Kjolur – One of the historic mountain roads crossing the Icelandic Highlands, mentioned in the Sagas. It crosses from Gullfoss in the south, between LangJökull and Höfsjökull glaciers, to Blöndudalur in the north. “Your hair’s frozen again”. I pat my head, feeling the now familiar crinkling of a frosty quiff, before reaching for my mug of tea from its rock and … Continue reading Iceland: Across the Kjolur in winter
Well then. We arrived back home last week after an interesting month. It had been a hard winter at the point when we left for Iceland, five weeks ago. Well, by ‘hard’ I mean that we had been jollying around Chile and Argentina for a couple of months, followed by six fairly intensive weeks of preparing for a Winter Mountain Leader assessment in the Cairngorms, … Continue reading Þakka þér Ísland!
Patagonia. What was all that about then? It’s been a pretty hectic winter since we arrived home in Scotland in January, but here are some words and photos that I put together for Bikepacker’s Magazine about our trip. “All things look good from far away and it is man’s eternally persistent childlike faith in the reality of that illusion that has made him the triumphant … Continue reading Trials and Tribulations in Patagonia
Soon (this evening in fact), I’ll be heading back to Iceland for a second time to explore more of its mountainous dirt roads by bike, and to learn more about that improbable, impossible and very thoroughly lovely country; that’s not to mention further research on the infinite variations of liquorice-based sweets to be found all over the place. Problem is, March is still wintertime in … Continue reading Iceland: Boots, Bikes and Boldly going…
Bikepacking for me started with a loop of the Cairngorms on a hot, sunny weekend in 2013. I used a couple of harnesses borrowed from Annie to attach oversized, dumpy drybags to the bars and seat of an Orange Elite 26” hardtail, and faded into the moors. A couple of days later I emerged, slavering a little and desperate for a shower, but also permanently … Continue reading Bikepacking bikes
The month is November, the forecast is damp. With cake in our bellies and a glint in our beards, we try to get to the bottom of what makes bikepacking in the Highlands so moreish… Continue reading ‘Cake for Breakfast’: A glossary of Scottish bikepacking
Apologies. This post is a long one, but it’s one that I’ve been piecing together for a while, and it seems that there is rather a lot to say (too much to subject a reader to in a single post). At a glance, it’s an account of a crossing, by bicycle, of the Icelandic interior, which is neither a superhuman feat in itself, nor especially … Continue reading Crossing Iceland: Godafoss to Nyidalur
Iceland: The South Coast and Eastern Fjords As we descended through thick cloud, sleepy and dry-throated from the flight, I found myself suddenly very much awake, staring childlike through the tiny EasyJet regulation cabin window, certain that any moment now the plane would break through a misty ceiling and a panoramic view of Iceland would be spread before me to replace the present soggy greyness. … Continue reading Iceland: South Coast and Eastern Fjords