In a summer of incredible weather, the weekends have scored the most ray’s and we have been spoilt by starting our Saturday’s slowly with a brunch in the sun. Our neighbouring views, Eyjafjallajokull and Myradsjokull glaciers only improve the taste of the experimental grub.
As the volunteers slowly prise themselves from their post beer slumbers, the aromas from camp have beckoned bacon and eggs, pancakes and goodies straight from the imagination of the chefs. Without fail, we have been able to start the day basking in the sunshine, before the usual routine of hand washing clothes, scrubbing boots and connecting to wifi infiltrates our day. That being said, the relaxed pace of the weekend has allowed for many adventures. Close by to camp, Nina, Pip and I explored the window cave, a serene place to sit and appreciate our incredible surroundings.
In another adventure, Nina, James, Brad and I attempted to cross the ridge line to find a different route to Rjupnafell. Scaling Eggjar mountain in the warm afternoon sun, we found ourselves cut off by craggy rocks with steep drop aways on either side. We had to embrace the failed hike and retrace our steps, diverting into Storeindi valley. In the valley, the rock structures grabbed our attention. Nina climbed a jut of rock which looked like the head of a Trojan horse, and we came across an archway to nowhere. In the valley we found a patch of fully grown fir trees, a novel thing in a land devoid of forest. Immediately it felt more like other parts of Scandinavia.
My favourite hike came from the element of adventure of crossing the Hvarna river by foot, and scrambling up and up to walk the plateau. The trail was hinted at by old waymarkers, but didn’t look like it had been walked in years, and higher up the slippery banks it was clear to see why. Only our curiosity pulled us onwards to see how close we could get to the glacier. After a few hours we stood at the foot of Eyjafjallajokull, one of its many glacial tongues, ice caves and waterfalls shrunk in comparison. As we looked back across the valley to camp, our little hut was just visable by the luminous Orange uniforms which hung outside.
Closer to home, the luxury of time allowed us to stroll little paths which appeared to go nowhere, then emerged into fantastic lookouts. Songhellir, the singing cave, was a late afternoon find. The partly open cave with small waterfall was a perfect place to echo back our off tune singing voices.
Well rested, we all reconvened Sunday lunchtime to begin life across the river in Langidalur after the mid way swap of camps. With 14 new arrivals, the project reached its fullest point, a colossal workforce of 29 people to tackle the trails.