Unlike Kerry Katona, I work in the Sales Team at the KE office, and have done for many years, around having children. I’ve travelled the world from Keswick to Kathmandu and am just back from Iceland…
Let's go trekking in Iceland
It’s been a while since I’ve been let loose on a KE Adventure holiday! I must say I was apprehensive about leaving my four boys at home and heading off to trek in Iceland! In my previous life, before children, I was lucky enough to lead and assist on many KE holidays taking me to exciting destinations all over the world. When I was asked to go to Iceland by KE I was very excited indeed! Obviously, I had heard how interesting Iceland was but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer beauty and amazingly varied landscape that I encountered.
Iceland is definitely sunnier than England!
Escaping from the UK rain I arrived in Iceland to find glorious sunshine! We were all very happy to see the sunshine especially since one of our first lessons of the trip was how to put up the tents! As there are no local porter crews here, the whole group helped the guides in putting up their tent, cooking and general 'housekeeping' duties. To some this was far removed from their usual home life but everybody embraced the challenge! By the end of the holiday we were having ‘Tent speed putting up races!’ Dan from the USA informed me that he had never washed up before! We had a hilarious time watching him struggle with gloves (to keep his hands warm) whilst washing up in cold water, wearing a bowler hat!
Become a geography expert whilst soaking in a hot spring
Iceland is an incredible mixture of Geological phenomena, which characterises this trek including lava fields, fumaroles, hot springs and Rhyolite formations. The trekking route takes you through a colourful yet desolate landscape with steaming vents and thermal water resurfacing along the way. The first hot spring in Landmannalaugar was extremely warm and I was surprised to see how clean it was. There was even a tiny bird bathing in it! I must say that it was hard stripping off in the cold air and getting in but once we were in we spent hours floating about and enjoying the amazing scenery. The run of shame back to the warmth of our tents was hard but well worth the adrenalin rush!
Fairies really do live in Iceland
I was absorbed by the fascinating historical legends and tales of local folklore that our guide Kristjan recited daily. Each morning I couldn’t wait to see what adventure lay ahead and each day was completely different with a new landscape to explore, hot pool to soak in or ice cold lake to swim in, hence the amount of photographs taken! The weather was kind with lots of sunshine until the last day when we experienced the ‘land of extremes’ and did encounter four seasons in one day! This just added to the authenticity of the trek. This was a difficult day for everybody but very rewarding.
Climb a Volcano
Along the way to the lowlands we explored the impressive Skogar Canyons and one of the highlights of the trip for me was the 60 metre high Skogarfoss Waterfall at the very end. Another highlight for the group was the summiting of Mount Haskerdingur at 1281 m. There we had spectacular panoramic views of 8 glaciers including Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajokull and the recently erupted Eyjafjallajokull.
I'm coming back with my family
Due to the harsh nature of the landscape we were delighted to see sheep as we approached civilisation! This reminded me that it was time to go home to the Lake District and see my family! I did miss the boys but I had plenty to keep my mind busy with. Throughout the trek I had been planning my return to Iceland! The scope for family adventures is immense and I am excited about helping put together a new family itinerary in Iceland for KE. The list of activities is endless … horse riding, mountain biking, fishing, camping, whale watching, white-water rafting, sailing among icebergs and not forgetting the blue lagoon! My boys would love the Viking history and folk legends. I’m sure I could convince them that Elves and fairies existed in Iceland! It is such a magical place for everybody!
This really was a superb wilderness trek with fantastic fun loving people and we smiled our way from Landmannalaugar to Skogar.
Upon my return the boys came running out of the house to greet me! My youngest boy Jude simply said ‘hi, then quickly informed me that I could go back to Iceland now! To me this was proof that they had had just as good a time with Daddy as I had had in Iceland! They loved my collection of rocks and volcanic ash that I brought home for them! This saved me lots of money not having to buy expensive presents! Or perhaps this is why Jude told me to go away again!