The nice people at Ooh.com asked me to write down some of the ups and downs from Iceland. Here they are:
1. Discovering that one of the most varied, deserted, beautiful wildernesses I have ever been to is only three 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 Eyjafjallajkull 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.