My Best Pre Parent Experience Ever – Trek Iceland
Prior to having my daughter in 2013, there is one thing in my life that stands out as the most amazing experience- something that I will cherish the memory of forever. Trek Iceland.
In July 2011 I took part in a four day fundraising trek around Iceland to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Trek Iceland went from Landmannahellir to Thorsmörk with 7 – 10 hours trekking each day. This was not only my first trekking experience but my first camping experience too! These are the postings from my journal which I kept at the time during the whole of the trek! 🙂 I hope you enjoy them, and if you are thinking of going on a charity experience I hope this gives you a rough idea of what to expect! 🙂 It was tough, but I enjoyed every minute. If I could, I would head off on another one at the drop o f a hat!
Saturday 2nd July 2011 – 9am
Argh!!! The day is finally here, I cant believe it!! I travelled down to Heathrow yesterday, and checked in to the Sheraton Skyline for one last night of luxury before pitching my own tent and relying on a sleeping bag! In hindsight though, going from possibly THE biggest bed in the whole world, to sharing a cramped 2 man tent might not have been a great idea!! lol 🙂
I slept fairly well considering, although I did wake up two or three times in the night to see if it was morning, checking the time on the hotel TV and then forcing myself to go back to sleep when I realised it was only 3 or 4 in the morning! I can’t decide whether that was due to nerves or excitement (or a combination of both!). The hotel was very quiet considering it was only 0.9 miles from Terminal 1, so I was very lucky to have had a good rest! I am now thankful that I decided to head down to London a day early, I would not have fancied the coach down to Heathrow from Birmingham at some ungodly hour this morning!!
I have just been to breakfast with Trudy and Moyra (two of the fellow trekkers who stayed at the same hotel as me). We had met before back in May when they came to Birmingham for a training walk, and its nice to feel like I know someone before I actually meet the rest of the group. I made sure I ate LOADS at breakfast, not really knowing what the food is going to be like in Iceland. I am the worlds pickiest eater, so this may be my last decent meal for a while!! 🙂
In 25 minutes we will be jumping on the hopper bus to Terminal 1 before meeting the rest of the group and checking in. Our flight is not till 1 so lots of waiting around and then a 4 hour transfer to base camp at the other end (not looking forward to that!!).
I’m looking forward to meeting Rich, as I’ve been chatting to him for months on Facebook and he seems like quite a good laugh! Although I’m not at all nervous meeting new people, Facebook has really helped to give me an impression of people’s personalities beforehand, and think we both sound fairly bonkers, which is always a good start!! 🙂 There are 9 of us in total, so its only a small group. Think this will be great as it means we can all get to know each other really well! 🙂
My case is all packed, boots are on, and my BHF Trek Iceland fleece at the ready!! Wish me luck! If it gets hard I will just need to remember why I am doing this! Dad simply wouldn’t be here without the work on the BHF so its time to give something back!! I have raised over £2700 for the charity, and that should hopefully make all the pain worthwhile!! 🙂
I am currently on the flight to Reykjavik having been ever so slightly delayed from our original time. According to the map in front of me (we get our own little TV screen on the seat in front) we are currently just over Belfast, so still some way to go yet! Its only a 3 hour flight, and I’ve got a window seat, so checking out all the views below us! 🙂 Its a gorgeous day in the UK today, very hot and sunny, and a small part of me is gutted to be leaving a beautiful weekend behind for what could be a very very cold climate!
The group all seem really lovely. Rich is exactly how I imagined him to be – feels a bit like I’ve known him for years!! I also met Helen, Jo, Jenny and Fiona for the first time, all of whom seem really friendly and fun – Jo is clearly going to be the comedian in the group, so looking forward to a bit of banter along the way! 😉 As we were going through security I set the alarms off (I have no idea why!)- to which I heard chants from Jo of “there’s always one!!!” 🙂
Luckily for Rich, (so that he isn’t the only male!), we also have our own GP for the week, Ian. He is a retired Doctor who does around 5 treks a year, supporting the trekkers and completing the treks himself. Its useful to know we will be in good hands if anything goes wrong. He has done the Iceland trek before and says its one of the best ones he has been on, and that the landscape in Iceland is really unique, so I am looking forward to seeing it for myself now! 🙂
We also have our own representative from the British Heart Foundation, Claire. She is a similar age to me, and seems very down to earth and smiley. She works for the International Events team for BHF, and therefore has been on lots of treks before including China, Peru and Kilimanjaro but hasn’t ever done Trek Iceland one before. She will therefore be experiencing the terrain for the first time with the rest of us! 🙂
At the airport we were given information about our tent buddies, and I am paired up with Anita – at least she has been camping before, so hopefully she will know how to put up a tent!! I have NEVER been camping before, not even in the UK, so this will be a whole new experience (nothing like throwing yourself in at the deep end eh Luce!). We will be putting our tents up each night ourselves, so I will need to pay attention despite the fact that I am already feeling a bit tired!! We don’t actually do any trekking today, but when we get to camp we will be briefed on the plans for the following day.
