I cant believe I’m actually writing this but it is 2 days until I head off to Iceland. TWO DAYS!!! Where did the time go??! All my good intentions for blogging reguarly about my training and fundraising progress appeared to go right out the window, however on a more positive note, the training and fundraising themselves did not!!! I have this evening, hit my initial target of £2700 for the British Heart Foundation, and am absolutely over the moon. To see my fundraising page flashing with 100% in big white letters is a very welcome sign!!! I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received so far from all my friends and colleagues, and hope to be able to share lots of stories of my adventures on my return!!
So what happens now?
This evening I have spent the last few hours madly trying to get ALL my stuff into a relatively small BHF kit bag, including walking boots, waterproof trousers, socks, trainers, fleeces, thermals, walking poles and quick drying towels to name but a few!! Id like to say a huge thankyou to Talis for supporting me by helping towards the cost of some of my kit. Its easy to underestimate the amount it costs to particpate in something like this, so to be able to have some assistance towards kitting myself out has been very gratefully received! My friends have also been great, with Lisa lending me gloves and trousers from her Kilimanjaro hike, Mark with walking sticks from his climbing in the alps, and my cousin Louise a sleeping bag from – well, from a fair few drunken camping trips!! Thankfully Mike introduced me to the concept of the “roll” technique, and finally after FOUR attempts I appear to have got everything in!
I am heading down to Heathrow on Friday night, and having one last night of luxury at the Sheraton Skyline before heading off to Terminal 1 to meet the rest of the group at 10.30. I have been lucky enough to meet 3 of the participants already, having had them to visit for a training walk back in May. I have also been chatting to them all on Facebook, so feel that I know a few of them quite well already!
Flat terrain for the first hour until ascending 200m slowly and traversing along a 2km hilltop for
another hour until descending onto a flat plateau for a further ½ hour walk to the lunch spot
(Domadalur valley). After lunch, it’s an hour walk through rough sand-filled lava before
descending a narrow and gorge down some rock steps, to a flat lake bed. Easier terrain for
approx. 45mins then climbing up and down the last hill for the final 1-1 ½ hour of the day. The
last section takes us to our campsite at Landmannalaugar.
The first hour is walking through a 500 year old (approx.) mossy lava field until a 3 ½ hour
gradual climb of 500m. Most of the way the path is good underfoot, but there are some short and
steep sections and some snow walking towards the top. Once at the summit we’ll have a lunch
stop at a place called Hrafntinnusker. The afternoon starts with a 500m descent, but with a few
small gullies (up and down) to cross. After 3 hours we will finish the descent with quite long and
steep downhill section and a river crossing before a final 1 ½ hour hike on flat ground to our
After leaving camp we need to jump a small river and then wade through another one. It’s then
half an hour of walking on good ground but quite an “undulating” path. The next hour is similar
ground towards Hvanngil where we stop for a short rest break. From Hvanngil we hike for another
30mins before we have to cross the coldest river yet by foot! Then its 1½ hour walk
on flat ground, mostly on a dirt road, until our lunch stop by a powerful glacial river
with stunning views of a waterfall (across a bridge). Following lunch its easy going for
two hours and then a short but steep climb for the last 1½ hour over loose ground.
From here there are stunning views down the 300m deep canyon of the Markarfljot
River, followed by a short descent towards the campsite at Emstrur.
The whole day is on a hard terrain, except 1hour of the day (after lunch) where we’ll be walking
on loose, sandy ground. The day begins with a flat section for ½ hour and then quite a sharp drop
towards a beautiful gorge, which is cross by a footbridge (30mins). Then another fairly flat
section for another 30mins ending with a short ascent followed by an hour of walking on good
track but with a few gullies on the way. After lunch the terrain is similar for ½ hour and then an
hour on loose ground. The second half of the day we encounter two hills, which we climb up and
down and in between! We have more rivers to cross today; the first one is about two hours after
lunch and the last immediately after the last hill. During this part of the day you’ll find yourself
surrounded by trees for the first and last time on the trip! We continue our walk to our campsite at