Dan’s Idea of a Hill Walk

Thembi’s Charlotte has been complaining that when she phones home they already know all of her news because of the blog so I have promised not to mention everything that she has been up to. In any case, once she has sobered up I’m sure she will look forward to telling the tale of the Icelandic Hams and the Football star. By the way, a “Ham” in Icelandic is a blonde woman with lots of make up and a tight skirt but don’t confuse them with a stereotyped British blonde. The two young Hams who ran the bar we went two were tough cookies. At one point one of the Hams picked up an unruly male customer and threw him out of the door! Actually Charlotte should be grateful that I never mentioned the hot tub and the Station Commander.

Well as you can imagine we woke up yesterday feeling rather the worse for wear but with excellent memories of a brilliant Icelandic fish restaurant which Siggi and his family took us to before we went “pa fylla”. Isafordur is a great place, big by Icelandic standards with 3,000 people. It is the main town for the North Westfjords with a secure harbour and everything you could need including a laundry! Siggi cleared a space on the only pontoon for Thembi and Sumara.

Not to waste a day because of a mere overhang we went into hyper activity mode and split into three teams: Icelandic Horse Riding, “Hill Walking”, and Kayaking.

Bjork, Siggis daughter kindly offered to take Sarah, and the Charlottes horse riding. I was very tempted to join them as I have always fancied trying the special Icelandic horse gait. The horses have two extra modes of running. “Tolt” is a kind of random placing of the hoofs giving a completely smooth ride over really rough ground. Show horses demonstrate it by having a glass of wine whilst riding (the riders drink the wine not the horses). The other mode is “Skate” when the horses move pairs of legs together to resemble skaters. They had a fantastic time with the horses and then went to an outside hot pool. Bjork was a superstar guide.

John, Tim, Dan and I went for a “Hill Walk”. Here’s a tip, if Tim and Dan mention a “Hill Walk” just because you aren’t taking ropes, harness and a helmet, don’t think that’s because you won’t need them. In any case any hill with vertical rock faces and a height of 746 m is a small mountain in my books. It was quite hairy! Half way along the ridge, as we were about to drop into a gully we met three climbers coming the other way. They had all the kit and very cool shades on too. John was going to pee on their bonfire by pretending we had a dog and calling “Come on Fifi!”. He restrained himself but we do have good video footage of John attempting a Star Jump on a friable rocky ridge with 700 m drop off to each side. We all survived and had a yet another amazing day despite the near death experiences.

Stuart had built up his kayak and decided to spend the day walking and kayaking. He kayaked through into a lagoon at the head of the fjord and went for a good “hill” walk. Sadly the tide got the better of him and when he got back top the boat he was marooned by acres of mud. A long portage solved the problem and he eventually joined us all for a pizza in the local café.

Today is boat day. Cleaning, provisioning, weather into, ice charts etc and a shower and swim. We hope to set off early tomorrow morning for Greenland if the weather conditions permit. John catches a local flight to Reykjavik in the morning and Sarah is joining Sumara for the next adventure.

I will try to load a few photos of the Beerenberg climb in the appropriate place. We will be back on Sat Phone tomorrow so these will be the last photos for a while.

3 Responses

  1. Sounds all so truly amazing, well done, you all deserve it. Fantastic pictures of the mighty Beerenberg too, cannot wait till your return to see it all. xoxoxo

  2. Wow! What a fantastic time you are having. Sarah’s niece Izzie will be very jealous on the horse riding in Iceland. So looking forward to catching up with Sarah when she comes home. Jane

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