Some random facts for you (according to my little TV!) 🙂 – We are currently at 38,000 feet travelling at 918 km/hour and it is 1 hour and 13 minutes until we arrive in Keflavik airport. Iceland is home to 300,000 people, approximately 60% of whom live in the capital – this means we probably wont see many of them for the majority of our trek!! EEK!! 🙂
We are HERE! 🙂 My first view of Iceland was a wet one – its currently p’ing it down with rain and seems quite windy! Quite a contrast to the warm dry conditions of Birmingham! At the airport we were met by Oscar from Classic Tours, who is going to be our tour guide for the week. He is originally from Holland but lives in Reykjavik, and does many of these tours each year, and so knows the route very well.
We are now on a the bus journey to base camp, in a bus with huge wheels to tackle the terrain! At the moment the roads are smooth, but the size of the tyres gives me a strong idea of what’s to come! As we drove through the main part of the city, the views were quite modern, the city has buildings with pastel colours and red and green roofs, but the town also has American type chains such as Subway, TGI Fridays and KFC!
The further we got away from the city, the more barren the land became, with snow topped mountains in the distance, and huge areas of green moss and black sand. We passed many Icelandic horses in their fields which are absolutely beautiful, they appear to have really short legs compared to the horses Im used to seeing, but they appear to be wild in large numbers!
We drove past Mount Hekla, which is one of Iceland’s most active volcanos. Oscar told us that Hekla generally erupts every decade or so, with eruptions most recently in 1991 and the 2000. His exact words were “It is now overdue to erupt” – which caused a few nervous glances round the bus lol – reassuring!! 🙂 They have stopped organised tours from going up the mountain now, as it has been expanding slowly over the last 2 – 3 years, with the magma slowly rising underneath the surface, meaning that technically its ready to erupt at any time!!
We also drove past Pjorsa (the longest river in Iceland) and some of the Geothermal power plants, where hot water from the earth is used to create electricity for most of the island. Pummice from Mount Hekla is also apprently exported to Portugal, where it is used for insulation.
After a few hours on the bus, we came off the main roads, and turned on to a dirt track with steep hills and sharp turns! Its a bit like a Landrover off-roading experience – im sure some people would pay good money for that but im not sure I liked it!! lol :). The bus was bouncing us around all over the place, prompting Jo and Jenny to break out into song of “do your boobs hang low!” -lol – Fun and games!! 🙂
Iceland is like nothing I have ever seen before, very odd but very beautiful!! We got out the bus to stretch our legs and have some photos near to Mount Helka, and my first few steps on Iceland felt a bit like walking on the moon!
We then continued on, driving through a fairly deep river (hence the wheels!) before arriving at our campsite at about 6 o clock. Here we were introduced to Edwin and Miriam (who were our reps from Classic Tours). For the week they were going to be responsible for both transporting our large kit bags to the next camp, and for our food (pretty important!) 🙂 – They recommended that due to the weather we got the tents up before tea, as there was the potential it could get worse!
We all gathered around listening to Oscar as he taught us how to erect the tents, before all pitching in together and helping get all 7 tents up. It was so so windy and cold – I could barely feel my fingers and was very grateful for the Snood that id invested in to cover my face!! I don’t think I will have a clue how to put the tents up tomorrow, as to be honest I wasn’t really paying attention and was concentrating more on my fingers slowly going numb!
After the tents were finally up (they look so small!!!) we headed to the food tent where Miriam had made us some food – I went to the loo block and my trousers were so soaked through that I struggled to get them back on!! We had a lovely leak and potato soup to start which really warmed us up, followed by sweet and sour prawns with rice and chocolate cake for pudding. Id been really worried about what the food would be like so I was actually quite relieved! I also found out that Rich is an even fussier eater than me (and I thought that wasn’t possible!)
