I would like to dedicate this blog to my late my Aunty Bun who passed away 16:50 on 15th March 2014. Standing at 6’1 she had the physical presence to match her personality. Such a strong and caring character – as a child my memory of her was someone who would take the weight of the world, crush it in her hands, laugh and ask for more. That didn’t really change as I grew up either 🙂 even towards the end she still had that sense of presence about her.
Thank you for all the memories Aunty Bun, I am going to miss you.
WELL HELLO AGAIN MY COLD FRIEND
Y’see what I did there? …old friend …cold friend… gave me a bit of a laugh at least 😉
So, with a little help from Icelandair on Monday evening I arrived in Reykjavik to a crisp -6.0 degrees at 23:35. Very excited to be back too! I still remember the first time I set foot on Icelandic soil in 2006 for a mountain biking adventure with friends. Such a great time, it really is an amazing place with amazing people too. Definitely recommend you visit if you haven’t already – and speaking of 'formidable' people, I have now caught up with my friend Rémi who is joining me on this trip.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
…and speaking of storms, on Tuesday morning when woke up I could see the mountains across the bay, but by lunchtime it was all covered in cloud and had started snowing. This morning, a blanket of snow covered everything. The weather can really change quite quickly here, and will no doubt keep us on our toes along the way 😉
Today the day kicked off with a debriefing from our guides on our itinerary, camping equipment, what to expect and kit checks (gold star for me!). On this trip there are 11 people and 3 guides going, whilst for the Greenland crossing it will be the expedition leader, two others and myself only.
[CUE GARMIN VOICE OVER] “…IN 220KMS, TURN RIGHT”
This trip will cover around 220kms over 10 days, spending around 7-9hrs trekking each day through the middle of Iceland and run north to south. During the trip I will be taking GPS marker points to plot the exact trail which I will share once completed.
Random fact for the day: The Laundromat Cafe has extremely tasty and fresh carrot cake, I've eaten a lot of it, nom nom nom…
So where are we going exactly?…
The journey starts with a short flight at the crack of dawn Thursday 20th to Iceland’s northern capital Akureyri. From here we will pack all our kit and supplies onto the pulkas, trek up to around 800ms and spend the first night. The next morning we head directly south towards Laugafell where I am told a hot natural geothermal pool will be waiting for us – lucky I remembered to pack my swimmers! After the aches and pains of the first couple of days this will be well received indeed.
The rest of the trip will see us traversing and winding our way down through the heartland, with some amazing sites along the way – the Tungnafellsjökull and Vatnajökull glaciers, lava fields, using the Tungnaá river as a ski highway towards Landmannalaugar, and finally finishing up at Sigalda as our final destination.
There is a good chance we will be stopped in our tracks by the weather and have to take a ‘rest’ day (or two) along the way and stay inside. If it is expected to get quite full on (e.g. katabatic winds) we will need to spend time preparing our defences and build snow walls to protect us lest we literally get blown away. Fun, but not, I guess we will see 🙂 Either way… HOW EXCITING!
That is it for now. I will be off the grid pretty much until I return end of the month, but look forward to sharing some pictures and stories about how it goes and what we get up to.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD
One last things to share – my friend Jill sent me a link the other day called THE BULLYING EXPERIMENT. If you have not seen it, it is a social experiment by a student in the US and provides a good demonstration how easily many people turn a blind eye to what is going on around them. Of course it is not all doom and gloom though, and there are a few shining souls who stand up, step in and help make a difference.
It is 5mins long and definitely worth watching.