Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top 10 highs and lows of an expedition across Iceland

A favourite adventurer of ours is Alastair Humphreys, who has recently returned from an unsupported crossing of Iceland with his photographer mate Chris Herwig.  Carrying 40kg packs containing all of the food they needed, camping gear, and equipment for both glacier crossing and packrafting, Alistair and Chris crossed Iceland, trekking inland from Iceland’s north coast and then paddling the length of Iceland’s longest river to the Southern coast and Atlantic Ocean.
Here Alistair shares with us his top ten highs and lows of their 24 day trip.
1. Discovering that one of the most varied, deserted, beautiful wildernesses I have ever been to is only 3 hours away from London with Iceland Express.
2. Carrying 25 days of food meant serious rationing. Eating just 2000 calories a day meant that I was permanently very hungry.
3. Getting up close to Eyjafjallajökull volcano which caused such chaos earlier this year.
4. On the rare occasions when it was not raining or very windy, clouds of flies would rise from nowhere and fly into our noses, ears, eyes, and mouth.
5. The sources of the two rivers we paddled: one flowing out from beneath a glacier, the other gushing boiling hot from the side of a volcano.
6. Trekking hundreds of miles carrying a brutally heavy (40kg) backpack.
7. Inflating  the packrafts and beginning to paddle downstream. Fun, fast, and no more carrying  those heavy packs!
8. Capsizing in major whitewater rapids in the depths of a canyon. And later realising that my waterproof video camera had not even recorded the drama!
9. Wallowing in a hot spring beneath the midnight sun.
10. Seeing the river in front of us open out into the brown waves of the Atlantic Ocean: the end of a successful, exciting, fascinating journey across Iceland.
Read Alistair’s brilliantly entertaining full diary of his Icelandic adventureand I challenge you not to want to experience the 4-day Laugavegur trek(which he undertakes as part of this trip) for yourself. Iceland looks incredible.
Fancy an adventure of your own?

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