I’m now back in my tent after scrambling around trying to get dry clothes on! You cant sit up properly in these tents so its no easy task, but I’m finally in my thermals and hoping that I will at least get some sleep tonight! It is still VERY light outside – Iceland gets 20 hours of sunlight at this time of year, so it feels very strange going to bed with daylight outside. I bought my black out mask with me (which was recommended by Classic Tours) so hopefully that will help my brain to believe its night time! The noise of the wind and rain is pretty intense – I feel shattered and we haven’t even started trekking yet! Argh!!
Day 2 – First Day Trekking
Had an awful nights sleep! I found the first time ever in a tent quite hard, particularly with the wind howling around the tent and it flapping by my face. I was also really really COLD! Those of you that know me will know that I tend to be a bit of a ‘coldy’ anyway, but Iceland really was bitterly cold last night! I actually found myself shivering inside my sleeping bag, and that’s WITH thermals! I probably slept for a couple of hours at the most, and woke up at 5 desperate for the loo, having to brave the run through the rain to the toilet block – thankfully the toilets are ok!!
It is still raining at the moment, so think I’m going to need as many layers as possible today!!
The first day trekking in Iceland has been hard!! Largely due to the weather conditions which were nothing like what I expected and made the 7 hours walking so much harder than it would have been in the dry!
The rain stopped ever so briefly at about 8am, resulting in a gorgeous rainbow across the mountains behind our campsite, it really was stunning. I looked really really tired, so out came the sunglasses (whether there was any sun or not!) and on they stayed for the rest of the day, actually acting as quite a good wind shield as well!
We had a good hearty breakfast in the camp before we left (with most of the trekkers having porridge). Ian (our GP) soon clocked on to the fact that I’m fussy, and told me I need to think of it as “Fuel not food” – so I forced myself to eat some Ryveita and jam. I never normally have breakfast, but on this occasion, I needed as much energy as I could get!! We then created our own packed lunches, which was sandwiches and fruit – ready to put in our rucksacks for the day ahead!
The terrain at first was bouncy moss like grass – not at all what you might expect from Iceland, the day started with a steep hill incline, which was NOT easy with the wind blowing you down in the other direction. The view at the top was of a gorgeous blue lake, and Oscar showed me just how powerful the wind was by hovering right on the edge of the mountain!
As the day went on (with me still covering my face with my snood and hood!) the terrain changed to an ashy black sand like substance and later to an icy / snowy glacier – amazing that you can see so many landscapes in one day! The weather made today very hard going, and I was very thankful I had my walking poles to help support me and keep my balance on the way down some steep inclines!
We stopped for lunch about 1 in a canyon with ice slopes on either side of us. One of the group was really struggling with the hills, and was quite scared when we had to scramble down some of the rocks to our lunch spot. Whilst eating lunch we were all really really cold, and one of the group had a bit of a funny where she felt faint and had to be taken care of by the GP. She was fine, I think she just hadn’t eaten enough, and the bitter cold was really starting to have an impact.
We didn’t stop for as long as we had originally planned, as the consensus was that it was best to keep moving, as the longer we sat doing nothing the colder we appeared to get! The rain was relentless, hammering down on our hoods, and my gloves got so wet that my fingers wouldn’t even fit in them properly! Despite the awful conditions, the team really stuck together, and would occasionally huddle together like King Penguins and try to get group heat! They are all so lovely, and definitely helped keep each others spirits up!
Towards the end of the day even my feet got soaking, despite having Gortex quality walking boots. I think my clothes were so wet that it was running down the inside of my legs, and so every step towards the end resulting in a squelching sound from inside my boots – not pleasant!! During the last slog to camp we passed a volcanic site, where the mountains were a funny shape from where the Lava had literally ripped them open and then set with jagged edges!
We got to the Landmannaluger campsite about 5pm and had to battle again to erect our tents in the rain! We really had to work as a team, and considering how little attention most of us paid last night, we seemed to get them up pretty quickly, using large rocks to make sure the hooks didn’t come out of the sodden ground! My hair looked like something out of a 80s movie (think Cher perm!) – so think I’ll be tying it back 2moro!! Lol 🙂 This campsite is one of the bigger sites, so in comparison to last nights it is quite busy – there is also a large shower and toilets block and somewhere where we can hang our clothes in the hope they will dry! There are some natural hot springs here, but it is unlikely we will be venturing in their tonight – I think we are wet enough already!!
