July 24th, 2011: Day 4

Unfortunately Ronja had to turn back home due to blisters


After our first night in Skeið we woke up at 8.00 to a delicious breakfast prepared by the kitchen crew and Myriam. After breakfast we got together to present our reports on how climate change is affecting our home countries. As we are a pretty diverse group from all over the world, we got a broad view of the various changes our globe is experiencing- from Uganda to Estonia, South Afrika to Turkey. The reports and the questions we asked each other made us realize the extent of the damage global warming is causing, especially in poorer countries and how little interest is being shown and little effort done to prevent it.

So verbrachten wir den Morgen mit Diskussionen, um voneinander zu lernen. Und dann? Was macht man, wenn man Stunden von der nächsten Stadt entfernt ist - in einer Gegend, wo es mehr Pferde als Menschen gibt? Natürlich wandern! Wir begannen unsere Wanderung mit 16 Teilnehmern, alle motiviert, die umliegenden Berge und Flüsse zu erkunden. Wir gingen in die Richtung des "Sees", der, wie Dirk uns erzählte, irgendwo hinter den Bergen versteckt sein sollte. Wie auch immer, nach einer guten Stunde mussten die ersten beiden Teilnehmer aufgeben, Blasen und Müdigkeit zwangen sie zur Umkehr.

So we spent the morning discussing and learning from each other. And then? What does one do when hours away from the next town, in an area where there are probably more horses than people? Hiking of course! We started our journey as an eager group of 16- keen to explore the surrounding mountains and rivers. We headed off in the direction of “the lake” Dirk had told us about, hidden somewhere behind the looming mountains. However, an hour into the walk we lost our first two due to blisters and fatigue. So we said good bye to them as they turned back home. But the rest of us were still very much determined. It was a beautiful day- perfect for hiking! The way to the lake was quite steep and at every turn we hoped to get a glimpse of it- it was like queuing for a ride at Disneyland! Once at the lake we had a well-earned lunch break eating the sandwiches we had prepared back at the guesthouse. From this point on we set ourselves a new aim- to go as far up the mountain until we reached the snow!

As Kathleen and Daniella, coming from Uganda and South Africa, had rarely seen snow in their lives, this was an especially exciting prospect for them. As the journey continued we had to cross many streams, boggy marshes and rocky grounds. There were times when we thought we wouldn’t make it, but willpower and heart kept us going! We sadly lost another two just before the foot of the mountain- again to fatigue- but they were content to enjoy the scenery until we got back. Hence, we were only 12 when we started ascending the mountain.

The rocky landscape and sense of adventure were reminiscent of Lord of the Rings!

Daniella and the others slided down the snow with Dirk's jacket

At the next well-earned break the peacefulness and gentle rushing sound of the river provided the perfect setting for a nap! Once refreshed, we set off again- sadly leaving two more behind. The next and final part of the journey was probably the toughest, with rocky and steep gorges to climb, but finally after four hours of toil, sweat and blood- literally- we reached the snow! We took it in turns to slide down the ice- using Dirk’s jacket, to his great pleasure. It was all a lot of fun and looking back down into the valley, you couldn’t help but feel a great sense of achievement and pride.

But it was time for us to return and the weather seemed to agree as it had started drizzling. The way back down was surprisingly short and we picked up the ones we had lost on the way. Once back at the guesthouse, we warmed up with hot chocolate and played cards and relaxed until another delicious dinner.

All in all a sucessful day, we think!

Sophie (United Kingdom) & Ezgi (Turkey)

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Saturday, 9. March 2013