Postcards from Iceland – 6 (a glacier hike)

We woke up to rain. Wet rain, if you know what I mean… not a light drizzle… proper ‘get soaked in minutes’ kind of rain. A call to AdventureIS told us the booked glacier hike was ‘of course’ still on so we couldn’t appear too wimpy, so we put on a brave face and a lot of Goretex and off we went.

Our guide Ruben furnished us with crampons, an axe (worrying), a harness (what?) and a helmet (puzzling)… and off we went.

Across raging glacial rivers and steep and slippery moraines… till we finally got onto the ice.

Awe inspiring. And exhilarating.

It’s equal part a living thing, always moving, changing shape, groaning, cracking etc. and a prehistoric presence. So old. Wise. Indifferent to men.

It doesn’t look slippery… but without the crampons we literally wouldn’t be able to stand up, never mind walk around.

In this photo I’m trying to photograph the bottom of a bottomless hole. Mildly terrifying.

By the time we made it back to the visitor centre we were all frozen and wet through to various degrees… but it was totally worth it. Our guide was very experienced and knowledgeable and explained a lot about the life of a glacier and how they’re all melting faster than normal, shrinking every year at an alarming speed. The thought of them disappearing is horrific. Because they’re beautiful and because of what it means we are doing to this beautiful planet of ours.

The storm raged all afternoon so we rested. It is a holiday after all!

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