Miriam (who is slowly becoming my hero!) made us an absolutely gorgeous dinner to warm us all up – vegetable soup followed by the most amazing spaghetti bolognaise. As soon as I’d finished eating I was desperate to get warm, so ran over to the showers and had 5 minutes for 500 kroner (about £3) but it felt so much better once I was clean and in dry clothes!!
At this point in time we are not sure if we will be able to do the route as planned tomorrow because of the rain. Heavy rainfall can make some of the river crossings too dangerous, both for us as trekkers and for the jeeps transporting our kit. Oscar is going to make an assessment based on how the weather continues, but if not, it looks like we may stay here for a 2nd night and do the long walk on Tuesday instead. We will still be walking, just not on quite the same route as originally planned.
I am actually now quite happy to be warm and dry in my tent – lets see what tomorrow brings eh – Iceland is certainly living up to its name!!!
Day 3 – 2nd Day Trekking
Slept much much better last night – despite the fact that the wind and rain was still really heavy – I think I was so tired that to be honest Id have probably slept through anything – although I did keep waking up to hear it pounding on the roof, but soon got back to sleep.
I woke up around 8 and had breakfast in the mess tent. The weather was still awful, and Oscar confirmed that it was too bad to do the river crossings today, so we will be staying here for one more night (at least that’s one less tent nightmare to consider!)
This morning we went on a walk more locally instead for a couple of hours or so, walking over an icy glacier type hill and past volcanic sulphur pools which had massive amounts of steam coming out of them and smelled really strong! We then walked down past a large river before returning to camp. I really enjoyed today’s walk even though the weather still wasn’t great – its amazing what difference a bit less wind makes to my mood!!
We have just had lunch (tomato and onion soup) back at the camp, and depending on how the weather holds will be climbing Mount Blahnukur later, which is about the size of Snowdon – so that should be a challenge! Not quite the day we expected so far, but lots of fun! 🙂
This afternoon we did the long and very very steep trek up Mount Blahnukur, which is just under 1000 metres high, with amazing views over the landscape below. On the way I picked up a few pieces of Obsidian – a black shiny crystal type rock that was really beautiful. The weather didn’t hold out for very long, and the higher we got the more windy and wet it got, but I really enjoyed the climb!
When we got back to the camp we were all absolutely soaking, and decided that now might be a good time to go and brave the thermal pools, as it wasn’t possible to get and colder or wetter at that point in time!!! The pools themselves were stunning, at the base of a mountain, and were naturally warm from the thermal activity beneath the surface. The only downside was the short run from the changing rooms to the pools in only flip flops and a swimsuit – it was FREEZING!!
When we first got in I found myself thinking “this really isn’t that warm!!!” but it appeared that the closer you got to the rocks the warmer it got. Eventually, after avoiding the odd “cold spot” the group found a corner that was just perfect, and the hot (almost boiling hot at times!) water really helped sooth all our aches and pains from the days walking. Watching Jo and Jenny run across the path to the pools both wearing their luminous yellow hats is something that I will never forget, I have never laughed so much in my life!! They will be known as the “bollards” from this day forward 🙂
Edwin (bless his heart) has just bought a gas heater into our tent, madly trying to get us warm again, so I think we will be huddled here for a while! Its our long day tomorrow as the weather is set to improve, so I am nervous but excited about what the day will bring!! 🙂
Day 4 – 3rd day trekking
Today I woke up to a DRY MORNING! Woohoo! I have never been so pleased to see the sunshine! Iceland is so much more beautiful when the sun is out, its amazing what a difference it makes! Even to be able to “stroll” to the toilet block without having to dash through rainfall made all of our moods in camp much more positive! I am a bit achy from yesterday – my legs feel a bit stiff and sleeping without a pillow has resulted in a slightly cricked neck but fingers crossed I’ll be fine once I’ve started moving!!
I went and retrieved some of my now semi dry clothes from the toilet block, and then ate breakfast outside with the rest of the group. Getting more used to eating ryveita and jam now 🙂 Rich hadn’t been well during the night (poor thing), and so was feeling a little delicate. I’m sure this is because he hasn’t been eating enough. For a guy he really should be eating more, and he’s barely touched his meals over the last few days. Hopefully he will be ok, he just needs to eat and drink lots today.
Today was our lonnnnnnnnng day – over 10 hours trekking, but I really really enjoyed it.
