Another port with trees! With a population of just around 300, Rigolet has two interesting claims to fame:
- It is the southernmost Inuit community in the world.
- It has one of the longest boardwalks in North America.
I would get to experience both of these, while discovering Rigolet. The locals came out to welcome us and showed us around. Their amazing hospitality made this a special day. Not only did they volunteer to lead us on walks and share their community, they also made local treats for us and protected us from bears! Yes, there are bears here, one of the animals that terrifies me the most. Armed with shotguns, the locals stationed themselves in spots where these creatures had recently been spotted. One of these places was along that amazing boardwalk that skirted the coast.
A Scenic Stroll Along the Coast
We did not walk the entire length of the over eight kilometer boardwalk, but certainly enjoyed a decent stretch of it. Remnants of the salmon fishing industry added historical interest to this most scenic trail. Fortunately, the day, although a bit chilly, was clear and bright.
At every step the foliage became more interesting. Off the trail, the flora felt spongy underfoot. Upon closer examination, I noticed the extreme delicacy and intricacy of these small plants that again reminded me of that multi-colored carpet in my grandmother’s house. Had I had the time, I would have sat and admired the beautiful and extraordinary forest floor for hours. That would not be possible on this trip. I cannot imagine a more perfect boardwalk than one that skirts the sea yet also borders the forest.
What an amazing hike this was. Flowing through our group, one of the expedition leaders pointed out some of the different plants that we saw beneath our feet. Some were used to make a tea. Others, were in fact edible. One advantage of an expedition cruise is having knowledgeable leaders on board. They are always willing and very excited to answer questions in their area of expertise.
The Locals Perform
Again, we were treated to entertainment by the locals. They all seemed thrilled to having visitors and anxious to show off their skills. Later, some of the locals joined us on board Fram for a meal. It was a great gesture by the captain and crew and easily done in this case. Can’t imagine anything like that happening on a huge mainstream cruise ship.