Extreme hitch hiking
I spend a lot of my day on the farm hopping in and out of my trusty Land Rover, but there was a time when I was very happy to hop into a Land Rover in order to negotiate some very tricky terrain in an unfamiliar country….
I am sure I am amongst friends when I state that travel can become addictive. No sooner does one return from one journey than another must be planned and anticipated.
This is what it was like after I had returned from China, and was keen to look to the next adventure. One of our group leaders in China kept telling us that we must visit Iceland, so it was that after my friend’s father had vetoed two teenage girls going trekking in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, that we booked two flights to Reykjavik.
Looking in the school atlas, we picked out a route that we thought we could walk from one side of the island to another, packed our bags ( mine with the trusty Rohan Bags and jacket that had been to China) and departed. After the endless training and planning of the expedition to China it was liberating to just turn up and go, but we had seriously underestimated the terrain.
It is all very well to pick a route from one side of the Lake District to another and attempt to walk it, but, as many Rohan readers will know, the terrain in Iceland is a lot more volatile!
We travelled by bus to the start of our route, after sleeping on the streets of Reykjavik when we arrived, and began our journey. The terrain, complete with ice wedge polygons, was very hard to walk over. After two days the weather took a turn for the worse and we were tent bound, wrapped up in our layers of Rohan clothing and snug inside our sleeping bags. We literally did not come out of the tent or 24 hours. We had eaten nearly half our food rations, and with no sign of any shops decided to abort the expedition and retrace our steps. The trouble was that with bad weather it was now significantly harder to cover the ground. We were just beginning to wonder if we would be able to make it back to Reykjavik, when a surprise appeared on the horizon.
A Land Rover came thundering over the hill. We stood and watched, in disbelief, as the vehicle drove over impossible looking terrain and drove up to us. It turned out that a local fish factory owner had just taken delivery of his new vehicle and was attempting to drive the same route that we were taking. Cheekily, we stuck out our thumbs and hoped for a lift.
So we did get to see some spectacular scenery and visit some incredible sights such as Gullfoss, The Great Geysir and Thingvellir , but we saw them from the back seat of a Land Rover, and never was a hitch hiker more glad to hitch a lift. If ever I see a lost looking tourist as I travel around our Lake District valley, I am sure to wind down the window and ask them if they are lost and need a lift.
Andrea Meanwell – The Lake District Fell Ponies Centre
Andrea has become a regular and popular contributor to Rohantime. Her previous posts on Rohantime have been about her life in a Lake District valley and her practical experience of using Rohan clothing. Rohan is very important in her daily work on the farm. She is the second generation of Rohanist in her family. Andrea lives in a small traditional farmstead in a beautiful Lakeland Valley and runs The Lake District Fell Pony Centre which is a working farm. She has regular open farm days and has riding ponies for sale. She also has Alpaca knitwear for sale from her own Alpacas, Fell Pony hooded sweatshirts, every purchase supports her work on the farm.
A big thank you to Andrea. Read her other stories on Rohantime