We started off on a similar route to yesterday morning, passing the sulphur geothermal pools and being surrounded by steam once again. Due to the length of the day and some of the river crossings we are expecting today, we had to pack LOTS of stuff in our bags, including a towel, wading sandels and lots of food and drink, so my bag was really heavy! Found the first hour or so really tough, with the weight of my bag really pressing down on my shoulders.
The group has started to know Oscar pretty well and have defined that
- Half an hour actually means about an hour and a half.
- Round the corner actually means about an hour and a half lol
- A breeze = gale force winds
- Drizzle = heavy rain
- Undulation = bloody big hill 🙂
Whenever we stop for a short rest, Oscar uses the icelandic “yah yah” message. The first time he says it its to let us know that he wants to leave soon. The third yah yah means LETS GO! 🙂
As the day went on it started to get pretty warm, so all the layers of thermals and waterproofs started to come off. A lake that we had passed only the day before had changed from being a murky grey to being a gorgeous bright blue colour!
At around midday we had to master our first river crossing, involving removing our walking boots and putting on our wading sandals, before proceeding into bitterly cold glacier water and wading our way across to the other side as quickly but as tentatively as possible! The river was quite fast flowing, so it was quite an experience! We headed over in small groups, supporting each other to make sure that no one got drifted away! I was lucky enough to be in the middle of two other people, so despite the fact I look like I was being dragged across lol – it was helpful to have their support, and I’m sure I didn’t feel the full force of the rapid water!
This was the first river crossing of three we took on that day, and they gradually got easier as the day went on. There is no getting away from that first freezing toe in the water feeling though! Brrr!!!
In the afternoon the terrain changed again, and we found ourselves walking on miles and miles of snow, all covered in ash from the recent volcanic eruptions on the island. We passed another area of geothermal activity, this time where the ground had literally ripped apart, and bubbling water and large flows of steam were emanating from underground. Its impossible to capture this properly on film, but it was an amazing sight.
The snow was particularly tough to walk on, and the walking poles made me feel like some kind of arctic explorer, crunching on the snow beneath my feet. Sometimes the snow wasn’t as hard as I expected, and at what point I actually fell down a large hole of soft snow (on one leg only!) and that was a bit of a shock! Before I knew it I was in snow to my thighs lol – thankfully a fellow trekker came to pull me back out!! 🙂
We stopped for lunch at a gorgeous hut where we ate on a picnic bench outside. Most of my food was pretty squished from the commute, but at that point in time we really didn’t care! 🙂
Today we have walked on all kinds of different substances, including snow, ice, grit, pebbles, ash, lava, and something that looked and felt like pollyfilla! That was like walking in thick mud and with tired legs, was no easy feat!
The last 2 miles of the day was a long long road to our campsite. The lake next to the camp was visible for miles, and it almost became like some kind of mirage, in that every time we felt that we got close to it, it appeared to move further away!! When we got there I immediately decided that this was my favourite campsite. The views were absolutely stunning. The area itself was very flat, surrounded by distant mountains, so the scenery was beautiful.
Trudy’s knee was really starting to hurt, and by the end of the day she was referring to herself as “crab”, working her way slowly down the hills sideways on, attempting to bend her knee as little as possible. She has a really strong welsh spirit, and I could hear her mumbling to herself every time Ian (the GP) looked at her with concern. “If he thinks I’m not doing tomorrow he’s got another thing coming!” 🙂 – she’s fab. 🙂
I never imagined myself to be the kind of girl who would flash my bum to go for a wee in the middle of a mountain, but after a few days trekking that kind of thing doesn’t bother you anymore! Me and Claire became wee stop buddies lol – having someone else there so you are not a lone bum in the wilderness always seemed to help! Jo and Jenny on the other hand didn’t even seem to care about who could see! lol 🙂
One of the girls who hadn’t joined us today (she had stayed with Edwin and Miriam due to the intensity of the day) had put all the tents up for us whilst we were away. It was so sweet of her, and we have never been so grateful!
This evening was our last meal at the camp, as tomorrow evening we will be heading back to Reykavik for our final night in a hotel 🙂 (cant wait to have an actual bed again!)
Tonight we ate soup followed by a gorgeous lamb dinner with potatoes and peas, and pears with chocolate sauce for pudding. I am shattered, but the meal was amazing, and everyone was very grateful for some sustenance following a fairly intense day!
