I could use the exercise…

I go back to fishing in the afternoon and more fat, orange-bellied brook trout, then gather more blueberries, bathe and rinse out some clothes. A good rest day.

After supper (lots of fish!), we discuss the satellite call for the plane trip home. Bruno, Lisette and I vote to remain at this site one more day, then to return to the landing strip on Thursday and hope for the plane on Friday. Vinh prefers to return to the strip tomorrow to explore the area northeast, then catch the plane on Friday. Normand wants to sleep on it but agrees to call for the pickup for Friday. At least we all agree on one thing.

Now that the end of the expedition is nearing, I feel both regret and relief. Regret because it has been an amazing experience in every sense: I have seen incredibly beautiful landscapes, lived under the sky for two weeks straight, learned from and about my companions, discovered certain facets of my personality, pushed myself both physically and mentally. Relief because I'm thinking of my pantry, my freezer, my refrigerator and the grocery store…

Day 14: Home is nearing

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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