Edwin gave us a bit of a farewell speech, saying that he was very proud of our British fighting spirit, and that it must have felt like we had been “parachuted into hell” when we first arrived in Iceland. He said that the weather we had experienced during the first 2 days had been pretty much 90% as bad as it gets in Iceland in the summer, and that we should all be very proud of how we had stuck together and achieved our goals! 🙂
His little boy then sang us a song (the Icelandic Eurovision entry as it happens! – and YES I sadly did recognise it!! lol).
Oscar gave us the briefing for our final “easy” day trekking tomorrow – 7 hours, and then it will all be coming to and end!
This is my first dry evening in a tent, and hoping for a good nights sleep. Its now 12.30 at night and for the first time I am seeing what I can only really describe as an Icelandic sunset! 🙂 – It wont be down for long, so I’ll make the most of this view for a little while! 🙂
Day 5 – 4th and Final Day Trekking
Rain woke me up again this morning! BOOOOO! I was lying in my sleeping bag and literally thinking NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The thought of getting out of the relatively cosy tent into the pouring rain again wasn’t really appealing, especially as my legs were really stiff from yesterday and I was feeling terribly tired still!
Thankfully, the weather was on our side, and had pretty much stopped by the time we set off after breakfast.
The morning began almost immediately with a small river crossing – a sure fire way of waking you up by dipping your feet through ice cold water!!!
Considering Oscar had said today was a relatively flat day, there were lots of hills and “undulations” along the way, walking across sandy and black ash pathways.
At lunch time we waded through the biggest river crossing of the whole week, which took quite a while to wade through and definitely made your toes go numb by the time you got to the other side! Getting your warm walking socks on at the bank on the other side was a little luxury in comparison! 🙂 As we continued walking we passed more rivers, canyons, waterfalls, and an amazing view of the Big E volcano!
Whilst walking along the gravel paths, we passed our first real signs of other life forms, when a group of Icelandic horses passed us – some were being ridden bare back, and others were simply running along free behind the group. It was a pretty bizarre sight, but made us feel like we were slowly getting back towards civilisation! 🙂
By about 3 o clock, the group was all getting very very tired, with Rich and Trudy almost falling asleep on the rocks when we stopped for a short break! The sun was shining, and it was warm, and the last few hours of walking seemed to be really hard, walking in between rocks and boulders that were just too far apart to be able to use as stepping stones, making the risk of stumbling over and hurting your ankle all the much greater!!
At about 5pm we reached the end of the trek, with the end being right on the edge of an amazing canyon, with views of all the landscape below. Claire and Oscar had set up a banner, and we all got given a medal and some champagne to celebrate our achievements. It was a great moment, and a few tears were shed. Some of the group had lost loved ones to heart attacks, so their achievements bought all the emotion to the surface. I felt very proud of the group, particularly of Anita, Trudy and Rich who had all battled on despite not feeling 100%.
When the trekking was complete, we waiting for our mini bus to arrive to transport us back to the city, and again the journey was like something from an off-road challenge, Dardis did somehow manage to fall asleep during the bumpy ride – I put this down to native Icelandic’s getting used to the terrain from an early age! There is no way I could have even attempted to sleep whilst bouncing around all over the place!
This evening once we had checked into our hotel and quickly freshened up with a gorgeous hot shower, we headed off to our celebration meal at a local restaurant, where there were some lovely speeches from Oscar and Ian. Claire confirmed that to date we have raised over £22k for the British Heart Foundation, with significant funds still due to come in, which is an amazing achievement! She told us about a reunion that is being planned for later in the year which will be really great, as im really going to miss my camping buddies!
Overall I have had an amazing time. The trek was mentally and physically tough, particularly on the first day when the weather was so extreme, and then again on the 10 hour day, with my muscles still aching from the day before. Iceland is a truly amazing country, and the views and landscape made all the pain totally worth it. I was lucky enough to meet a bunch of truly inspiring people, and I hope to stay in contact with them all, having made true friendships for life!
When I think back to all my anxieties about the trek before I left I really hadn’t needed to worry, as everything was so well planned and supported. I would recommend a trek like this to anyone, and am already mentally planning my next challenge…. Grand Canyon trek anyone? 🙂
Id like to say a huge thank you to my employer and all my friends, family and colleagues who have supported me in my fundraising, I simply couldn’t have done it without you. If you ever get the opportunity to do something similar – jump at it. Lifes too short, and memories are precious!